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Acne or Acne Vulgaris is an inflammatory skin condition that commonly occurs in teenagers and young adults. The condition affects the oil glands of the skin and the hair follicles. Acne is caused when the secretions of the sebaceous glands plug the openings of the hair follicles.
Types of Acne
Acne can be divided into types; inflammatory and non-inflammatory.
Inflammatory acne occurs when the bacteria in the clogged pores causes infection. It includes:
Papules occur when the pores that are clogged are tender to touch and the walls that surround them break down due to inflammation.
Like Papules, Pustules are also formed when the walls that surround them are about to break down but unlike papules, these are filled with pus and are red in color with yellow or whiteheads.
Nodules occur when pores cause irritation and are larger. Compared to papules and pustules, they are deeper into the skin.
Cysts are the largest form of acne and penetrate deeper into the skin than nodules also. They develop when the pores are clogged by sebum, bacteria causing infection and dead cells.
Non-Inflammatory Acne includes Blackheads (Open Comedones) and Whiteheads (closed comedones).
Blackheads as the name suggests have a black color surface. They occur when a pore is clogged with dead skin cells and sebum. Whiteheads like Blackheads clog the pore but have pores that close up and form small white bumps.
Causes of Acne
Hormonal imbalance is the leading cause of acne. Let us understand the situations in which hormonal imbalance can cause acne.
During the teenage years, there is a rise in androgen levels. This leads to growth of oil glands which in turn produce more sebum. Excessive production of sebum encourages the bacteria causing acne to grow thus becoming a cause of acne.
We all are familiar with skin breakouts during stressful phases of our lives. It happens because stress related hormones (corticotropin-releasing hormone) trigger the sebaceous or oil glands to secrete more oil which leads to acne.
During the monthly menstrual cycles, there is a hormonal imbalance in the body which causes breakouts or period acne.
Conditions like PCOS which cause androgen excess are often accompanied by painful acne.
Other Causes of Acne
Some drugs like oral contraceptive pills or oral steroids also cause acne.
Certain Food Items
Junk food, food items with excessive sugar, dairy products are also known to cause acne.
The treatment of your acne depends on how severe it is. At Dr. Divya’s Skin and Hair Solutions, Dr. Divya believes that an honest and effective relationship between the doctor and the patient is the building block for acne treatment. Some of the Anti-Acne Drugs prescribed at our clinic are:
a) Benzoyl Peroxide
One of the most prescribed medications for acne, Benzoyl Peroxide helps target the surface bacteria which aggravates the acne.
Retinoids not only act on the comedone but also prevent scarring.
To control the surface bacteria and reduce inflammation, antibiotics are often prescribed. These are best combined with Benzoyl Peroxide and Retinoids.
Nutraceuticals is a new subset of medications to reduce the effect of cutaneous hyperandrogenism and improve the sensitivity of the oil gland.
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Another technology which is most helpful in deep acne scars and skin resurfacing is use of FSR which helps in ablation of skin tissue and better textural improvement. It is not a LASER and hence safer to use in darker skin as well. There is a little downtime but the results make up for it.