Spot On

By Sadie Andrew

Our skin is something that can make us somewhat self-conscious; it is one of the first things people see when they meet us and if we have particularly bad skin, this can be distressing. Acne is a common experience, however, and whether spots appear on your forehead, nose, or chin, there are very few of us lucky enough to never have woken up in the morning with a pesky pimple on our face. But what are the different types of spots and what do they mean? At what age do spots appear? But more importantly, how do we get rid of them? Read more here in Spot On.

At the heart of bad skin is the mighty spot formation. Sebaceous glands, found near the surface of the skin and attached to hair follicles. These tiny glands lubricate the hair and skin by producing an oily substance called sebum.

This means during acne, the glands begin to produce too much sebum, which mixes with dead skin cells and causes a blockage in the follicle. Quite simply, this blockage is what causes spots.

If the blocked follicle is close to the surface of the skin, it bulges outward, creating a whitehead, which remains under the skin and appears as a small, flesh-coloured papule. Blackheads happen when the follicle is open to the skin, dark in colour because of the oxidation of the skin’s pigment.

Sometimes, bacteria that live on the skin can then contaminate and infect the blocked follicles causing papules, pustules, nodules or cysts.

Papules are small, solid, rounded bumps that rise from the skin and are pink in colour; nodules are similar but are often larger and more embedded in the skin.

We could of course guess that pustules are perhaps the nastier kind of spot, visible on the skin and filled with pus. Cysts are similar but can be painful and cause scarring, one of the reasons why acne can be distressing, and why having good skincare is important.

The general idea is that as we grow up, we grow out of our spots, but adult acne is actually just as common as teenage acne, thought to be triggered by various factors such as hormone changes, medication and family history. 

There has also been discussion about the link between diet and acne for decades, with some people cutting out various food groups like gluten, dairy and sugar in an attempt to rid themselves of spots.

Changes in hormone levels are what usually cause teenage acne, as there is an increased level of testosterone in the body during puberty. This causes the sebaceous glands to become overactive and produce more sebum than the skin needs.

Interestingly with women, when hormone levels change at various points in their lives this makes them more susceptible to adult acne rather than men. During periods or pregnancy is when women can particularly notice the difference. Yet some women even suffer after menopause.

Some medications can also cause acne, such as steroids, lithium and some medications used to treat epilepsy, but whoever you are and whatever stage of life you’re going through, Zitsticka is a brand that offers multiple products to resolve all kinds of zits, no matter the stage or severity.

They aim to start a conversation normalising zits so that people can feel more empowered to treat them.

Their debut product, the Zitsticka KILLA targets a notoriously hard-to-reach spot: those ones that haven’t reached the surface of the skin yet but are up-and-coming. The KILLA is a patch which is layered with ingredient-filled micro darts that act at the heart of the zit.

Having scars from acne can be one of the worst parts about it. Zitsticka’s other patch product, HYPERFADE lightens and brightens these scars and dark spots left behind by acne using penetrative micro darts, which dissolve within 2 hours of application. Users apply four patches three days apart to fast-forward the revival process and achieve less scarring.

PRESS REFRESH is not a traditional face mask, it is one that uses Zitsticka’s penetrative graphene tech; a material that syncs with your body heat. The mask has exfoliating acids and skin soothers in abundance, giving a lovely bear-hug to acne prone skin.

The GOO GETTER is the newest patch product in the family, and is made from adhesive moisture-drawing hydrocolloid to absorb fluid, pus, and impurities from a superficial zit, quickly flattening it’s appearance. The hydrocolloid is waterproof and biodegradable.  

SKIN DISCIPLINE is actually a capsule with various nutrients to look after your skin inside, such as zinc to help obstruct bacteria and vitamin B6 to regulate hormone imbalances. The capsule can be incorporated into your daily routine and works against existing and future acne by easing inflammation, regulating sebum, and balancing bacteria.

The graceful packaging is designed by the in-house team, hoping beautiful products will help to de-stigmatise acne treatments.

If you’re interested in purchasing these products, you can find them here at ZitSticka.co.uk.

If you enjoyed spot on then why not read Skin Deep – a range of skincare.