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Acne

treat active acne, acne scars, pores and get an improved skin

What is Acne?

Acne vulgaris or "pimples" is a disorder of the "oil" glands. Around 85% of the population has experienced an outbreak of acne at some point in their lives. It is generally seen in the adolescent age group and it may persist even later in life, especially in females. The face, chest, back and shoulders are usually involved. There can be black and whiteheads, red bumps (papules) which may evolve to pus filled lesions (pustules), nodules and cysts. They leave discoloration, pigmentation and permanent squeal like acne scars. Acne has a fluctuating course, sometimes increasing or decreasing.

Acne occurs due to increased production of oil from the glands (sebaceous glands) next to the hair follicles as well as a build up of old skin around the top of the glands that blocks them and causes the oil and secretions to accumulate.

Why does it happen?

Acne can be caused by blockage of pores, excess oil production, infection by a bacteria/fungus, inflammation, hormonal imbalance, improper diet, stress, certain medicines and occupational factors.

What are the complications of Acne?

Untreated acne may cause a negative psychological impact on the person affected. Acne may leave behind pigmented or red color marks. Severe acne leads to bad and ugly looking scars or keloids. These persist forever in the absence of specific treatment.

How is active Acne treated?

Treatment of acne depends on the severity.

  • Mild acne is treated by lotions and creams. These unblock the pores and reduce the infection.
  • Moderate acne requires creams and antibiotics in addition. These medications have anti-inflammatory effects as well.
  • Severe acne needs to be treated aggressively with oral retinoids.

The procedures which can be done for severe acne at this stage to help the medical treatment include

Acne surgeries Here the black, white heads are eased out, so that they don’t progress to bigger spots. The pus filled spots can be drained.

Intralesional steroids for the larger painful deep acne.

IPL and laser treatment help in acne treatment to reduce the red inflamed spots. A session is required every fortnight. Treatment takes a few weeks for any changes to be seen and up to a few months for a clear skin. Maintenance, with creams may be required.

Do Chemical Peels help?

Peels help in resolving acne. Alpha and beta hydroxy acid peels are employed here. They exfoliate the skin gently, thus unblocking pores. The formation of black and white head thus reduces. The exfoliation also removes existing acne marks and pigmentation. Peels also help for improving mild scarring. They may need to be done every fortnight.

How are Scars treated?

Scars can be depressed/atrophic or raised/keloidal.

  • Depressed scars on the face can be removed surgically or by raising the scar to the level of normal skin.
  • Fillers/Fat can be injected to elevate depressed scars.
  • Dermabrasion and chemical peels tighten the skin and reduce the depth of scars.
  • Laser resurfacing can smoothen, sculpt and normalize the appearance of scars. Ablative lasers like the fractional CO2 and Erbium work on the top and middle layers of the skin to produce of new tissue which fills up the scars from below. The result is a fresher skin. The non ablative lasers (the Q switched NDYAG, Erbium) work just on the middle layer of the skin giving the same results. They have much faster recovery, but more sessions maybe required. Details can be discussed with the Doctor.
  • Keloidal scars may require monthly injections/ lasers to flatten them.
  • Collagen pin/ Micro needling/ Dermaroller – they are different modalities which have variable and controlled trauma to the middle layers of the skin which leads to new skin regeneration and resurfacing of the skin.
  • RF devices also induce collagen production and for scar correction. They can improve the skin quality and resurface the skin to certain extent.

DO'S AND DONT'S

  • Do clean regularly with a gentle cleanser
  • Do meet a qualified doctor.
  • Do use oil free, noncomedogenic personal care products.
  • Do use sunscreen regularly and judiciously during the treatment
  • Do eat a balanced diet.
  • Don't pick and squeeze the spots.
  • Don't scrub excessively.
  • Don't self-medicate.

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