Don’t worry there is no need to treat the pimples! Leave them alone! They will go away! They are a part of growing up!” How often have you heard these words? Unfortunately, quite often! It’s truly sad, because pimples do not really go away. Maybe only the mild ones do so! The other pimples and the large zits definitely do not heal spontaneously. They need active treatment otherwise they leave behind the Legacy of horrendous scars! Acne scars are no joke – and if you suffer from them, you will agree that they undermine your self-confidence and dampen your social life. The anxiety from these scars can dominate your personal and professional life. The agony of always wanting to continuously hide your face is with you at all times.
What is Acne?
Acne is a disease that involves the oil glands of the skin. Although not dangerous, acne can cause bad scarring. Our skin has pores which connect to oil glands just under the epidermis. The glands are linked to the pores via follicles, which are microscopic canals. Sebum, which is an oily liquid, is produced by these glands. The sebum carries dead skin cells through the follicles to the surface of your skin.
Although acne is seen to be a teenage problem, adult onset acne is also a common problem that can arise due to numerous reasons.
It is difficult to advise your teen, daughter, cousin, nephew or niece how best to take care of their skin – and like teenage skin emotions can prove to be a veritable minefield.
What causes acne and what are the contributing factors of this skin condition?
Acne Scarring is a disorder and infection of the pilosebaceous unit which consists of a hair follicle, sebaceous gland and hair. Pilosebaceous units are found all over the body except the palms, soles of the feet and the top of the feet. The greatest amount of pilosebaceous units can be found on the back, face, upper neck and the chest. A matter called sebum is evident in these units which plays a role in the moisturising of the hair and skin. These glands are enlarged when an individual reaches puberty producing greater quantities of sebum due to increased hormone activity (androgens).
Excessive sebum should decrease by the time puberty is over.Acne sufferers have an elevated amount of Propionibacterium acnes in their follicles than those without acne.
The presence of bacteria attracts white blood cells to the follicle which in turn produces an enzyme that damages the follicle walls allowing the contents of the follicle to enter the upper parts of the skin (dermis).This in turn results in papules, pustules and nodules.
Free fatty acids are also caused by the bacteria elevating the inflammation and infection in the follicles.
Are there different kinds of acne?
The answer to this question is yes and no, although there are most certainly varying stages of severity. Medically, though, acne is divided into four different grades:-
- Grade 1 – Blackheads and whiteheads.
- Grade 2 – Blackheads, whiteheads and pimples.
- Grade 3 – Blackheads, whiteheads, pustules and papules.
- Grade 4 – Blackheads, whiteheads, pustules, papules and cysts.
Typically grades 1 and 2 are usually treated by a skin therapists and grades 3 and 4 by a dermatologist.
Salicyclic acid is one of the most common ingredients in acne-fighting products as it gently exfoliates the skin surface and the inside of the follicles, getting rid of dead skin as well as oil build-up. It also acts as an anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory agent – making it ideal for inflamed, irritated skin.
There are also a couple of over the counter skin savers that can assist in the treatment of acne that contain either salicyclic acid or benzoyl.
It is perhaps the best approach to choose a skin care clinic that is well-versed in all Acne Treatments to assist as this will most certainly guarantee success and far less scarring.
When treating active acne, depending on the severity of the breakouts, a combination of these treatments is often used at Dermology:
- Topical creams for example retinoids which help by preventing further acne breakouts.
- Blue light therapy (BBL Acne) which kills the bacteria on the surface of the skin.
- Chemical peels which exfoliate the skin cells deep within the skin and while fading the marks and decreasing breakouts .
Treatment Options :
What are Acne Scars?
Acne scars are the skin’s reaction after large acne or pimples have healed. When pimples or acne spots heal, it can leave “brown flat spots” or “pseudo-scars” in some people, which heal in about few months. But in some other people, especially when there are deep nodules and cysts, there can be very deep holes or thick scars after the pimples heal. Some people are more prone to scarring because of hereditary factors.
What is the Treatment for Acne Scars?
Early and prompt treatment is the mantra to prevent scar formation. The only sure method of preventing or limiting the extent of scars is to treat acne early in its course, and for as long as pimples or acne spots exist. The more that inflammation can be prevented, the more likely it is that scars can be prevented. Years ago, there was really very little that could be done for acne scars, but today, there are multiple treatment options available depending on the type of acne scarring seen on the face.
There are multiple treatment modalities available, which one you will need is dependent on whether the acne scars are superficial or deep.
When you visit Dermology skin clinic for the first time, our skin specialist will assess the depth and type of scarring you have. From there we will discuss the best treatments for you skin, how many treatments are needed and the healing time if applicable.