I Went to an Acne Derm Class & Here's What Happened
When it comes to acne, I consider myself lucky to have made it through adolescence and early adulthood virtually unscathed. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fair share of zits and pimples, but most of them have been stray or temporary as a result of fluctuating hormones. I can chalk it up to good genetics (thanks Mom!) or an effective skin care routine, but acne has not been one of my main skin concerns. Still, that’s not to say that it never will be. As I have learned by connecting with dermatologists on a near daily basis, adult-onset acne is quite common…and it can affect anyone. Many people may not realize that and, as a result, are struck with confusion when breakouts appear seemingly out of nowhere way after their teen years. In fact, there are plenty of similar acne facts that many are not privy to.
Driving acne education is incredibly important—whether you suffer from breakouts or not—which is why I was thrilled to be invited to La Roche-Posay’s “Be Clear Bootcamp” to learn more about a skin condition that affects over 50 million Americans every year. A leader in the field of dermatological research—and one of my favorite brands in the L’Oreal portfolio—La Roche-Posay has developed a training ground in partnership with top dermatologists to provide facts about acne and steps you can take to manage (and prevent!) unwanted breakouts.
This year’s “Be Clear Bootcamp” was held on April 19 at L’Oreal’s U.S. headquarters in Hudson Yards, and I—along with beauty bloggers, influencers, and industry tastemakers—was invited to attend. Our day started with an acne 101 presentation by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Tama Lazic Strugar. Dr. Lazic Strugar went over what causes acne, how to address acne, how to prevent acne scarring, the different types of pimples, and more. Here are the top five facts I learned:
1. ACNE IS THE MOST COMMON SKIN CONDITION IN THE UNITED STATES.
If you are suffering from acne, take solace in the fact that you are not alone. According to Dr. Lazic Strugar, acne affects up to 50 million people annually. That number includes people of all ages, since acne can occur at any stage of life.
2. ONLY ABOUT 10 PERCENT OF ACNE SUFFERERS SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP.
This one was surprising to me. As Dr. Lazic Strugar explained, the remaining 90 percent of acne sufferers try to figure out solutions on their own. This can be risky in some cases, especially if you follow the wrong advice.
3. THERE ARE SIX DIFFERENT TYPES OF BLEMISHES.
- Whiteheads: Whiteheads—also known as closed comedones—are characterized by small white bumps on the skin’s surface.
- Blackheads: Blackheads—also known as open comedones—are clogged pores that oxidize and become dark in hue.
- Papules: Papules appear as small pink or red bumps on the skin’s surface. They usually are not filled with pus.
- Pustules: Pustules are similar to papules except they are filled with white or yellow pus.
- Nodules: Nodules refer to blemishes that are large, painful, and inflamed. They typically remain deep under the surface of the skin.
- Cysts: Cysts are deep, red, and tender pimples that are filled with pus. This type of severe acne is likely to cause scarring.
4. ACNE CAN BE CAUSED BY MANY FACTORS.
The reason you suffer from acne can differ from the reason your best friend suffers from acne. That’s because acne can be caused by many factors, including genetics, hormonal fluctuations, menstruation, emotional stress, and certain medications.
5. THE #1 FEAR FOR ACNE SUFFERERS IS PERMANENT SCARRING.
Dr. Lazic Strugar told us that the number one fear associated with acne is permanent scarring. While an acne breakout can eventually clear, what’s left in its place can—in some cases—be permanent. According to Dr. Lazic Strugar, one of the best ways to prevent permanent acne scarring is to visit your dermatologist for a targeted plan of action. Not popping or picking at your pimples while they heal can also help reduce the risk of scar formation.
The good news is that if you are looking to get your breakouts under control, there are plenty of options to consider. For at-home care, reach for products that are backed by science and developed with dermatologists, like the ones in La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar range. A few of the products we recommend are:
Effaclar Medicated Gel Acne Cleanser to target excess oil and clear skin.
Effaclar Oil Free Face Wipes for keeping skin oil free on the go.
Effaclar DUO Spot Treatment to reduce acne and clear blemishes.
Effaclar MAT Moisturizer for Oily Skin to mattify skin and refine pores.
Effaclar Shine Control Clay Mask to eliminate oil and control shine.