Acne (Pimples) and Acne Scar Treatment
Acne is a chronic inflammatory disease of the hair follicles in which hair follicles get clogged with dead skin cells and oil from skin called sebum. Acne can present itself with blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, greasy skin and possible scarring.
It primarily affects areas of the skin with a relatively high number of oil glands called as sebaceous glands, including the face, upper part of the chest, and back
Genetics is thought to be the primary cause of acne in 80% of cases. During puberty, in both , acne is often brought on by an increase in hormones in both males and females such as testosterone. Too much growth of the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes, which is normally present on the skin is often involved. The above mentioned causes is the primary reason for skin treatment for acne.
Causes of Acne (pimples)
Three factors contribute to the formation of acne:
- Overproduction of oil (sebum).
- Irregular shedding of dead skin cells resulting in irritation of the hair follicles of your skin.
- Buildup of bacteria.
Acne occur when the hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Hair follicles are connected to sebaceous glands. These glands secrete an oily substance known as sebum to lubricate your hair and skin. Normally sebum travels up along the hair shafts and then out through the openings of the hair follicles onto the surface of your skin. When excessive amount of sebum is produced, sebum and dead skin cells can build up in the hair follicles and form together as a soft plug, creating an environment where bacteria can thrive. This plug causes the follicle wall to bulge and produce a whitehead. Or, the plug may be open to the surface and may darken, causing a blackhead. Pimple treatment is necessary for the Pimples which are formed when hair follicle becomes inflamed. It is a raised red spots with a white center. Blockages and inflammation that develop deep inside hair follicles produce lumps beneath the surface of your skin called cysts. Other pores in your skin, which are the openings of the sweat glands onto your skin, aren’t normally involved in acne.
Classification of the acne on the basis of severity level.
Stage 1: Here in this pimples does not hurt and are not reddish in appearance. The clogged comedones comes in the initial grade1 level comprising of whiteheads or blackheads as small pimples
Stage 2: This includes moderate acne situation with higher number of whitehead and blackhead facial appearances along with many pimples which are affected with bacteria.
Stage 3: this stage shows higher rates of inflammation of scar and pimples which ae painful to touch. Thick painful pimples rooted deep inside the skin.
Stage 4: the severity is high with large number of scar and pimples filled with pus cyst. They can occur in back and chest can cause damage to skin for long period of time if left untreated
These factors can trigger or aggravate an existing case of acne:
Effective ace treatment can subside following conditions
- Hormones:Excessive production of androgens in boys or girls during puberty can cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives can also affect sebum production.
- Medications:Drugs containing corticosteroids, androgens or lithium are known to cause acne.
- Diet: Studies indicate that certain dietary factors, including dairy products and carbohydrate-rich foods — such as bread, bagels and chips, which increase blood sugar — may trigger acne.
- Direct contact of skin with greasy or oily substances, or to certain cosmetics applied directly to the skin
- A family history of acne — if your parents had acne, you’re likely to develop it, too
- Friction caused by various items like helmets, tight collars and backpacks and tight straps.
- Stress doesn’t cause acne, but if you have acne already, stress may make it worse
Treatments For Acne
The basic goals to be achieved in acne and pimples treatment are reducing oil production, speeding up skin cell turnover, fighting bacterial infection, reducing the inflammation or doing all four.
Oral prescription medications for acne should not be used during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester.
Chemical Peels and Microdermabrasion
Chemical peel and dermabrasions have been used to treat microdermabrasion acne scars,minor scars, fine lines or sun damage are most effective when used in combination with other acne treatments.
Ozone therapy is given on active acne and it works by killing the bacteria. It has no side effects and entire treatment is completed in 10 mins. It requires around 5-6 sittings
Laser treatment for Acne
These include fillers, dermabrasion, intense light therapy and laser resurfacing.
Soft tissue fillers
In this effective acne treatment, collagen or fat is injected under the skin and into scars which fill out or stretch the skin, making the scars less noticeable.
Chemical peels involve high-potency acid being applied to your skin to remove the top layer and minimize deeper scars. When some stronger peels are used, they reach even deeper into the skin.
This is a fairly newer microdermabrasion acne scars treatment. It involves a handheld device that blows crystals onto skin. These crystals gently abrade or “polish” the skin’s surface. Then, a vacuum tube removes the crystals and skin cells leaving behind smooth skin surface.Since only the top layer of cells is targeted, the skin doesn’t get damaged.
Fractional CO2 Laser and radiofrequency treatments
In laser treatment for acne scars known as laser resurfacing, a laser beam destroys the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and heats the underlying skin (dermis). As the wound heals, new skin forms. Less intense lasers (non ablative lasers), pulsed light sources and radio frequency devices don’t injure the epidermis. These laser treatment for acne heat the dermis and cause new skin formation.
Acne Prevention and Care
Once your skin clears of acne, it is advisable to continue your acne medication or other treatment to prevent new acne breakouts.
You can also prevent new acne breakouts with self-care measures, such as
Washing acne-prone areas only twice a day.
Washing removes excess oil and dead skin cells and it is advisable to prevent new acne breakouts. But too much washing can irritate the skin. Wash areas with a gentle cleanser and use oil-free, water-based skin care products.
Avoid heavy foundation makeup.
Using powder cosmetics over cream products because they’re less irritating.
Remove makeup before going to bed.
Be sure to remove makeup with mild cleanser before going to bed. Cosmetics on your skin can clog tiny openings of the hair follicles (pores). Also, make sure that you throw out old makeup and clean your cosmetic brushes and applicators regularly with soapy water.
Wear loose fitting clothing.
Avoid tight fitting clothing that can trap heat and moisture and can irritate your skin. Also, avoid tight fitting straps, backpacks, helmets or sports equipment to prevent friction against your skin.
Shower after exercising or doing strenuous work as sweat and oil on skin can easily trap bacteria and dirt causing acne to develop.
Contrary to normal beliefs, these factors have little effect on acne:
- Oily, fried foods and chocolate have been proved to have little to no effect on the development or course of acne.
- Dirty skin: Acne isn’t caused by dirt. As a matter of fact, scrubbing the skin too hard or cleansing with harsh soaps or chemicals irritates the skin and can make acne worse. Simply washing with mild cleanser to remove excess oil and dead skin cells is all that’s required.