Acne is a skin condition that involves the sebaceous glands at the base of the hair follicles. The glands naturally produce oil to lubricate the skin and hair. Sometimes, the oil glands are stimulated to make more sebum or oil. When there is too much of this oily liquid, the pores of the skin may become clogged. Bacteria can then get trapped inside the pores and multiply, and this can lead to acne formation. Acne commonly appear on the face, neck, chest, shoulders, and back.
What causes acne?There are various factors that are thought to trigger acne formation. Among these are:
- environmental factors such as humidity and pollution
- premenstrual cycle in females
- some cosmetics or skin care products that are pore-clogging
- certain medications
What are treatments for acne?Treatment of acne depends on its severity. For mild acne, gentle washing with water and mild soap or cleansing liquid will suffice. Gentle mild exfoliants containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or alphahydroxyl acids can also be used. For moderate to severe acne, medications are often prescribed. Antiobiotic creams, benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, and oral antibiotics can help in treatment of severe acne.
How do acne scars form?Acne is not a dangerous skin condition. Most dark spots left by acne, also called acne marks, eventually fade after several months. To speed up the process, one can apply sunscreen regularly, apply vitamin C serum to help promote healing, retinoid cream to promote skin cell renewal, use skin lighteners such as hydroquinone, licorice, and kojic acid, and chemical peel treatments to remove dead skin cells and smoothen out the texture of the skin. Sometimes, acne can leave unattractive scars. One can liken a severe acne lesion to a wound. The body responds by creating tissue over the damaged area. Too much tissue can form a keloid or a raised scar while too little tissue leads to atrophic scar or a depressed scar. The deeper the acne lesion, the more likely it is to scar. These scars are permanent and require more intense treatments and procedures compared to acne marks. One way to manage scars is through the use of injectable fillers to fill in hollow spaces on the face. Dermal fillers work by lifting depressed scars. Their effect is immediate but often temporary, lasting 12 to 24 months. Dermabrasion is another treatment for acne scars. It is reserved for deep acne scars since it involves a resurfacing process. In dermabrasion, a brush or burr rotates rapidly to take off the upper layers of the skin. Microdermabrasion is similar to dermabrasion but uses tiny crystals to correct more superficial scars.
Laser scar removal is the latest approach to acne scar treatment. It is used to diminish the appearance of scars by using powerful laser technology. Picosure is an advanced laser treatment that produces better skin clearance compared to other laser treatments. Because it delivers lasers within a trillionth of a second, it is a safer procedure. Picosure does the job faster and more effectively without the intense heat energy associated with older lasers. Used over the skin, it encourages collagen production to treat acne scars and hyper pigmentation. Treatment sessions are quick and gentle, requiring no downtime, leaving you with smoother and more beautiful skin.