Grooming Editor

Acne Symptoms, Acne Treatment

Acne (whether one spot, a few spots, or a face full) can leave your self confidence shattered and make the everyday things you used to take for granted, such as going to work or hanging out with your mates, an embarrassing and even traumatic ordeal. Acne can cause lasting emotional damage, especially when it unfairly continues into your adult years. You may be seeing acne for the first time in your 20s or 30s and wondering why you’re now being affected.

Earlier, we talked about our own experiences of acne, but we recently talked to Murad Skincare Expert, Andrea Craig, to capture her thoughts and to see what can be done to help beat those blemish blues.

Question: Mankind: Andrea, thanks for taking time out to talk to us. To start with, what really is acne?

Andrea at Murad: Well, acne is a complex, chronic skin problem that affects all age groups and both men and women. It consists of spots and painful bumps on the skin and severe acne may cause scarring.

Question: Mankind: Is it a skin problem that most experience at some point in their life?

Andrea: Not everyone does, it affects about 80% of everyone. For many, it’s most noticeable on the face; which is where your acne was Darren, however, acne can occur in other areas of the body too. The back is a common area too, which can really knock your confidence when going on that beach holiday.

Question: Mankind: Oh, we can imagine! So, you talked about spots. we're sure our customers would like to know, is a spot just a spot or are there different types?

Andrea: Well, there’s more than one type. Basically, if you have small, hard bumps with a white centre then you guessed it, you have whiteheads. Pustules are when you have spots with a visible pus and it often be hard to resist popping them. These can be on people’s face, chest or back. Another type of spot are what we call cryts. Now, these are painful lumps under the skin and again, they can be found your face, chest and back.

Question: Darren: We know that not everybody suffers from spots, but why is this exactly? Is it just bad luck or are there other reasons?

Andrea: It’s hard to understand why; but it’s not really down to ‘luck’. At the heart of acne is sebum production and acne develops when glands become stimulated and over-produce the body’s natural oil (called sebum). Dead skin cells build up and fall into the follicle, then mix with the sebum, forming a spot.

Who gets spots depends on hormones, genetics, environment and also habits.

To take the first one, whether you’re a boy, girl, man or woman – hormone levels change and when testosterone levels are higher they may cause acne as those glands are being stimulated. You can also inherit acne, though it’s not scientifically proven. Another factor contributing towards acne can be the environment. The nasties in the air can ravage our skin and cause acne, particularly if you live in the city or just love the sun. Finally, if you go to the gym quite a bit, then the sweat that builds between skin and your gym clothes can awaken acne-causing bacteria. So, post-workout it’s important to grab a shower and quickly change your clothes.

Question: Mankind: So quite a few different things to keep an eye out for then. we'd say that stress can be an issue too, especially when you're younger and you go through the dreaded May exams in school!

We only had acne on the face, but others get it on their back too. Is back acne very common?

Andrea: Yes, back acne is very common. It’s because the pores are larger on our back and produce more oil than those on the face, which can produce more severe acne, such as cysts, more frequently. I would say that back acne is even worse for guys, and some of your customers may suffer for longer with ‘bacne’ due to your higher levels of testosterone, which can make acne worse. Considering all this, having a normal life may feel almost impossible. You can also get acne on your chest, sometimes caused by sweating in the gym or sweating in the heat of the sun.

Question: Mankind: For customers affected by acne, either on the face or maybe their back- how can they beat it?

Andrea: In order to treat acne successfully, it’s really important that you consider all the factors that may be causing the outbreaks and may be aggravating the condition. The solution is Inclusive Health; addressing the whole body to support all aspects of a healthy lifestyle.

And addressing health at a cellular level has a profound effect on the skin and the whole body. Dr. Howard Murad developed the Science of Cellular Water, which simply put, looks at your cells ability to hold water. To improve cell’s ability to hold water, we need to adopt an Inclusive Health lifestyle. This is a three-pronged approach to skincare and healthcare, looking at topical, internal and emotional care.

Topical Care: using the best and most appropriate topical products on your skin.
Internal Care: this includes good nutrition, taking supplements and exercising, which all have an effect on your skin. A little tip here for you, the health of your skin is 80% from internal health, so food and supplements are most important in having good skin.
Emotional Care: is equally as important as the other two prongs. This includes the feel-good services offered at spas, stress reduction activities and support groups to nurture the psyche. Just spending time with your friends and experiencing the gut-wrenching laughter that only your friends can provide really has a positive effect on your skin.

Question: Mankind: So, which Murad products tackle blemishes the best?

Andrea: Well, if you have any back or body acne the Blemish Body Wash and Clarifying Body Spray will help control body breakouts and prevent future ones from reoccurring. And the Spray has a 360 degree spray to get to those hard to reach areas.

To fight blemishes from the inside out Pure Skin Supplements will be your new best friend. They are clinically proven to reduce blemishes by 55% in six weeks and they’re also brilliant for encouraging healthy, strong skin which means blemishes heal faster and any scarring will fade quicker.

For the face, the whole Blemish Control range works wonders. For the odd, pesky spot try Blemish Spot Treatment. Those of you with very oily skins will love our Oil Control Mattifier SPF 15 which hydrates and control oil for u to eight hours; it really is a miracle product. And for skins with regular acne breakouts the Clarifying Cleanser and Exfoliating Blemish Gel will blast your blemish troubles away. Remember, all these products contain Dr Murad’s high-performance, pharmaceutical-grade ingredients which have the power to change your skin concerns. So use small amounts, go slow and don’t overdo it!

Question: Mankind: That's really helpful, thanks. One final question.......does chocolate really cause acne....?!

Andrea: No! And neither does poor hygiene (another myth!) – in fact, washing too much can make the problem worse!

Do you have any questions or feedback for Andrea? Add a comment below or write on our confidential male-grooming forum and l’ll forward anything on to Andrea. We also have our Mankind Twitter and Mankind Facebook communities.



International Editor

Grooming is universal and innovative shaving techniques, skincare products and haircare essentials are developed around the globe. As a citizen of the world and passionate traveller I will feature the latest global grooming trends and bring you inspiration from the beauty capitals of the world. You will learn everything from traditional Japanese shaving techniques used in Tokyo to the latest new organic moisturiser from the small town of Helsingborg in Sweden.

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