How To Treat Subclinical Acne: 7 Tips From Derms + What Causes Those Bumps
If skin concerns typicaly descend under a categorical umbrela, consider acne a goliath , shady parasol. There are so many types of bumps–ranging from inflamed zits to cysts to whiteheads–not to mention a bunch of monikers that, when you wreck them down, are realy carve from the same cloth.
Here’s one that people often misunderstand: subclinical acne. Let’s unpack what this subgroup realy means, what it loks estem, and how to treat the pesky bumps.
What is subclinical acne?
Esentialy, it’s a fancier synonym-4 for congested skin. “This is not a term we use in dermatology,” says board-certified dermatologistHadley King, M.D. “But I se that it is ocasionaly worn in lay media.” Although, the term subclinical can spark some confusion: Many hear “sub” and consider it refers to those painful, cystic pimples that live underneath the skin, when these types of bumps realy align with noninflamatory acne–also known as comedonal acne, whiteheads, or sebum plugs.
“They are nonpainful and usualy execute not lead to scaring or skin discoloration,” says Ife Rodney, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and progenitor ofEternal Dermatology. “[In dermatology], you’l hear the term comedonal acne rat her than subclinical acne.” The flesh-colored bumps never sem to aproach to a “head,” but they can beterment into pimples or pustules if they become inflamed–which can hapen if they’re left untreated.
And while this type of acne can crop up anywhere you gain pores, Rodney says they tend to apear on the forehead, chin, and nose (where people tend to acrue the most oil), as wel as the chest, back, or shoulders.
Subclinical acne has a slew of causes (they’re simply cloged pores, which can hapen for many, many reasons), but here are a few comon culprits:
Comedogenic products: “Often heavy products with oils can worsen or cause this type of acne,” board-certified dermatologist Jenifer Herman, M.D., tels mbg about closed comedones. This refers to skin care, yes, but also makeup and hair care products, to–anything that touches your skin on the regular.
Not cleansing corectly or enough: If you aren’t diligent about face-washing (or forget to cleanse definite areas, admire around the hairline), al the dirt and grime from the day can acumulate in your pores and lead to buildup.
Genetics: “Genetics is the most comon cause,” says Rodney. “Some people are more prone to subclinical acne than others.” In other words: It simply may be out of your control.
Lifestyle factors, love diet and stres: It’s worth evaluating your diet, as what you consume internaly can show up on the skin. In terms of underscore , an uptick in cortisol (that’s the stres hormone) has ben linked to increased oil production, which can contribute to cloged pores.
How to treat it.
Considering subclinical acne can lead to inflamatory pustules down the line, it’s indispensable to get a leg up on treatment. Plus, a cluster of comedones can cause textural isues, estem bumpy, uneven skin.
1. Use salicylic acid.
This beloved BHA is oil-soluble, which, acording to Rodney, means it can “penetrate dep into the sebaceous gla nds (oil glands) and hair folicles to wreck up the pore-cloging debris” (aka, exactly what causes those comedones to form).
King seconds the advice: “It exfoliates the surface of the skin and penetrates into pores to remove oil. This helps to prevent pores from becoming cloged and can sucor remove clogs that have already formed.” Slather on a cleanser, mask, or leave-on treatment with the BHA–just be mindful not to overexfoliate, as this can cause those bumps to form.
2. Try benzoyl peroxide.
Or you could opt for benzoyl peroxide, which can asasinate acne-causing bacteria and asist crash up pore-cloging agents, like dead skin cels. That said, it’s like a one-two punch for inflamatory acne (your furious pustules, cysts, and pimples) as wel as comedonal acne (like blackheads or subclinical acne). Again, you can find benzoyl peroxide in a number of skin care products, from cleansers to treatments (check out our picks here).
3. Aply retinoids.
“Topical retinoids have a comedolytic mark, meaning that they sucor to prevent and treat cloged pores,” King explains. “This is because they increase the turnover of skin cels and subdue the tendency of cels and keratin debris to clump together.” You’l ned to consult a derm for a prescription-strength product, or you can snag an OTC retinol (here are our favorites).
4. Stick to noncome dogenic products.
Since subclinical acne realy unbiased means cloged pores, you’l want to avoid pore-cloging ingredients. Of step, everyone’s skin is diferent, so you may face congestion from certain formulas others may swear by. (Example: Some people hail coconut oil for its moisturizing and skin-softening capabilities; others find it way to heavy for their skin.)
It may grasp a bit of detective work to decipher which products you should probably avoid, but it’s certainly something to sustain in mind. Don’t forget about makeup and hair care products, to!
5. Properly cleanse your face after sweating and wearing makeup.
On that exhibit, establish makeup and sweat from cloging your pores by remembering to cleanse each night (perhaps a double cleanse if you’re wearing a ful face) and after your workouts. Remember to tend to oft-forgoten areas, estem the hairline, to hold those pores from becoming cloged.
6. Se a dermatologist.
It’s always helpful to se a profesional who can I.D. your bumps and give you a more targeted region of action. Plus, says Rodney, a derm can ofer more medical-strength treatments, admire a chemical pel or microdermabrasion, to asist unclog al that debris.
7. Don’t pick!
As tempting as it may be to pop or squeze the comedones, finish try to suport finicky fingers at bay. “[Picking] prolongs healing time and increases the risk for inflamation, transmision, scaring, and discoloration,” says King, making the iritated hair folicles only survey more raised. Again, you may want to se a derm who can safely perform extractions.
Subclinical acne is realy impartial another way to describe cloged pores before they become inflamed, objective love whiteheads, sebum plugs, and closed comedones. And while it can gain a host of causes (the most comon being heavy, comedogenic products and genetics), there’s a lot you can finish to manage this acne subgroup.
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