Affordable Acne Treatment in Nairobi

Acne Treatment in Nairobi - Thrive Aesthetics

Acne Treatment: A Comprehensive Guide to Tackling Acne

Acne, a common skin condition characterized by pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads, can be a source of significant frustration and self-consciousness. It affects individuals of all ages, particularly during adolescence due to hormonal changes. While acne is not a life-threatening condition, it can take a toll on self-esteem and social interactions. Luckily, with proper understanding and management strategies, an acne treatment can be formulated to effectively control and prevent it from causing lasting scars.

Understanding Acne: Causes and Types

Acne occurs when hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and sebum, an oily substance produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands. Hormonal fluctuations, particularly during puberty, can trigger increased sebum production, leading to clogged pores and acne breakouts. Other contributing factors include genetics, stress, certain medications, and diet. There are several types of acne, each with distinct characteristics:

Comedonal Acne

Comedonal acne involves blackheads (open comedones – these are the result of surface pigments collecting in the pores, forming dark dots on the skin) and whiteheads (closed comedones – these form because a hair follicle is completely blocked.) rather than pimples. While this form can develop in anyone, it is most common in young adolescents. The papules, called comedones, usually occur on the forehead and chin and can prevent the skin from appearing smooth and even. Other examples of comedonal acne include:

  1. Giant comedones: These are a type of cyst. A giant comedone is a large lesion with a blackhead-like opening.
  2. Macrocomedones: These closed comedones are larger than 2–3 millimeters across.
  3. Microcomedones: These extremely small comedones are usually not visible.
  4. Solar comedones: These typically result from sun damage and usually form in older adults, primarily on the cheeks.

Comedonal acne is noninflammatory. The lesions do not usually contain pus or the bacteria that can cause acne. They are also typically neither red nor tender to the touch. A person with comedonal acne may have more than one type of comedone at a time. Meanwhile, people with inflammatory acne can also have comedones, in addition to larger red and tender blemishes.

Papulopustular Acne

This type involves red, inflamed bumps (papules) and pus-filled pimples (pustules).

A papule is a small red bump. Its diameter is usually less than 5 millimeters (about 1/5 of an inch). Papules don’t have a yellow or white center of pus. When a papule does accumulate pus, it becomes a pustule. Most papules become pustules. This process commonly takes a few days. While tempting, it’s recommended to not pop pustules. Doing so can risk bacteria spreading further as well as scarring. When excess oil and skin cells clog a skin pore, the blockage is known as a comedo.

The oil in this clogged pore feeds bacteria that live on your skin called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). If the comedone ruptures and disperses the bacteria into the skin tissue — as opposed to on the skin’s surface — your body will respond with inflammation to fight the bacteria. This inflamed lesion is a papule.


Pustular acne

This more severe form is characterized by widespread pustules. Pustules are small bumps on the skin that contain fluid or pus. They usually appear as white bumps surrounded by red skin. These bumps look very similar to pimples, but they can grow quite big. Pustules may develop on any part of the body, but they most commonly form on the back, chest, and face. They may be found in clusters on the same area of the body.

Pustules usually contain pus due to an infection of the pore cavity. Pustules caused by acne can become hard and painful. When this occurs, the pustule becomes a cyst. This condition is known as cystic acne. hey appear as small bumps on the surface of your skin. The bumps are usually white or red with white in the center.

Hormonal Changes

Hormones, particularly androgens, play a role in sebum production. Fluctuations in hormones during puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy can trigger acne breakouts. Acne may be known as hormonal acne because one major causative factor is the hormone testosterone. Testosterone levels go up in the teenage years as part of puberty. This causes male development in boys and gives muscle and bone strength in girls.

The hormone also has the effect of increasing sebum production at the base of hairs. This is because the glands that secrete the oil are sensitive to testosterone. Other hormones play a part in acne, too. For women, hormonal changes relating to pregnancy or the menstrual cycle can also trigger acne. Falling estrogen levels may increase the risk of acne around menopause.

Stress Acne

Stress can worsen acne by increasing inflammation and sebum production. Stress has been associated with acne breakouts. For example, stress can cause your body to make more of the substances that activate the oil glands within the skin. While acne from stress may not differ significantly in appearance from other acne, stress can cause acne to heal more slowly, making lesions last longer and become more severe.

Stress can cause the body to produce more androgen hormones. These hormones can stimulate oil glands and hair follicles, resulting in acne lesions or breakouts. People who are under stress can experience disruptions to their lifestyle routines, such as sleep, diet, and exercise. While not a direct cause of acne, less restorative lifestyle habits can affect the skin and may make acne worse.

Cystic Acne

Cystic acne is the most severe form of acne and occurs when oil and dead skin cells build up deep within hair follicles. The resulting rupture within your skin may form boil-like inflammation or large, pus-filled cysts that can cause deep scarring. A cystic acne breakout may cover a large area of skin. Cystic acne tends to appear on the face, which has a lot of oil glands.

Acne cysts can be difficult to treat because they can scar. You should seek help from a dermatologist instead of trying over-the-counter acne products. A dermatologist can teach you how to treat cystic acne. It can take three months or more to clear up acne cysts with the right acne treatment procedure.

Effective Acne Treatment Strategies

While acne is not a life-threatening condition, it can take a toll on self-esteem and social interactions. Luckily, with proper understanding and management strategies, acne can be effectively controlled and prevented from causing lasting scars. Some of the solutions involve:

Over-The-Counter (OTC) Treatments

OTC acne treatments are a great starting point for many people with mild to moderate acne. These products are widely available and can be purchased without a prescription. Some common OTC acne treatments include: Benzoyl peroxide, Salicylic acid, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) – (glycolic acid and lactic acid), and Retinols all available in our health and beauty shop in Nairobi.

Prescription Medications

For moderate to severe acne, prescription medications may be necessary. These medications are typically stronger than OTC acne treatments and can be more effective in clearing breakouts and preventing scarring. Some common prescription for acne treatment include: topical retinoids (tretinoin and adapalene), oral antibiotics (tetracycline and minocycline), and Isotretinoin – a powerful oral medication that is used for severe acne.

Professional Treatments

In addition to OTC and prescription medications, there are a number of professional treatments that can be used to treat acne. These acne treatments are typically performed by a dermatologist and can be very effective in clearing stubborn breakouts and improving skin texture. Some common professional acne treatments we offer at Thrive Aesthetics include: chemical peels, laser carbon peel, hydraFacial, and microdermabrasion.

Acne Treatments at Home

  1. Regular cleansing is crucial for removing dirt, oil, and makeup that can clog pores and lead to breakouts. However, over-cleansing can strip the skin of its natural oils, triggering increased sebum production and worsening acne. Aim to cleanse twice daily, once in the morning and once at night, using a mild, oil-free cleanser.
  2. Harsh soaps and scrubs can irritate the skin and exacerbate acne. Instead, opt for gentle cleansers that are formulated for acne-prone skin. Avoid using abrasive scrubs, as these can damage the skin and trigger breakouts.
  3. Gentle exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells that can clog pores and contribute to acne breakouts. Aim to exfoliate 1-2 times per week, using a gentle exfoliating scrub or a chemical exfoliant like salicylic acid or glycolic acid. Don’t over-exfoliating, as this can irritate the skin and worsen acne.
  4. Even oily skin needs moisturizer to maintain hydration and prevent dryness. Dry skin can trigger increased sebum production, leading to more breakouts. Choose a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer that is labeled “non-comedogenic,” meaning it won’t clog pores.
  5. Sun exposure can worsen acne and increase the risk of scarring. Use a non-comedogenic sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, even on cloudy days. Avoid sunscreens that contain oils or fragrances, as these can irritate the skin and trigger breakouts.
  6. Stress can contribute to increased sebum production and worsen acne. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, yoga, or meditation.


Acne is a common skin condition that can significantly impact self-esteem and social interactions. However, with proper understanding, effective management strategies, and preventive measures, acne can be controlled and prevented from causing lasting scars. Remember, consistency in skincare routines and lifestyle modifications is crucial for achieving and maintaining clear, healthy skin. Book a session with Thrive Aesthetics in Nairobi today to discuss your acne treatment regiment and we can help you achieve a clearer, healthier complexion. Your skin does not define you!

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