How to effectively manage acne
What is acne?Acne is a skin disease characterised by the clogging of a person’s pores by a mixture of sebum and dead skin cells. Clogged pores or hair follicles trigger an immune reaction causing consequential inflammation. It is this inflammatory immune reaction which is responsible for the visual signs of acne. Acne has traditionally been a skin condition associated with puberty. During this time it effects men more so than women with rising androgen and testosterone levels triggering an increased production of sebum. Acne most commonly effects the lower third of a person’s face, however other androgen effected areas such as a person’s chest and back are also frequently effected. In the western world, the association of acne to puberty is being diluted by a rising rate of adult acne. The referral of patients aged 25 and over is steadily increasing2 and 90% of acne presentations in women aged 25 and over share the familial symptoms of adolescent acne3.
The cause of acneUnderstanding the causes of acne help patients and doctors alike to treat each presentation of the condition effectively. Acne can rear differently for every patient. Some forms affect only the jawline, others spread to the chest and back. Some experience only open comedones, others have a combination of both open and closed. Some presentations sync with monthly hormone fluctuations and others remain consistent regardless of time. For acne lesions to form, 3 factors need to combine;
- Increased sebum production
- Dead skin/ hyperkeratinisation
- An increase in Propionibacterium acnes bacteria
Effective treatments for acneAcne although not health impairing often has significantly negative effects psychologically. Effective management of the condition can bring great relief for sufferers. Although scientists have not yet evolved a cure for the condition, there are several changes a person can make to their diet and skincare regimen that show positive effects. A collection of the most effective are detailed below, as all presentations of acne are unique, some may be more effective than others. Trialling each will help evolve a treatment and maintenance plan that works individualistically.
- Diet – trial elimination of dairy
- Diet – eliminate high glycaemic index (GI) foods
- Baked russet potato (11111)
- Boiled white potato (82)
- Pizza, plain baked dough, served with parmesan cheese and tomato sauce (80)
- Pretzels (83)
- Rice cakes (82)
- White rice, boiled, type non-specified (72)
- Cornflakes (81)
- Baguette, white, plain (95)
- Exfoliate regularly to prevent hyperkeratinisation
- Physical exfoliation e.g. muslin cloth, facial scrub or brush.
- Chemical exfoliation e.g. salicylic acid.
griffin+row Exfoliate is a unique 4 layered muslin cloth and highly effective in ridding the skin’s surface of dead skin cells. The cloth is 100% natural, reusable and gentle on all skin types. Regular use will greatly improve the appearance of your skin and its texture.
- Use linoleic high oils or linoleic high moisturisers
Our moisturisers contain linoleic acid rich ingredients including rosehip and grapeseed extract, which aid in the normal desquamation of skin and therefore help to re-adjust hyperkeratinisation.
- Daily use of antioxidant-rich skincare and sun protection
All griffin+row products are naturally high in antioxidants and regular application of our 5 step simple skincare system will garner visible improvements to the strength, texture and appearance of acne prone skin. Antioxidant rich ingredients include Australian Sandalwood, Grape Seed Extract and Sweet Orange, Aloe Vera, Rosehip and Shiitake Mushrooms, Grapefruit Oil, Rosemary Essential Oil and Wakame Seaweed, Avocado Oil and Bergamot too. Our products are simply bursting with natural ingredients to soothe and nourish your skin.
Sources and References
- Bhate K, Williams HC. Epidemiology of acne vulgaris. The British journal of dermatology 2013;168:474-85
- Seirafi, H., Farnaghi, F., Vasheghani-Farahani, A., Alirezaie, N.-S., Esfahanian, F., Firooz, A. and Ghodsi, S. Z. (2007), Assessment of androgens in women with adult-onset acne. International Journal of Dermatology, 46: 1188–1191. doi:10.1111/j.1365-4632.2007.03411.x
- Dréno, B., Thiboutot, D., Layton, A.M., Berson, D., Perez, M., Kang, S. and the Global Alliance to Improve Outcomes in Acne (2015), Large-scale international study enhances understanding of an emerging acne population: adult females. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol, 29: 1096–1106. doi:10.1111/jdv.12757
- Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, et al. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition. New York: Garland Science; 2002. Epidermis and Its Renewal by Stem Cells. Available from: “https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK26865/”
- Hyperkeratinization, corneocyte cohesion, and alpha hydroxy acids. E. J. Van Scott, R. J. Yu J Am Acad Dermatol. 1984 Nov; 11(5 Pt 1): 867–879.
- Liu P-F, Nakatsuji T, Zhu W, Gallo RL, Huang C-M. Passive Immunoprotection Targeting a Secreted CAMP Factor of Propionibacterium acnes as a Novel Immunotherapeutic for Acne Vulgaris. Vaccine. 2011;29(17):3230-3238. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.02.036.
- Nestlé Nutrition Institute Workshop Series, Vol. 67. Milk and Milk Products in Human Nutrition 67th Nestlé Nutrition Institute Workshop, Pediatric Program, Marrakech, March 2010 ISBN: 978-3-8055-9586-5 e-ISBN: 978-3-8055-9587-2 DOI:10.1159/isbn.978-3-8055-9587-2
- Spencer, E. H., Ferdowsian, H. R. and Barnard, N. D. (2009), Diet and acne: a review of the evidence. International Journal of Dermatology, 48: 339–347. doi:10.1111/j.1365-4632.2009.04002.x
- The effect of a low glycemic load diet on acne vulgaris and the fatty acid composition of skin surface triglycerides. Robyn N. Smith, Anna Braue, George A. Varigos, Neil J. Mann J Dermatol Sci. 2008 Apr; 50(1): 41–52. Published online 2008 Jan 4. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2007.11.005
- A low-glycemic-load diet improves symptoms in acne vulgaris patients: a randomized controlled trial. Robyn N. Smith, Neil J. Mann, Anna Braue, Henna Mäkeläinen, George A. Varigos Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jul; 86(1): 107–115.
- Atkinson FS, Foster-Powell K, Brand-Miller JC. International Tables of Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Values: 2008 . Diabetes Care. 2008;31(12):2281-2283. doi:10.2337/dc08-1239.
- Zouboulis, C.C., Jourdan, E. and Picardo, M. (2014), Acne is an inflammatory disease and alterations of sebum composition initiate acne lesions. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol, 28: 527–532. doi:10.1111/jdv.12298
- The fatty acids of wax esters and sterol esters from vernix caseosa and from human skin surface lipid. Nicolaides, H. C. Fu, M. N. Ansari, G. R. Rice. Lipids. 1972 Aug; 7(8): 506–517.
- LETAWE, BOONE and PIÉRARD (1998), Digital image analysis of the effect of topically applied linoleic acid on acne microcomedones. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 23: 56–58. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2230.1998.00315.x
- Acne is an inflammatory disease and alterations of sebum composition initiate acne lesions. C. C. Zouboulis, E. Jourdan, M. Picardo J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2014 May; 28(5): 527–532. Published online 2013 Oct 18. doi: 10.1111/jdv.12298
- Pappas A, Johnsen S, Liu J-C, Eisinger M. Sebum analysis of individuals with and without acne. Dermato-endocrinology. 2009;1(3):157-161.