Acne (medical term acne vulgaris) is the term for pimples and complexion problems that occur in many young people and some adults. Approximately 80% of people between the ages of 11 to 30 suffer from acne. It affects not only the face, may extend to the neck, chest, back and upper arms.
Acne is not life threatening but can be disfiguring, causing psychological distress to the patients. Acne usually begins at puberty and may continue for many years. Teenagers get acne as the body matures and produces hormones that stimulate the sebaceous (oil producing) skin glands to make more sebum or oil. Sebum lubricates the skin. Sebaceous glands within the hair follicles or pores become plugged when oil secretion occurs faster than the oil and skin cells can exit the pores. Sometimes the plug causes the wall of the pore to rupture causing redness, swelling, and pus. Plugged oil glands may form blackheads and whiteheads. Blackheads are not caused by dirt; rather there is a type of bacteria (p. acne) that normally lives on the skin and thrives on the sebum produced by oil glands. Sometimes the bacteria multiply and cause inflammation and acne.
How do we treat acne?
- Topical creams such as benzoyl peroxide, retinoid (e.g. Retin-A), antibiotics (e.g. clindamycin).
- Oral medications such as antibiotics (e.g. doxycycline) and hormonal therapy (e.g. Diane-35 for ladies). Both topical and oral medications are effective to many of our patients but might come with side effects that are intolerable to them.
- Intralesional steroid injections – Those annoying zits pop out few days before an important upcoming event? Injection of steroid with or without antibiotics will reduce the inflammation instantly and speed up the healing process in 1-2 days time.
- Professional chemical peels – Physician office-use skin peels like salicylic acid and glycolic acid can gently exfoliate the outer layers of the skin and reduce the oiliness, followed by lesser acne breakout and lightened post acne marks.
- SilkPeelTM DermalinfusionTM – Microdermabrasion works by stimulating the skin healing process. A fine abrasion, coupled with suction, gently removes loose, dead and diseased cells and also clean out blocked pores. At the same time, dermalinfusion of special formulated Clarifying Solution delivers salicylic acid safely and effectively to improve the appearance of cystic and pustular acne.
- Lasers – minus the need of taking medications and their potential side effects, treating acne with lasers is safe with fast results. Clear & Matte laser’s precisely controlled Nd:YAG light energy safely penetrates into the skin to target overactive sebaceous glands and to reduce the risk of developing new acne inflammation. In addition, this laser treatment also accelerates the healing process and stimulate collagen remodeling, an important step in the long-term treatment of acne. TwinLight Rejuvenation laser is suitable for those having both mild active acne and dimpled acne scars as it combines 2 types of lasers: Nd:YAG laser targets on the active acne and reduce new acne formation, whereas Erbium:YAG laser stimulates collagen regeneration in the deep layers of skin, resurfaces dimpled scars after several sessions of treatment.
- Choose the right skincare products for your skin type. Cosmeceutical products like Aknicare contains triethyl citrate and ethyl linoleate, which are able to control sebum secretion, reduce bacterial colonization, prevent inflammation and the formation of excessive skin debris, eliminate acne by targeting all 4 acne-causing factors. Find out more about Aknicare products in our clinic.
- Wash your face twice daily with a gentle skin cleanser to prevent oil build up.
- Do not scrub your face with a harsh washcloth or sponge. Scrubbing may actually make it worse by irritating the skin.
- Topical astringents can be used to remove excess oil after cleansing.
- Don’t squeeze, scratch or pick the lesions. This can leave tiny, permanent scars or pigmentation on your face.
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