Treating Acne

Your Skin Type and Acne

It is important to understand your skin type and it’s specific needs if you want to keep your complexion clear and get the most out of using an acne treatment.

Combination Skin

Combination skin is the most common skin type. The T-zone of the face – the chin, nose and forehead has the biggest density of oil glands. You might notice that the outside of your face is dry and the center is oily. The overall dryness or oiliness is regulated by your hormones and determined by your genes, the two major causes of acne.

Oily Skin

If your pores look larger, your skin texture appears shiny and you notice whiteheads and blackheads, you have oily skin. Oily skin is widespread, especially in teenagers with their surge of hormones when oil production begins to ramp up.

The oil levels of your skin can change. Exercise, a hot, humid climate and stress, all encourage oil production. Using medicines that have an effect on your hormones, such as androgens or birth control pills will also make the skin oilier. Treating your skin with a harsh toner, washing your face often, or using rubbing alcohol, dries out the skin and causes oil glands to produce more oil.

Oiliness changes with a woman’s monthly cycle and will reduce when less estrogen is produced during menopause. Similar to it being possible to have acne with dry skin, oily skin might not be acne prone. If pores are not clogged, oil flows from the inside of the follicle to lubricate your skin freely. This gives you a clear, but oily complexion. While it’s impossible to stop oil production, your skin will appear balanced if you use blotter sheets or products that absorb oil.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is characterized by a tight feeling after cleansing and the appearance of flaking, dry patches and wrinkles. In darker skin, skin may look dull or ashy from the buildup of dead skin. It is possible to have acne even with dry skin, especially in the case of adult women with acne. The leading factor comes down to how easily your pores become clogged. 

Gentle exfoliation on a daily basis helps avert dead skin cell build-up and the clogging of pores. Over-using skin treatments can exacerbate dryness. Therefore, you should never apply rubbing alcohol to your skin, for an example. Your skin may react by producing more oil, but the oil can’t lubricate your skin due to dry, dead skin cells being present. These are perfect conditions for the formation of acne.

It's okay to moisturize dry skin to make it look and feel better. But, be sure to use one that is non-comedogenic, such as the Rejuvenating Moisturizer included in the CleaRx acne treatment. The correct product will not hamper your acne medicines or result in more breakouts.

Sensitive Skin

If you have a reaction such as itching, redness, stinging, tingling or burning after applying products, you have sensitive skin. Sensitive skin can also show up as dry, rough patches on the neck or face.

Although many people believe their skin is sensitive, the majority of people’s skin is not. Test for sensitive skin by rubbing some product onto your neck twice per day for a few days. If you notice no reaction like itching or redness, start using new products slowly, once a day or every second day for the first 2-3 weeks, increasing usage slowly. Sensitive skin is caused by genetics and the environment. The use of too many products at the same time or applying the products too often can damage the moisture barrier of your skin and lead to irritation. People with rosacea and eczema are genetically susceptible to sensitive skin.


Rosacea is characterized by flushing or redness of the skin. The inflammatory skin condition affects the face and often the chest or neck. An estimated 20 million people are affected by rosacea in the United States. It most commonly appears in people in their 30s, and women are more prone to rosacea than men are. Fair-skinned people, especially those of Celtic or Scandinavian descent, are more likely to suffer from it than people with darker skin will. Rosacea’s exact cause is not known, although genetics plays a significant role in its appearance.

Rosacea, a vascular condition, causes the blood vessels under the facial skin to overreact. This causes excessive blushing and flushing in reaction to many factors, including embarrassment, sun exposure, spicy food and alcohol. Rosacea is often mistaken for a rash, when red spidery veins appear on the face. The skin can become thicker in rare cases. The nose sometimes becomes large and bulging.

Rosacea isn’t acne, as it does not have the comedones and clogged pores that characterizes acne. Red bumps that look like acne however often appear on the nose and cheeks together with a flushed appearance. The blush / flush of rosacea can however co-exist with pustules and papules of acne.

As there are currently no medicines available over-the-counter to treat rosacea, it must be treated by a dermatologist. FDA-approved therapies are available by prescription, including topical treatments that contain azelaic acid and metronidazole, along with the oral antibiotic, doxycycline. Vascular lasers have successfully been used to reduce facial redness. People with rosacea are able to reduce their symptoms by avoiding spicy foods, sun exposure and alcohol, particularly red wine. As the triggers are different for each person, rosacea sufferers find out how to control the condition through trial and error. 

Rosacea is not curable and has emotional repercussions for sufferers, including frustration and embarrassment. A dermatologist diagnosing and treating rosacea often assists in controlling it and helping the sufferer determine the best course of action.