Acne Cosmetica

What is Acne Cosmetica?

Acne cosmetica is a previously quite common form of acne. ‘Acne cosmetica’ is the diagnosis applied to any form of acne caused by the use of cosmetics. This was far more prevalent several decades ago, but in modern times, makeup is formulated in a far less irritating manner. Previously, pores would clog far more easily, providing a hot bed for blackheads and whiteheads alike, and nearly guaranteeing an outbreak if an individual wearing makeup didn’t have skin that was either supremely resilient or close to bone-dry. This would frequently lead to individuals simply covering the acne over with more makeup, perpetuating and exacerbating the problem.

The recent reformulations of most cosmetics have made them fairly safe, although there is still the public perception that makeup can be linked almost always with acne, especially among more conservative groups that are not fond of cosmetics to begin with. Acne cosmetica is still an entirely possible condition to acquire in this day and age and will likely remain so, however, this is generally due to abuse of makeup, leaving it on overnight, letting it cake and generally using it improperly.

Acne cosmetica is not the most common diagnosis anymore, but it does still occur. It should be clarified that acne cosmetica explicitly refers to any case of acne caused by cosmetic usage, not simply cases of acne that are made worse by cosmetic usage. While other forms of acne are referred to by what exacerbates them (for instance, tropical acne, which is any case of acne sensitive to a tropical clime), acne cosmetica is specifically caused by cosmetic usage. This is why the diagnosis is rare. Many individuals, especially adolescents, suffer from acne made worse by cosmetic usage (particularly cosmetics abuse), but very few individuals of any age suffer from acne caused by acne. It is very common for cosmetics to make acne worse; it is very rare for cosmetics to cause acne.

Who gets Acne Cosmetica?

Acne cosmetica may afflict anyone who makes use of cosmetics. Individuals that do not use cosmetics are, effectively, immune. Individuals who use cosmetics on a daily or otherwise frequent basis are more susceptible. Individuals who reapply makeup multiple times per day are less prone to affliction by acne cosmetica: they are more likely to clean their faces between applications and take care of their skin. Acne cosmetica is an issue primarily for individuals that fail to properly care for their skin and misuse makeup. Individuals that apply makeup once, particularly if it is not in the morning, are most prone to acne cosmetica. Individuals with more active sebaceous glands will find themselves more prone to acne cosmetica in the same way they are more prone to all acne conditions. Individuals with inflamed pores are exceptionally vulnerable to acne cosmetica and should generally avoid wearing makeup at all when possible until they can rectify the issue of their pores being swollen. Individuals that are already suffering from acne cannot get acne cosmetica, as any exacerbation of their existing case of acne by cosmetics will be merely that: exacerbation of a pre-existing condition that is not, itself, acne cosmetica.

What causes Acne Cosmetica?

Acne cosmetica is caused by cosmetics clogging the sebaceous glands of a face and causing an acne outbreak. Effectively, it accelerates what processes already go on: whereas blackheads and whiteheads are formed when sebaceous fluid builds up behind a barrier of keratin, acne cosmetica occurs when the cosmetics used cause the pores to be blocked.

Acne cosmetica is far rarer today than it was in decades past. Even so, acne cosmetica does still occur. Generally, cheaper brands of makeup manufactured to low standards are more likely to cause trouble with acne cosmetica than better-tested brands. This is not axiomatically true, but it is a fair guideline. The better the brand, the less likely a case of acne cosmetica will be sparked by cosmetics use. Additionally, different skin has different sensitivities; it’s possible that any given individual will suffer absolutely no trouble from one inexpensive brand, but will have a near-allergic outbreak as a result of another. Thus, it may come down to individual components in the cosmetics.

What does Acne Cosmetica cause?

Acne cosmetica causes the same risk of scarring and infection as all other cases of acne. This risk increases if the acne should be scratched, picked at or otherwise excoriated by outside forces. Acne cosmetica is not exceptionally different from other forms of acne and thus does not have, in and of itself, any notable secondary or tertiary effects beyond these.

How serious is Acne Cosmetica?

Acne cosmetica is not particularly serious. It is not life-threatening in any capacity. The greatest risks are secondary, in the form of scarring and infection that may result from scratching or excoriation of individual pustules. Acne cosmetica primarily indicates a need on the part of the afflicted to change their makeup habits.

What does Acne Cosmetica treatment look like?

Acne cosmetica is first treated by removal of the patient from the source of the acne. That is to say, they should first stop using the cosmetics that are causing their acne. Generally, acne cosmetica is not ‘treated’ so much as ‘solved’, through helping the sufferer to adopt healthier makeup habits or find a brand of cosmetics that does not cause their skin to break out. The acne itself is treated symptomatically with either antibiotics, isotreitonin, or a combination of the two. The isotreitonin is primarily used for severe cases.

How do I know if I have Acne Cosmetica?

If you are suffering from an acne outbreak that seems to correspond to cosmetic usage, you may be suffering from acne cosmetica. It is recommended that you cease using the cosmetics immediately and allow the acne to subside. If it proves persistent, you should contact a physician at your earliest convenience. Do bear in mind that acne cosmetica is quite uncommon, however: while cosmetic usage may exacerbate a separate outbreak, acne cosmetica refers to cases of acne that are explicitly caused by cosmetic usage. Thus, while the acne is undeniable and there may be a connection to cosmetic usage, it is not necessarily a case of acne cosmetica.

What is the Recommended Acne Treatment?

There are many treatments available for acne of all types. However, in our experience, the most effective is Dermasil for Acne. Dermasil for Acne is a unique treatment option that approaches the problem of acne from a different angle, and can effectively supplement all other forms of treatment, or be used on its own.

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