Acne Treatment Clinic

What is Acne?

Acne is the most common skin disease and affects 80% of all people at some time between age 11-30 years. It begins from age 10-13 at a time when a child is undergoing puberty. It therefore can have far-reaching psychosocial consequences as well as result in permanent disfigurement.

What causes Acne?

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 tablets taken by body-builders contain hormones that trigger acne and other problems. Acne can very rarely be caused by problems with hormones. 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.

Is Acne hereditary?

Acne can run in families, but most cases are sporadic and occur for unknown reasons.

How is Acne treated?

Early treatment of Acne is essential for the prevention of lasting cosmetic disfigurement associated with scarring and treatment depends on what type of Acne is present. 

Mainly comedonal (Whiteheads and blackheads) Acne
This form of Acne is very common in pre-teenage or early teenage years. Treatment at this stage may prevent further development of the Acne: topical retinoids used once daily at night. We prefer to use retinoids at night as they can photosensitize the skin and therefore are best washed off in the morning before going into sunshine. Topical retinoids are effective against whiteheads and blackheads and may also beneit patients with increased pigmentation. Salicylic acid up 2% in numerous formulations may be used as an anticomedone treatment and mild anti-inflammatory agent. Azelaic acid formulations can also be effective

Mainly inflammatory Acne

Mild inflammatory Acne may be treated by topical antimicrobial therapy.  More severe inflammatory Acne will require systemic antibiotics or isotretinoin. Hormonal therapy can be very effective in female patients with Acne whether or not their serum androgens are abnormal. 

What makes acne worse?

  • The progestogen-only contraceptive pill may make acne worse.

  • In women, the hormonal changes around the monthly period may cause a flare-up of spots.

  • 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.

  • Some medicines can make acne worse. For example, phenytoin (which some people take for epilepsy) and steroid creams and ointments that are used for eczema. Do not stop a prescribed medicine if you suspect it is making your acne worse but tell your doctor. An alternative may be an option.

  • Anabolic steroids (which some bodybuilders take illegally) can make acne worse.

  • Though not yet proved, it is believed that diets high in sugar and milk products make acne worse.

 Some myths and wrongly held beliefs about 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.

 Skin care for people with acne

  • 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 moisturising cream. Do not use ointments or oil-rich creams, as these may clog the holes of the skin (pores).

For further information and advice, please contact us at Clear SKIN Clinic on 9867370009/ 9920626006

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