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Learn More About Acne

Your life shouldn't be all about acne, but sometimes it feels as though it is. When you wake up in the morning and the first thing you see is a face full of pimples, it's easier to face the mirror than face the public.

But as with any problem, you need to first accept it, deal with it and then you can move on. With Acne Complex you can forget about acne for good.

Dr. Murad has developed the ultimate acne treatment available to you without a prescription-delivered right to your door! All Murad products boast the infamous Murad Recipe with natural ingredients like Green Tea and Tea Tree Oil and active acne medication like Sulfur and Salicylic Acid to calm and clear skin.

"Acne is a chronic condition that affects people of all ages and skin types. Though not curable, it is highly manageable and controllable. My acne regimens are scientifically proven to address all the factors that can cause acne and skin breakouts." -Dr. Murad

What is acne?
Whether a single blemish or face full of multiple lesions, it's all acne.

Who gets acne?
Acne (acne vulgaris) is the most common of all skin disorders. It affects all ages, every ethnicity and both sexes. Most people will show signs of acne at some point in their lives. At its worst, acne can leave permanent pits and scars. Mild cases of this skin disease, characterized by occasional breakouts, are more easily controlled with regular attention. In general, more women will experience acne breakouts than men, due to ongoing hormonal changes.

Where does acne appear?
Acne can occur allover the body, especially on the face, neck, chest, shoulders and upper back.

When does acne develop?
Acne usually starts in early adolescence. It is common in teenagers, but it can persist into adulthood. Many people will grow out of acne by their mid-twenties, while some may experience their very first blemish at thirty or forty!

Why does it happen?
When skin is functioning optimally, the sebaceous glands produce oil that empties onto the skin's surface. At the same time, dead skin cells are shed at a normal rate as newer, fresher cells rise to the surface. Sometimes, these dead cells shed too fast, clump together and clog the pore. This is called non-inflammatory acne. If this plug stays below the skin's surface, it is called a "closed comedone" or whitehead. If the plug reaches the skin's surface and is exposed to air, an "open comedone" or blackhead forms. Contrary to popular belief, the black color is not caused by dirt but rather is due to a process of oxidation. Besides these non-inflammatory blemishes, you may also have larger, more inflamed breakouts. Inflammatory acne starts when the combination of excess skin cells and oil cause pore-aggravating bacteria to develop. This leads to pimples, redness and overall irritation. Although there is no single or absolute cause for acne, hormones, stress and genetics play important roles.

How does acne affect you?
Aside from physical discomfort and harm, acne can have a negative impact on a person's social and emotional life, whether at home or in the office. In fact, acne has been linked to psychiatric and psychological processes more than most other skin diseases.

Non-inflammatory acne Clogged pores (comedones), which may be:

- Blackheads (open comedones) look like small dark or greyish dots.

- Whiteheads (closed comedones) appear as small white bumps.

- Inflammatory acne
Pimples (pustules), nodules and cysts are inflamed pores of varying sizes. Left untreated, severe cases can cause permanent scarring.

- Post-inflammatory response
After lesions heal, there may be residual red or brown spots (hyperpigmentation) that can take months to fade.

Most acne sufferers have a combination of comedones and inflamed blemishes.

Causes of Acne:
Though most of the population experiences acne at one time or another, its severity is genetically determined and hormonally influenced.

The three primary factors influencing acne are:

1. Hyperkeratinization
An overabundance of surface skin cells that clump together to clog the pores.

2. Sebum activity
Sebaceous glands influenced by androgen hormones elevate oil (sebum) production.

3. P-Acnes bacteria
Bacteria mix with sebum, irritating the pore wall and resulting in inflammation.

Triggers for acne breakouts:

1. Stress
Stress can have physiological affects on the body, including stimulating a hormone that encourages the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, increasing the chances of breaking out. Besides stress, there are many things that contribute to inflamed and non-inflamed acne. Such as:

2. Genetics
If your parents or someone in your family had acne, your risk for having acne is higher. This is due to the P. Acnes bacteria, which is hereditary.

3. Hormones
As hormone levels in the teen years surge, the onset of acne occurs. Certain hormones trigger the sebaceous gland to produce more oil, resulting in more clogged pores. Monthly hormonal fluctuations as well as those experienced at the onset of menopause contribute to acne. Certain drugs and steroids Androgens, lithium and barbiturates are known to stimulate acne.

Frequently Asked Questions about Acne-Prone skin:

Is there a difference between adolescent acne and adult acne?
Not really, it's the same disease. In fact, an acne lesion on a teenage boy is the physiological duplicate of that on a premenstrual woman. And both are the result of overly active oil (sebaceous) glands triggered by androgen hormones. The only real difference seems to be one of placement. In adolescents, acne is common on the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. In women, the perioral area around the mouth, chin and jaw line get the worst.

My skin is very dry. Why am I still breaking out?
One of the primary causes of acne is the combination of oil (sebum) mixing with dead skin cells. Every skin type has at least some sebum in its pores. Even in small amounts, the sebum can still mix with dead skin cells (something dry skin has to excess) to create acne.

Do I need to use a moisturizer if I have oily, acne-prone skin?
Absolutely. The most important thing to remember about moisturizer is that it is water not grease. And even oily skin needs water. In fact, when acne-prone skin gets too dehydrated, it may often produce even more oil in response. Use an ultra-light moisturizer, with an oil-free formula to give back hydration to your skin and reduce sensitivty.

Do rich, greasy foods cause acne?
No. But overall proper nutrition is still an important tool for the health of your skin (to say nothing of the health of your body). Drink lots of water and eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and nutrients rich in Vitamin A to help normalize the production of dead skin cells, a key factor in acne breakouts.

Are red, inflamed breakouts always acne?
No. There are many chronic or temporary conditions whose symptoms resemble acne:
· Rosacea (acne rosacea)
· Eczema
· Perioral dermatitis
· Razor bumps (folliculitis or pseudofolliculitis)

While these may not involve all of the factors that cause real acne, what they do have in common is inflammation, which is characterized by swelling, redness, heat and pain. If you find yourself suffering from redness, try using a skincare regimen that will treat this irritation and boost your skin's hydration.

Persistent conditions may require professional treatment. But the good news is that Murad offers one of the best skin care treatments againts acne which can help address all the factors of acne and skin breakouts, by reducing cell build-up, excess oil, and inflammation.

Will Murad acne treatment products help the pimples on my body?
Definitely. Breakouts on the body are most common where oil glands are most pervasive; on the back, chest, and shoulders. Murad Acne Body Wash and Clarifying Body Spray are particularly helpful for treating hard to reach places. These acne products control back and body acne breakouts by gently exfoliating and deep cleaning pores. It now only takes cleansing your skin with teh porper acne products to get clear skin, free of blemishes on your body!

Keeping these areas clean is important. Change your sheets and towels frequently. Wear natural fibers closest to your skin, the looser the better. If you perspire heavily, change your clothes more frequently (which may mean for men and boys, switching undershirts halfway through the day). Avoid using fragrance, cologne, perfume or astringents on inflamed areas.

Deep, cystic acne on the body however, is something that must be treated by a dermatologist.

Why do I have dark spots left over from healed blemishes?
These are called hyperpigmentation resulting from post-inflammatory response and are caused by the inflammation that assaulted the skin. Discoloration can range from red to dark brown, depending on your skin tone, and can take weeks to fade.
As a blemish heals, excess pigment is generated in the area where the trauma occurred. These superficial pigmented scars will heal faster with the help of anti-inflammatory ingredients such as zinc, black cohosh, licorice and green tea contained in Murad acne treatments. Products high in Vitamin C are also ideal to fade unwanted pigmentation.

To prevent hyperpigmentation in the first place, use SPF sun protection on exposed areas (or those covered only by sheer fabrics) and reapply throughout the day. For an oil-free acne SPF product, try our Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15, a moisturizer that controls oil for up to 8 hours, reduces shine, prevents future breakouts while still protecting your skin with SPF.

I just received my Acne Complex Kit. What is the best way to begin the regimen?
The key to success is to use the products regularly, even as your skin begins to clear. However, as with any new skincare regimen, your skin may need time to adjust.

To start, we recommend that you apply the acne treatment product only once a day for the first two weeks. Then, after two weeks, when your skin has acclimated to the product, begin using it twice a day.

Blackheads and Large Pores
A component of non-inflammatory acne, blackheads (open comedones) are little dark spots most prevalent on the oily T-zone, nose, forehead, and chin.

Blackheads are frequently present with other acne symptoms; whiteheads (the other kind of open comedone in non-inflammatory acne) and pimples (inflammatory acne).A component of non-inflammatory acne, blackheads (open comedones) are little dark spots most prevalent on the oily T-zone, nose, forehead, and chin.

Large pores (sometimes referred to as enlarged pores) are likewise more common in the T-zone and occur most often on those with oily skin. Though not always, large pores and blackheads tend to go hand in hand.


Small greyish dots, or plugs, concentrated around the nose and T-zone though they can occur anywhere on the face, chest, neck and shoulders.

Large pores
A crater-like appearance resulting in a rougher surface texture not unlike that of an orange peel.

Cause of Blackheads
A pore is an opening for an oil (sebaceous) gland in a hair follicle. Non-inflammatory blemishes occur when dead surface skin cells mix with oil (sebum). This combination of skin cell debris and excess sebum plugs the pore. On exposure to the air, this plug darkens from oxidation and results in a blackhead.

Cause of Large Pores
1. Genetics
Just as they do with a tendency for acne and oily skin, genetics play a primary role in pore size. This means that while you can minimize their appearance you can't actually shrink your pore size.

2. Clogged Pores
Though large pores are hereditary, they appear larger if dirt, oil and skin cells accumulate in the pore, causing it to stretch. Keeping pores clean with daily exfoliation and weekly deep cleansing skin treatments will help to smooth skin texture minimizing the appearance of pore size.

3. Aging
Pores become larger as we age, especially around the nose, due to a lifetime of sun exposure and environmental damage that reduces overall skin tone and elasticity.

FAQs of Blackheads and Large Pores
Are the blackheads on my face caused by dirt?
No. The discoloration is a result of oxidation. Picture an apple. When it is cut and exposed to the air (which contains oxygen), the cut fruit turns brown because of oxidation. Blackheads are formed the same way. As sebum and skin cells collect in a pore, open to the air, they oxidize and consequently darken.

Do blackheads cause scarring?
Not by themselves, but if you pick at them, yes they can. Inflammatory acne carries the most potential for scarring but rough handling of non-inflammatory blackheads can likewise leave permanent damage.

Can I shrink my pore size by rinsing with cold water or rubbing my face with ice?
No. Contrary to popular myth, pores do not open and close. Blackheads may stretch pores, giving them an 'open' appearance, but they are the size they are, end of story. However, the good news is that with proper cleansing and treatment, you can minimize the appearance of large pores and refine the skin's surface texture by keeping it free of blackheads and excess oil. Try our Blackhead and Pore Clearing Duo for a full blackhead treatment to use bi-weekly. This duo will reduce blackheads and seal pores for the ultimate protection against pore-clogging. The first step is an extracting mask that effectively unclogs and draws impurities from the skin and the second step is a pore sealant that helps prevent the formation of future blackheads.

Take care of yourself and take care of your skin. Eat right. Sleep well. Drink plenty of water. And contact our Customer Care staff if you have any questions about Murad Canada.

Clear skin starts with skin care. It starts in the morning and it continues while you sleep. Cleanse. Treat. Moisturize. Repeat daily, and relax. Feel great because you look great!