Living with acne – what you should know

Having acne is painful, whether you’re a teen or an adult. It can have a great impact on your confidence and leave both physical and emotional scars.

Early treatment is essential, and we have excellent solutions for your needs.

How do we know we have acne? Medically speaking, acne is a skin disease, and pimples are one of its symptoms. It involves the formation of blackheads, pimples, cysts or, in severe cases, abscesses when pores become blocked and oil gets trapped along with dead skin and bacteria within the hair follicles causing inflammation.

But most of us think of acne as a severe case of inflamed and painful pimples. What we need to know is that we should try to prevent it getting to this point – and treat it while it is not so severe.

Ages and stages

Most of us have experienced the misery of teen acne right when we’re in the middle of discovering our own identity and becoming interested in dating. But the growth of acne in adults – right into our forties – is becoming increasingly common, and it is equally as painful for the sufferer. Why is this happening?

Hormones at play

As usual, our hormones have a role to play, and the rise of stress – with its release of cortisol and testosterone hormones – is partly responsible. And we South Africans are a stressed bunch.

For women, hormonal fluctuations can also cause acne during pregnancy, at perimenopause, and it can be a side effect in conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Gut instincts

The most interesting area of research shows that the state of our gut also plays a role in acne. It has shown that acne can start due to an imbalance in gut flora. In dysbiosis, the good bacteria is overwhelmed by the ‘bad’, and conditions like leaky gut syndrome and low stomach acid can trigger the skin to break out.

As gut health is crucial for all of us, no matter what our age, we should make keeping it in balance a priority.

How do we do this?

  • We can take a good-quality probiotic that ensures we have healthy levels of good bacteria in our gut.
  • We can help our guts by feeding our gut bacteria. We do this when we eat fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut, and by drinking kombucha tea and kefir. These are chock-full of probiotics and prebiotics, the stuff gut bacteria feed on. These are also good for your skin’s health.
  • If you don’t know where to start if you have severe gut issues, consult a doctor who specialises in gut health to help get your gut in good order.

Restoring balance in your gastrointestinal tract will improve not only your overall health and wellbeing, ultimately, it will improve acne outbreaks as well.

At the Renewal Institute, we believe that early detection of any condition is important, and this is particularly so when it comes to acne. The sooner we deal with it, the better the changes of preventing a serious condition.

The Renewal Institute’s four pillars to skincare supports acne in a holistic manner:

We use a combination of the correct, medical topical products to treat acne that ranges from mild to severe, our consulting doctors draw up a plan that includes lifestyle changes (with a healthy diet and regular exercise), and the correct in-salon treatment plan. Our various treatments ensure that acne is treated from different angles, because this is known to produce better results.

Managing your acne early helps to hopefully prevent acne scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation – dark marks on the scarred areas, which is especially important in darker skins.

In our next feature, we discuss which treatments are available to prevent and treat acne, and to tell all people who have severe acne or scarring that there is plenty you can do to get your skin looking healthy and looking good again.

Should you wish to find out more about treatments to manage acne in a holistic manner, visit Skin Renewal on or contact 0861 SKIN SA (754 672).

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