A Clinical Approach to Acne

February 28, 2019

Acne is a wound to the skin. The medical definition of acne describes it as “a genetic disease evolving from retention hyperkeratosis of the follicular epithelium”. In layman’s terms this means your follicles (often referred to as pores) are essentially clogged, making it a great place for acne bacteria (P acnes) to thrive. The build-up of dead skin cells within the follicle, mixed with the overproduction of sebum (oil), the follicles become clogged and will create acne.

The exact cause of acne is difficult to pinpoint. There are many contributing factors that include hormonal imbalances, psychological aspects, nutritional deficiencies, and genetics. Other factors that may affect acne can include stress, picking and touching the face, excessive scrubbing, cosmetics, and skin irritants. Stress stimulates the adrenal glands and fluctuating testosterone levels can cause a flare up. Improper extractions can rupture the follicles and cause bacteria to spread. Touching also irritates the skin and breeds bacteria. It is important not to over scrub the skin, as this can cause irritation and over-production of sebum. Soaps, cosmetics, hair products and fabric softeners, are also possible culprits and it is best to choose fragrance free, dye free, and preservative free formulas.

The key to treating acne successfully is to firstly understand what Types Of Acne you may have.

  • Acne Vulgaris - Primarily seen in adolescents that involves the sebaceous glands. Acne Vulgaris usually involves a variety of lesions consisting of comeodones, papules, pustules, nodules, cysts and sequelae, such as pitted or hypertrophic scars. Propionibacterium Acnes are the bacteria that cause Acne Vulgaris.

  • Acne Cosmetica - A triggering topical comedogenic product or ingredient penetrates the pore and causes formation of comeodones. Acne Cosmetica is usually the non-inflammatory type indicated by small slightly raised red lesions, whiteheads and occasional pustules.

  • Acne Mechanica - This is caused by friction or pressure. For acne-prone skin, rubbing or any manipulation of microcomedones may cause a rupturing of the follicle. Continual friction from material, such as a hat, will cause Acne Mechanica.

  • Acne Rosacea - This condition is considered adult acne and is more predominant in women than men. Acne Rosacea is recognized by erythema with telangiectasia. Lesions seem to follow along the blood vessel dilation. Papules and pustules form in the center of the face, primarily cheeks and chin.

  • Pseudofolliculitis Barbae – Often referred to as “ingrown hair”. Occurs when coarse, curved hair penetrates into the skin just before it would normally leave the follicle.

With all the various types and forms of acne there is definitely no one regimen to fit all. Acne lesions are cellular wounds, and if left untreated, the wound may become a breeding ground for bacteria and increase the risk of permanent scarring. With acne, to help repair wounds and reduce the risk of scarring, you’ll want to take a holistic approach, being sure to first reduce bacteria, increase exfoliation, then support with healing. In the treatment room ingredients including antibacterial, antioxidants, enzymes, flower extracts and zinc will support in healing and repairing acne lesions. 

With compromised skin, it’s best to keep the regimen at home simple, using ingredients (such as Vitamin E, Epidermal Growth Factors, Mandelic Acid, Zinc and Arnica) that provide calming and healing support. Again, you’ll want to continue to manage bacteria and inflammation (to help prevent more wounds from occurring) and gently exfoliate in addition to healing the skin.

When you pay attention to all of the possible contributing factors that may create acne, and make life style changes, improvements can be made. Combine these changes with professional skin treatments and proper home care regimens, acne is a treatable skin disease.

 

With all the various types and forms of acne there is definitely no one regimen to fit all. Acne lesions are cellular wounds, and if left untreated, the wound may become a breeding ground for bacteria and increase the risk of permanent scarring. To effectively heal the skin and restore it to optimal health, it starts with understanding the stages of wound healing.

Stage 1: Inflammation

The first stage of wound healing is inflammation. Inflammation sends a signal to the platelets to release epidermal growth factors (proteins), which attract cells to the injured area to help rebuild the wounded area.

Stage 2: Formation

The second phase of wound healing also begins in the early stages of the injury, and consists of three significant responses. The first is re-epithelialization. It begins within the first 24 hours and is the migration of keratinocytes to the base of the wound, which increases cell proliferation. The second response, granulose tissue formation, begins on the second or third day. It is the migratory phase of wound healing, during which fibroblasts form the granulose tissue (a combination of molecules and cells) to fill the wound. Angiogenesis, the third response, is the formation of blood vessels, which increases the flow of blood to the wound to supply oxygen and nutrients.

Stage 3: Remodelling

This final stage begins after the inflammatory stage is complete, typically 5 to 7 days from the initial wound. It is this stage that is responsible for the texture of the skin, as it is when collagen builds, and again fibroblasts play a key role.

The entire wound healing process may take up to 30 days or longer depending on the depth of the wound.   

With acne, to help repair wounds and reduce the risk of scarring, you’ll want to take a holistic approach, being sure to first reduce bacteria, increase exfoliation, then support with healing. In the treatment room ingredients including antibacterial, antioxidants, enzymes, flower extracts and zinc will support in healing and repairing acne lesions. 

With compromised skin, it’s best to keep the regimen at home simple, using ingredients (such as Vitamin E, Epidermal Growth Factors, Mandelic Acid, Zinc and Arnica) that provide calming and healing support. Again, you’ll want to continue to manage bacteria and inflammation (to help prevent more wounds from occurring) and gently exfoliate in addition to healing the skin.

When you pay attention to all of the possible contributing factors that may create acne, and make life style changes, improvements can be made. Combine these changes with professional skin treatments and proper home care regimens, acne is a treatable skin disease.

 
 

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