What Is Acne?
Acne is a disorder resulting from the action of hormones and other substances on the skin’s oil glands (sebaceous glands) and hair follicles. These factors lead to plugged pores and outbreaks of lesions commonly called “pimples”. They usually occur on the face, neck, back,chest, and shoulders.
People with acne have a variety of lesions. The basic is the comedone, an enlarged and
plugged hair follicle. If the comedone stays beneath the skin and produces a white bump, it is called a whitehead. A comedone that reaches the surface of the skin and opens up is called a blackhead because it looks black on the skin’s surface. The black discoloration is due to oxidation of the sebum as it is exposed to air. Both whiteheads and blackheads may stay in the skin for a long time.
Other troublesome acne lesions can develop, including the following:
Papules – inflamed lesions that usually appear as small, pink bumps on the skin and can be tender to the touch
Pustules (pimples) – papules topped by white or yellow pus-filled lesions that may be red at the base
Nodules – large, painful, solid lesions that are lodged deep within the skin
Cysts – deep, painful, pus-filled lesions that can cause scarring.
What Causes Acne?
The exact cause of acne is unknown, but it results from several related factors. One important factor is an increase in hormones called androgens (male sex hormones). These increase in both boys and girls during puberty and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy or starting or stopping birth control pills can also cause acne.
Another factor is heredity. Certain drugs, including androgens and lithium, are known to cause acne.
Greasy cosmetics may alter the cells of the follicles and make them stick together, producing a plug.
Factors That Can Make Acne Worse
Factors that can cause an acne flare include:
- Changing hormone levels in adolescent girls and adult women 2 to 7 days before their menstrual period starts
- Oil from skin products (moisturizers or cosmetics) or grease encountered in the work environment (for example, a kitchen with fry vats)
- Pressure from sports helmets or equipment, backpacks, tight collars, or tight sports uniforms
- Environmental irritants, such as pollution and high humidity
- Squeezing or picking at blemishes
- Hard scrubbing of the skin
Myths about the Causes of Acne
There are many myths about what causes acne.
Chocolate and greasy foods are often blamed, but there is little evidence that foods have much effect on the development and course of acne in most people.
Another common myth is that dirty skin causes acne; however, blackheads and other acne lesions are not caused by dirt.
How Is Acne Treated?
The goal of treatment is to heal existing lesions, stop new lesions from forming, prevent scarring, and minimize the psychological stress and embarrassment caused by this disease.
Depending on the extent of the problem, you may be recommended one of several over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and/or prescription medicines. Some of these medicines may be topical (applied to the skin), and others may be oral (taken by mouth). The doctor may suggest using more than one topical medicine or combining oral and topical medicines.Along with this, personalized procedures will be prescribed based on your skin.
What is the procedure at Kosmoderma?
During the consult, the skin is examined and tested to determine its condition.Based on the test results, a home care regimen is prescribed including topical and possible
oral medications. Your skin is given an initial clean up to remove the bacteria and as many comedones as possible.
Our doctors will identify the root cause of your acne and design a treatment to target them effectively and quickly. Depending on your unique skin, our doctors may prescribe a combination of the following:
o Oral medication
o Chemical peels to exfoliate your skin
o Laser treatments for acne and acne related scars
o Topical medication to sooth and heal your skin
Clean ups using chemical peeling agents like Glycolic / Salicylic / Resorcinol / Retinol peels are recommended to decrease the chances of scarring. The number of sessions and frequency depends on the severity of the acne. We recommend between 4 – 8 sessions of acne peels one to two weeks apart to reduce the acne and decrease the scarring. The scars are finally treated using a combination of laser treatment sessions to get a blemish free skin.
Know more on Scar Treatments here. While Lasers have predominantly been used for acne scars in the past, Kosmoderma has now introduced USFDA Approved Laser Treatments for Acne as well. Know more on Laser Treatments for Acne here.
The home care is continued for a 1 year post treatments to prevent recurrence.
How Should People With Acne Care for Their Skin?
Clean Skin Gently
If you have acne, you should gently wash your face with a mild cleanser (Ph balanced), once in the morning and once in the evening, as well as after heavy exercise. Wash your face from under the jaw to the hairline and be sure to thoroughly rinse your skin.
Using strong soaps or rough scrub pads is not helpful and can actually make the problem worse. Astringents are not recommended unless the skin is very oily, and then they should be used only on oily spots.
It is also important to shampoo your hair regularly. If you have oily hair, you may want to wash it every day.
Avoid rubbing and touching skin lesions. Squeezing, pinching or picking blemishes can lead to the development of scars or dark blotches.
When using a safety razor, make sure the blade is sharp and soften your beard thoroughly with soap and water before applying shaving cream. Shave gently and only when necessary to reduce the risk of nicking blemishes.
Choose Cosmetics Carefully
While undergoing acne treatment, you may need to change some of the cosmetics you use.All cosmetics should be oil free. Choose products labelled non-comedogenic (meaning they don’t promote the formation of clogged pores).
I had a wonderful experience at Kosmoderma Skin , Hair & Laser Clinic. My skin problem areas were immediately addressed with effective treatment & skin care. I love my skin! Kosmoderma has introduced a whole new me. Thank you for your wonderful service! I’d recommend Kosmoderma to all the would be brides out there!.