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Acne

Acne is one of the scourges of mankind and the travesty of both adults and youth alike. Acne is the most common skin disease facing mankind.

While adult acne and juvenile acne involve infections generated by the same bacteria, P. acnes bacteria, skin conditions can be very different requiring different forms of treatment.

The different forms of acne can vary from cystic, to vulgaris, rosacea, blackheads and whiteheads. Some of the characteristics of acne vulgaris are:

infections raise to pustules (pus filled pimples) on the surface of the skin

  1. the pustules usually discharge white pus when squeezed
  2. blackheads, cysts and small red spots may be present
  3. occurs on the face, the upper and lower back and upper body
  4. some cystic conditions may also occur, but most infections raise to pustules

Treatments

There are a number of treatments available at Skin Inspiration Advanced Skin and Laser Clinic for acne, other than antibiotics. These include PhotoDynamic Therapy (PDT), Microdermabrasion, Peels, Light Emitting Diode(LED), and quality cosmeceutical homecare products. After a consultation with a qualified aesthetician a combination of treatments to get to the cause of acne infection and inflammation may be suggested.

Tips to Reduce Acne

An alteration or two in diet, lifestyle, homecare and treatments will help improve the health of the skin and the body, which in turn will help in the control of acne and related problems.

  1. Stress – when under stress the body produces hormonal steroids, such as cortisol ( a corticosteroid hormone frequently called hydrocortisone). Like other hormonal steroids such as testosterone, these chemicals target the skin in a disruptive manner and acne flare ups may coincide with increased stress.
  2. Coffee - coffee with or without caffeine stimulates the production of cortisol and acts just like stress. Coffee may be a promoter of acne and its consumption should be limited. When stress levels rise, it is advisable to reduce coffee consumption to achieve a reduction in cortisol levels which promote acne.
  3. Diet - a good diet is an effective tool in controlling acne, especially fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, combined with adequate protein. Every organ in your body relies upon the same vitamins, minerals and nutrients to function. Since the skin is at the end of the food line, it suffers greatly from an improperly balanced diet.
  4. Wheat- wheat products may cause a sudden increase in blood sugar, resulting in the production of insulin. This will create inflammation within the follicles creating cellular growth promoting acne infections. A reduction in wheat products may assist in reducing acne breakouts.
  5. Essential Fatty Acids- a deficiency in linoleic acid may create multiple blackheads/ whiteheads
  6. Milk – a small segment of the acne population may react to milk and/or dairy products. Milk contains hormones which can promote the potential for acne infections. Hormonally induced acne frequently follows the chin and jaw line.
  7. Benzoyl Peroxide (BPO)- BPO generates free radicals in the skin. Its effect is similar to unprotected sun exposure. Repeated use of BPO can damage the skin’s structure and cellular DNA, resulting in premature ageing of the skin. The extent of the damage is determined by the concentration of BPO, the frequency of its use and the duration of use.
  8. Smoking- a German study published in 2001 showed acne was more prevalent in active smokers than in non-smokers.
  9. Hormone Supplementation- the development of adult acne following the initiation of hormone supplementation may be caused by the dosage, therefore modification may be required by your doctor
  10. Headgear- washcloths, hats, pillowcases and sweatbands collect bacteria and return it to the area each time it is used. Change of these items every 2 days will help achieve control of acne.
  11. Hairline or Forehead Acne- washing and conditioning hair with a low dose coconut shampoo and conditioner will prevent congestion in this area. A pattern of face acne that basically follows the hairline may be caused by sebum and free fatty acids that are generated in the scalp and migrate onto the forehead. Hair should be kept off the face at all times and leave in hair products kept to a minimum.
  12. Sun Exposure- myths about unprotected sun exposure being beneficial in reducing skin oiliness and thereby reducing acne are ill-founded. Photons of sunlight produce free radicals within the skin, which promotes acne and reduce the skin’s ability to heal and repair.