Acne is a near absolute we must all contend with. A better understanding of how it forms, where it comes from, and how to get rid of acne overnight, is in this article.
Acne is one of the few universal ailments in life. In fact, acne is one of the most common skin diseases in the United States.
Whether you’ve suffered through embarrassing flare-ups as a pubescent teenager, battle random pop-ups as an adult, or have to regularly ward off the persistent bumps caused by any number of triggers, it is a condition we have all suffered through at one time or another. So, now the ultimate question: How to get rid of acne overnight?
Thankfully, there are plenty of options to help keep the red and white inflammations at bay and in some cases rid you of annoying pimples altogether. First though, let’s get under the skin and find out what causes acne.
How Acne Forms
Acne occurs when the pores in our skin become clogged with dead skin and oils. Typically, we shed dead skin when its pushed to the top of the pore. But as our bodies produce sebum, an oil that prevents our skin from drying out, the dead skin can clump together and gets stuck inside the pore.
As the area becomes irritated, it will become inflamed, creating the familiar red swollen pustules we associate with acne. Should the inflammation bury deep within the skin, larger cysts can appear and turn into a larger health concern.
Contrary to popular belief, acne is not simply a teenage right of passage, an unwelcome reminder of one of the most confusing and awkward stages of life. Though acne is most frequent in teenagers due to the high hormonal activity their bodies experience, acne can appear at any time of our life.
Types of Acne
Individual cases of acne can vary a lot and symptoms are dependent on the type of acne you have and the severity when it occurs. There are several different types of acne:
- Whiteheads: Pores that are plugged and closed. These remain under the skin’s surface.
- Blackheads: Pores that are plugged and open. These rise to the skin’s surface.
- Papules: These are small, pinkish-red bumps that can be tender to the touch.
- Pustules: Containing pus at the top of a pimple. A reddish irritation usually accompanies these.
- Nodules: Larger bumps that are solid and located deep within the skin. Can be very painful.
- Cysts: Similar to nodules, but filled with pus deep beneath the skin. Also very painful.
Generally speaking, there are several other ways in which acne can be diagnosed and broken down. In most instances, you can gauge acne as either inflammatory or non-inflammatory, with the latter the less severe of the two. Beyond that, acne is categorized by a physician in one of three ways:
Mild Acne will typically consist of non-inflammatory whiteheads and blackheads and be less severe in the frequency of outbreaks and number of pimples associated with it. This is also the most common form that acne takes.
This type of acne includes the papules and pustules and will usually take an inflammatory form in most cases.
Severe acne can include papules and pustules as well as nodules and cysts. By far the most painful type of acne, this level of skin irritation can also lead to scarring.
What Causes Acne
There are tons of misconceptions about what can cause acne or inflame an already infected area and make it worse. While confusion persists about some of the causes and additional triggers, these are the four known factors that can cause acne:
- Excess Production of Oils in the Skin.
- Clogged Pores
- Excess Hormone Activity
In addition to the leading causes of acne, the following issues have been known to aggregate or inflame a current outbreak further:
- Hormones: This is the most common trigger and is the one most prevalent in teenage cases of acne. Hormone activity though can also flare up acne in groups such as pregnant women or users of oral contraceptives.
- Medications: This does not apply to all medications, but be wary of ones that include lithium, corticosteroids, or testosterone.
- Diet: As we will note below, foods that contain grease or made with chocolate do not cause acne. However, there is some limited research that shows that dairy products or foods high in carbohydrates may make an acne condition worse. The studies have been small and more research is necessary to determine their true links.
- Stress: Stress is another factor we list below as not being a cause of acne, but studies have shown that stress can inflame an active breakout and has the potential to make it much worse.
Now that you are more aware of the actual causes of acne and some of its leading agitators let’s dispel some of the most common falsehoods. Acne is not caused by:
- Dirty Skin: Poor hygiene does not promote outbreaks, through vigorous cleaning and scrubbing can irritate an area that actively has acne.
- Stress: Stress alone will not create acne, but outside stressors can worsen an active condition.
- Chocolate: Limited research has shown this to be an agitator, but not a cause of acne.
- Greasy Food: Here it’s not the consumption of the food that can cause an outbreak but instead the handling of it. As shown, oil can block pores and promote the development of acne. Make sure you take precautions before handling these food types.
- Cosmetics: Cosmetics alone do not cause outbreaks, but non-oily varieties are far better for your skin versus the alternative.
Finally, two additional risk factors can play a part in the development of acne:
- Age: As previously noted, acne is common in teenagers due to the excessive amount of hormones involved in puberty, but anyone at any age can get acne.
- Heredity: As with most other medical concerns, if one or both of your parents were susceptible to acne development, you will more than likely be just as prone to outbreaks.
How To Get Rid Of Acne Overnight
As prevalent as acne is, when treating it you will have a lot of different options. Depending on severity, the top treatment goals should always include controlling or limiting outbreaks, ensure little to no damage to your skin, and to either avoid scars or conceal them if they are unavoidable.
While no cure exists, you can effectively keep your acne in check with a multitude of medications and treatments. We do however recommend you consult with a dermatologist first to discuss your specific case before starting any drug or therapy based regimens.
Treatment for acne comes in three forms: topical applications, oral medications, or skin therapies.
Let’s review each:
The vast majority of acne treatments fall into this category which is applied directly to the skin as daily, periodic, or overnight treatment. There are store shelves full of options both non-prescription and prescription based.
Found as creams, gels, or lotions, these will work to either kill bacteria or promote the reduction of oil in your skin. The active medicines in the applications usually consist of an antibiotic, benzoyl peroxide, or a retinoid.
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Acne medications found in pill or other oral applications are typically intended to treat more moderate to severe cases of acne that show signs of inflammation or potential scarring. When treating painful cysts and nodules, this method is often prescribed in tandem with a skin therapy, depending on severity.
Prescribed oral medications will include either an antibiotic to reduce swelling and treat bacteria, contraceptives that engage directly with hormones. Or the highly effective isotretinoin. Which is prescribed sparingly due to its very high risk of dangerous side effects.
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Finally, there are several acne therapies that a dermatologist may suggest as a stand-alone treatment. Or along with a medicinal regimen. The therapies can be used in mild, moderate, or severe cases of acne. With all being outpatient procedures (with very rare exceptions).
A few of these treatments include laser or light therapy, chemical peels, and direct acne removal (used when acne has not cleared up on its own or through the use of medications). Also included are direct injections into an affected area with steroids.
Additional Care Methods
It’s important to note that while many of the above treatments are effective. There is no singular way to rid yourself of acne completely.
However, regular management of areas prone to an outbreak and an overall healthy approach to the treatment of your skin. Can be your best defense in reducing current acne and limiting future flare-ups.
Gentle cleansing of your skin (avoid heavy scrubbing), over-the-counter products that promote oil reduction, or treatment solutions like alpha hydroxy or glycolic acids. Can help with mild to moderate acne cases and keep them from worsening.
Furthermore, keeping your skin safe for the sun’s harmful UV rays and avoiding heavy friction or pressure on your skin. Will also ensure less irritated skin that’s not as susceptible to outbreaks.
If you do develop breakouts, always avoid picking or popping the affected area. As that will lengthen the healing process and could lead to permanent scarring or infection.
Finally, while there is no magic bullet to simply cure and eradicate acne. Educating yourself and fully understanding what triggers your outbreaks goes a long way to keep it managed.
Whether its internal factors like hormones or bacteria or external triggers such as stress or unnecessary oils. Finding the source will also help you find the right treatment, and find a more confident you.
Netflix enthusiast, horrible speller, jiujitsu hobbyist, weekend drinker, and occasional poker player. Favorite quote is “[o]ut of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”