Well + Good posted "Acne is a part of my life, and I’ve decided to be okay with that", featuring Dr. Purvisha Patel and Visha Skincare.
The article includes Dr. Patel's expert commentary on the causes of acne.
I woke up with a pimple today. I’ve lost track of the number of times that’s happened, but considering I’ve been dealing with acne for upwards of 15 years, it’s safe to say a few. You’d think that by this point I’d be able to shrug it off or at least have solid coping mechanisms in place, but every pimple still feels like everyone is staring straight at my imperfection.
To deal, I’ve tried tea tree oil, spot treatments, and sulfur galore. I’ve nixed dairy from my diet. I’ve even recently decided to take the prescription hormone-regulator Spironolactone because I’m most commonly afflicted with hormonal chin pimples. But today, I take a new approach: I’ve decided to be okay with my acne. Or, I’ve at least accepted that like having brown hair or an affinity for cocker spaniels, acne is simply a part of my life.
So what on earth gives? For me, it was learning that acne is kind of like a math problem in a lot of ways. “Four things need to happen to make acne: follicular occlusion from dirt, sweat, oil, or makeup, bacteria and fungus growing in the follicle, oil that makes the small infection grow, and then an infection that causes inflammation and redness or soreness,” according to board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare Purvisha Patel, MD.
If you get rid of half of the causes of acne, you’ll likely best it. The giant asterisk? Because there are variables for all of the causes, one product can’t bust all kinds of acne. Dr. Patel says it all comes down to the fact that we’re mammals covered in hair follicles—and none are the same. “Each follicle on our body is placed on us individually and differently,” she says. “Acne is a micro infection of the follicles or pores—so then each pimple may be different in its own way than its neighbor and on your neighbor.”