Acne (aka pimples or zits) is the most common skin disease and affects 80% of all people at some time between age 11-30 years. It can have far-reaching psycho social consequences as well as result in permanent disfigurement.
Acne has many causes and is a disease of the oil producing glands of the skin called the pilosebaceous glands.
There are four interrelated factors involved:
- Excess sebum (oil) production
- Blockage of the pilosebaceous gland
- Infection with a bacteria called Propionibacteriun Acnes
- Skin inflammation.
Some Acne can be caused by medication given for other conditions or by certain contraceptive injections or pills. Some hormonal tablets like anabolic steroids taken by body-builders can trigger acne. Acne can be caused by problems with hormones like Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD). If you develop unusual hair growth or hair loss, irregular periods or other changes to your body, then mention this to your doctor in case it is relevant.
Some More Questions
- Do not wash more than normal. Twice a day is normal for most people. Use a mild soap and lukewarm water.
- Do not scrub hard when washing acne-affected skin. Do not use abrasive soaps, cleansing granules, astringents, or exfoliating agents.
- You cannot clean off blackheads. The black tip of a blackhead is actually skin pigment (melanin) and cannot be removed by cleaning or scrubbing.
- Some topical acne treatments may dry the skin. If this occurs, use a fragrance-free, water-based moisturizing cream. Do not use ointments or oil-rich creams, as these may clog the holes of the skin (pores).
- Keep hair away from face. Use lightweight hair oils or serums for hair styling instead of gels and waxes as they are known to induce acne. Use anti-dandruff shampoo for flaky scalp.
- Thick or greasy make-up may, possibly, make acne worse. However, most make-up does not affect acne. You can use make-up to cover some mild spots. Non-comedogenic or oil-free products are most helpful for acne-prone skin types.
- Picking and squeezing the spots may cause further inflammation and scarring.
- Sweating heavily or humid conditions may make acne worse. For example, doing regular hot work in kitchens. The extra sweat possibly contributes to blocking pores.
- Spots may develop under tight clothes. For example, under headbands, tight bra straps, tight collars, etc. This may be due to increased sweating and friction under tight clothing.
Acne should be treated aggressively before it causes irreversible scarring and pigmentation which have long-lasting psychological implications. A combination approach to treatments is ideal since the same patient has different types of acne.
Some of the treatments are-
- Oral & Topical Medications
- Hormonal medications for patients with hormonal acne
- Chemical Peels
- Laser Toning
If acne scars bother you, Clear skin clinic offers a number of treatments to help significantly improve those embarrassing depressions and reduce raised scarring. Before we treat your acne scars, it is important to treat recurring acne so additional scars don’t occur. Every scar is different and require individual treatment.
Treatments for Acne scars include:
- Chemical Peels
- TCA CROSS
- Vivace Microneedle Radiofrequency
- Dermaroller/ Dermapen
Foods with high Glycemic index (that quickly raise blood sugar levels) like refines carbs and dairy products can aggravate acne. Whey protein supplements are also known to cause acne.
- Acne is not caused by poor hygiene. In fact, excessive washing may make it worse.
- Acne is not just a simple skin infection. The cause is a complex interaction of changing hormones, sebum, overgrowth of normally harmless germs (bacteria), inflammation, etc (described above).
- You cannot catch acne – it is not passed on through touching (contagious).
- Acne cannot be cured by drinking lots of water.
- Some people believe that acne cannot be helped by medical treatment. This is not true. Treatments usually work well if used correctly.