General information on Acne
What is Acne?
Acne (Acne vulgaris) is a skin condition that causes great distress to many people. The good news is that it is treatable and help is at hand. There are effective treatment options available for both ‘active’ Acne (where there is evidence of inflammation/infection), as well as the scarring that occurs due to ‘chronic’ Acne. Your doctor can make recommendations that are most suited to your skin and the severity of your condition. Best Body Skin provides a host of treatment options to accommodate your unique lifestyle and skin requirements. These treatments range from the most basic regimes of appropriate skin care products, through to advanced medical treatments that can treat both active Acne as well as the resulting scars.
What causes Acne?
Acne is caused by changes in components of the skin structure, in particular, the hair follicles and their associated sebaceous glands, which also occur in hairless areas of the skin. Human skin deposits sebum on hair inside the follicles, which rises to the surface of the skin along the hair shaft. In hairless areas, however, sebum rises to the surface through ducts. Sebum acts as a lubricant for the skin and hair, but the skin of some produces excessive sebum because of poor hygiene or accelerated glandular activity, e.g., during adolescence or pregnancy. Excessive sebum plays a role in causing Acne.
Inflamed hair follicles are characterised by black- and whiteheads, pustules, nodules and even cysts and lesions.
Acne lesions are most common on the face and upper neck, but also found on the scalp, shoulders, back, chest and arms.
Although Acne most commonly occurs during adolescence (about 85% of teenagers develop Acne), many adults worldwide continue to suffer from this disease, some even as late as in their fifties.
Other factors that may cause Acne:
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 exasperate their skin condition.
Culprits that have been identified are high-GI (glycaemic index) foods, white flour and refined sugars (typical of take-away meals), which leads to an overload of metabolical glucose, which affects the fat uptake in sebaceous glands. Although further research is still needed to prove that high-GI foods have a direct influence on skin conditions, avoiding these foods definitely benefits one’s 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 that ‘old oil’ is regularly washed off, to so keep pores unblocked. Your Aesthetic Specialist at Best Body Skin can prescribe a suitable skin cleanser, one that has been proven to have the least influence on the PH-balance of the skin.
For each skin type there is an appropriate skincare product. Your Aesthetic Specialist at Best Body Skin will recommend one that is most likely to treat your unique Acne condition, with a firm focus on preventing further development of active Acne.
- 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. When in consultation with your Best Body Skin Aesthetic Specialist, do remember to alert him or her to the medication that you may be taking, as may be a contributing factor to your unique Acne condition.
- Sun exposure
It is very important to wear a good sunscreen before going outdoors, as harmful ultraviolet rays damage human skin. Your Aesthetic Specialist at Best Body Skin will recommend skin care products that contain sunscreen.
Treatments for Acne
- Topical applications, available as over-the-counter products
- Oral medication like antibiotics or Roaccutane, prescribed only prescribed by doctors
- Skincare products, of which Best Body Skin stocks various ranges.
- Skin care supplements such as Zincel C®
- Microdermabrasion treatment
- Chemical peels, like TCA peels for active Acne and scarring in combination with sand-abrasion
- Laser treatment of active Acne
- Laser treatment of Acne scarring
There are many over-the-counter treatments available, most of which contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, which reduce Acne lesions. However, it is imperative that your chosen product range matches your unique skin type and condition. Consult a doctor to ensure that your skin receives the very best possible care.
Best Body Skin does not offer microdermabrasion, but rather opts for Superficial peeling with alpha hydroxy acids.
FAQs about microdermabrasion
What does microdermabrasion laser treatment do?
Microdermabrasion, the so-called lunch hour peel, utilises aluminium-oxide crystals passed through a vacuum, so scraping away surface skin cells and stimulating new skin growth. This treatment is suitable for mild Acne scarring. There is minimal redness and recovery is speedy.
How many treatments are necessary?
Your Aesthetic Specialist will recommend which options are suitable for your unique case, but most clients see results after the first two treatments. But many physicians suggest six to ten treatments spaced, two weeks apart, to give the skin sufficient time to heal. Thereafter you may need to schedule a treatment once every two to three months in order to maintain the effects.
What is the recovery time?
Expect pinkish skin, very similar to mild sunburn, for one or two days.
Will the treatment be painful?
No, treatment is painless. After a few treatments, your skin will grow accustomed to the crystal flow and some describe the sensation as similar to a mild facial massage. Treatment varies from patient to patient, and depends on the depth of the treated.
How long does the treatment take?
Between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on the area that is treated and the type and depth of the procedure that is being performed.
Is after care required?
Your Aesthetic Specialist will provide you with information about post-treatment effects and results and give you skincare products to minimise inflammation and redness, or to ensure that you have the shortest possible healing time. One should avoid ultraviolet light until skin is fully healed. Again, sunscreen is imperative.
Skin peeling and laser treatment for Acne and Acne scarring at Best Body Skin
Best Body Skin specialises in the most advanced and effective skin rejuvenation and resurfacing treatments for Acne and Acne scarring. Your Aesthetic Specialist can precisely treat your Acne by using this treatment, it will match your skin condition and you will get the desired results. This treatment has set new standards in the treatment of Acne and other skin disorders.
- Skin peeling
A treatment to restore the health of the skin by promoting and accelerating the natural processes of exfoliation, circulation and cellular regeneration.
What is a peel?
A peel regenerates the skin and makes it smoother. Fine lines, wrinkles and scars are eliminated, leaving you with an even skin tone. It can be seen as chemical exfoliation.
When should I consider a chemical peel?
Speak to your Aesthetic Specialist at Best Body Skin to determine which chemical peel is right for you. If you have Acne scars, your skin will appear smoother after a peel.
What is a glycolic acid peel?
This is a minor superficial peel which can be applied every two to five weeks. There is hardly any recovery time involved and patients can return to their normal activities within an hour or two. Best Body Skin prescribes various kinds of clinical peels, effective in the treatment of Acne, hyper-pigmentation, sun damage, enlarged pores and wrinkles.
How many treatments do I need?
It varies. In the case of acute Acne, treatments can be performed as often as every week for about four to six weeks until the skin has stabilised and inflammation has been reduced to a minimum.
What are the results of a glycolic acid peel?
All our clients notice that skins are smoother and softer. Cellular renewal is encouraged and the skin is left healthier and supple.
What is a TCA peel?
A TCA (Trichloroacetic Acid) peel is a stronger peel for deeper wrinkles, scars and lines under the lower eyelids and lips. TCA peels are currently considered to be the most effective treatment for Acne.
What are the results of a TCA peel?
Acne is kept at bay, Acne scars are lessened or completely removed, wrinkles are reduced and tightened, and skin colour and pigmentation are improved. Results can last from six months to a year.
How many treatments do I need?
This depends on your particular skin condition, but as this is a medium-depth peel a longer healing time is involved (two to six months).
What will I experience after a chemical peel?
After a glycolic acid peel your skin will be pink, similar to light sunburn, which will last for a day or two. A TCA peel is followed by crusting, which can last up to a week.
How long is a procedure?
Depending on the depth of the peel it can last from 15 minutes to an hour.
FAQs about Acne scarring
What are Acne scars?
Acne scars are red or hyper-pigmented marks that are left on 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. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure… use the appropriate medication for your type of Acne after consultation with a physician. Speak to your Aesthetic Specialist at Best Body Skin about our various skin care products and treatments that will leave you with a blemish-free, smooth skin.
Is any medication I am using, e.g., Acutane, dangerous to use whilst undergoing treatment?
Consult your physician and 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 soon may be a thing of the past. But one has to take action. The condition is treatable.
Low self-esteem and diminished self-confidence, depression, anger, despair and social withdrawal are common amongst people that have Acne. It is advised that sufferers don’t isolate themselves, but rather to accept that it is merely a temporary, common condition and do whatever it takes to remain 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.
Remember that in comparison to life-threatening illnesses such as AIDS, cancer, diabetes and heart disease, Acne 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, consider a concealer. Try to use natural products that don’t clog your pores-your Aesthetic Specialist will be able to recommend a product.
Eat healthy foods and get regular exercise; it lifts your mood naturally and detoxifies the body.
Speak to people who have suffered from Acne and listen to their success stories of healing.