High testosterone could be fuelling your acne, which is why acne can last after your teens. Increased levels of the hormone cause the sensitive skin glands to produce excess oil. So the hormone that makes you great in one department, could be having a negative effect on your skin (and sadly your love life too).
Other triggers can be stress, certain medications, smoking and genetics. So yes, possibly time to blame the parents, again.
Coping with male acne
For those suffering severe acne on the face shaving can be an incredibly painful (and bloody) experience. Applying a non-comedogenic oil (that’s one which won’t block your pores) or shaving cream to damp skin prior to shaving can help the razor glide over skin and offer more protection.
Avoid picking or squeezing spots to make your skin smoother as this can make the inflammation worse and may lead to scarring so best resist if possible. Although who hasn’t popped a few, especially before shaving?
You will still need to wash your face twice daily(!) but growing a beard is another option.
Is shaving the worst of male acne?
In short no.
As well as physical disfiguration and scaring acne can also make you feel down: leading to reduced self-esteem, anxiety, and in extreme cases depression or thoughts of suicide. If you think your mood is being negatively affected seek help and visit your GP.
Zap your spots with light
With a plethora of treatment options available it can be difficult to know what to try.
Over the counter gels and creams can be messy, and contain benzoyl peroxide, which can cause dryness and itching. Prescription drugs can be very effective although some have unpleasant side-effects. And oral antibiotics can lose their effectiveness in the long-term as you build-up resistance – you are also not supposed to drink while on antibiotics.
Light therapy provides an alternative and has been clinically proven to help treat acne.
The bacteria that causes acne P.acnes feeds by releasing enzymes, which digest the sebum; these enzymes also damage the cell walls, which can trigger the body’s immune response and the pores become inflamed. This is why you can feel a spot developing as a swelling under your skin before it erupts at thesurface.
The good news is that P.acnes can be killed by visible blue light, which is harmless to the rest of the skin. P.acnes produces a molecule called porphyrin in large amounts and blue light gets these molecules excited, causing them to release radicals into the bacteria, which kill them.
Lumie Clear is a hand-held device that uses a unique combination of LEDs to maximise effectiveness; emitting blue light at ~415nm to destroy acne causing bacteria and red light at ~660 to soothe the skin. You can see the results almost immediately and according to clinical research there will be a “76% improvement in your acne within 12 weeks” that’s scientists for you.
It may sound futuristic, but you can fight your acne by showing it the light.
For more information about how to buy Lumie Clear click here.