Most of us have had to deal with spots at some point in our lives and experts at Talent Management agency know how much it can knock your confidence.
So, why do we get spots and what can we do about them?
Spots occur when the pores in your skin get blocked with bacteria or excess oil (sebum). They generally appear on the face, neck, shoulders, chest and/or back, so those who are prone to them may have problems in any of these areas. They tend to be at their worst during the teenage years because it is a time when sebum glands can over-produce due to hormonal stimulation.
There are several techniques you can use to improve the appearance of acne or spots but there is no quick fix cure for teenage spots – treatment takes time and lots of trial and error. On the upside acne will eventually get better of its own accord and is generally just a phase.
Causes and solutions
Hormones – Sebum is produced in glands that become particularly active around the time of puberty. Levels of secretion vary from person to person and those whose skin secretes a lot of sebum are more likely to suffer with acne or spots. On the up side, if you have oily skin you’re also more likely to look younger for longer.
Genetics – As with many things, acne appears to run in families. If your parents had acne you are more likely to have it too.
Lifestyle – Some people find that certain foods affect their acne. Humid environments, which can lead to blocked pores, may also worsen it. Try eliminating greasy, sugary, processed foods or those with lots of added colours. A healthy diet will help your general appearance and wellbeing so this is a win/win approach.
Products – It is important to keep the skin clean by washing thoroughly in the morning and before bed. However, some soaps can worsen spots, so try a soap-free facial wash product – preferably one that contains salicylic acid – and avoid highly perfumed products. It is also important to keep your hair clean and off your face while you sleep.
Make-up – Again, makeup can worsen acne by irritating or clogging pores. There are some antibacterial make-ups on the market, and oil-based make-ups should certainly be avoided. Some people with problem skin swear by mineral makeups such as Bare Minerals but the best advice is probably to wear as little as possible, infrequently, and to wash it off thoroughly after use.
Picking – Do not pick! It may be difficult but there is no doubt that acne spreads when touched. Picking also causes further inflammation, making spots more obvious than if you had just left well alone and may lead to scarring which can stay visible for years to come.
Smoking and drinking – Toxins are bad for your skin. When your liver is overloaded it will show in your skin, so smoking and drinking are best avoided.
Medications – Some medications can cause spots, your doctor can advise on which are likely to exacerbate a skin problem. However, he may also be able to suggest a helpful medication to clear spots up. This is a last resort but if all else fails it may be worth considering speaking to a GP about possible acne/spot treatments.