Acne vulgaris is a skin disease, that causes great distress to many. The good news is that it is treatable and help is at hand. Our Aesthetic Specialists can prescribe the medication that is suitable for your particular condition and you can visit Best Body Skin to get rid of scars that have been left by acne.
What causes acne?
Acne is caused by changes in the skin structure, which consists of hair follicles and their association with sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands also occur in hairless areas of the skin. Sebum is generally deposited on the hairs inside the follicles and rises to the surface of the skin along the hair shaft. In hairless areas, sebum rises to the surface through ducts. Sebum acts as a lubricant for the skin and hair, but the skin of some people produces excessive sebum, which may be brought about by poor hygiene or accelerated glandular activity, e.g. during adolescence or pregnancy.
Inflamed hair follicles are characterised by black- and whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules, even cysts and lesions. Acne Scars and lesions are most common on the face and upper neck, but are also found on the scalp, shoulders, back, chest and arms.
Although acne usually occurs during adolescence (research has shown that approximately 85% of teenagers develop acne), many adults worldwide continue to suffer from this disease well into their forties and even fifties.
Other contributing factors include the following:
The debate continues on the relation of diet to acne, but the most recent research indicates that acne sufferers should experiment with their diets and not consume foods that aggravate their skin disease.
Diets that are rich in high-GI foods can also aggravate acne. Foods containing white flour and refined sugars (typical of take-away food) produce an overload of metabolical glucose, which affects the fat uptake in sebaceous glands. Although research is ongoing, avoiding these foods definitely benefits one’s overall general health. A high-protein, low-GI diet has been shown to reduce moderate facial acne.
Blocked pores due to oil build-up and dead skin cells can cause acne and it is therefore recommended to wash off old oil and help unblock the pores. Our Aesthetic Specialists can prescribe the correct facial cleanser to use. Glycerine soaps have been proven to have the least influence on the PH-balance of the skin.
- Hormonal activity
Hormonal activity, e.g. during puberty and menstrual cycles, can cause glands to produce more sebum, resulting in acne. Hormonal treatments can prevent acne in females.
- Vitamin deficiency
A common deficiency in acne sufferers is low levels of vitamins A and E.
Acne tends to run in families.
Anabolic steroids or medication containing lithium, barbiturates or androgens, as well as corticosteroids and anti-epilepsy drugs have been linked to acne. Inform your doctor of all medication you use, as this may aggravate your acne.
What can I do to treat my acne?
You can use topical treatments with creams containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, proven to reduce acne lesions. These are the most popular over-the-counter medications. If you are suffering from a more severe case, you will need to consult a dermatologist.
You can use topical antibiotics that are less harmful than orally-ingested antibiotics, e.g. Roaccutane, which can upset your stomach, break down the flora in your stomach and have various other side effects.
If you are battling to get rid of pimples, a dermatologist can inject cortisone into them, which presents a smaller risk of scarring.
Phototherapy under fluorescent lights is a particularly effective treatment and can significantly reduce the number of acne lesions. These treatments are, however, not favoured any longer.
Skin rejuvenation treatments are available at Best Body Skin.
Severe acne lesions can also benefit from autologous fat transfer, which is similar to liposuction and Botox. Fat from one part of the body is injected into the affected areas filling out the scars to skin level. As the body absorbs the fat, regular treatment is necessary.
You can expect to get good results from several surgical techniques, e.g. excisional and successional surgery. Excisional surgery involves surgically removing the scar and either stitching it up or replacing it with a piece of skin from another part of the body. Successional surgery using a probe lifts up the skin pulling it away from the scar. These treatments are permanent.
Keloids are difficult lesions to treat as there is the risk of more keloids forming due to the treatment. Steroids are injected around the lesions or a topical remedy is applied directly.
The way forward
Best Body Skin specialises in the most advanced and effective skin rejuvenation and resurfacing treatments for acne scarring. These new techniques are being hailed as the real solution to acne.
- Dermabrasion is performed under local anaesthetic using a high-speed rotating brush that sands down the top layer of the skin. After healing, the new layer of skin leaves patients with much smoother skin. The procedure is performed once and results are permanent.
- Microdermabrasion uses aluminium-oxide crystals that pass through a vacuum, scraping away the skin cells on the surface and stimulating new skin growth. This treatment is suitable for mild acne scarring and multiple treatments are necessary.
Your Aesthetic Specialist will meticulously compose your bespoke solution, matched to your skin condition in order to obtain desired results.
FAQs about acne scarring and microdermabrasion treatment
What are acne scars?
Acne scars are red or hyper-pigmented marks that are left on your skin after acne has healed. If any colour change or skin defect is still present after a year, it can be considered to be a permanent defect or scar.
Can I prevent acne scars?
Yes, prevention is better than cure. To prevent acne lesions from occurring you should use the appropriate treatment for your type of acne after consultation with an Aesthetic Specialist.
Is any medication I am using, e.g. Accutane, dangerous to use before microdermabrasion?
Consult your Aesthetic Specialist for the correct facts and remember to bring along any medication you are using on a regular base.
How to deal with the emotional scars of acne
Acne affects many people in their life and for many it is a temporary hurdle to cross. With the correct treatment it could be a thing of the past. All you need to do is take action. Acne is a very treatable condition these days.
Low self-esteem and self-confidence, depression, anger, despair and social withdrawal are common amongst people that have acne. Don’t sit at home hiding from the world just because you feel your skin is unattractive. Keep living your life as normal and try to stay positive. Go out, see your friends and family and keep living life to the full. Consult a psychiatrist if you feel you are not getting support from family and friends and need to speak to someone.
Remember that in comparison to life-threatening illnesses such as AIDS, cancer, diabetes and heart disease it really is minor. After a while the people who are constantly in your company will not even notice your acne.
If you are very self-conscious about your acne, wear some concealer. Try to use natural products that don’t clog your pores.
Eat healthy foods and get regular exercise as this lifts your mood naturally.
Speak to people who have suffered from acne and listen to their success stories of how they found healing.