Who hasn’t fought (and sometimes lost) the battle of the blemish? In fact, acne may be the one adolescent angst that lives on long after you’ve passed puberty.
Whatever your age, acne manifests itself with plugged pores (blackheads & whiteheads), pimples and blemishes, as well as deeper cysts and nodules. Caused by porphyrins (P-acne bacteria) as well as an overproduction of sebum (often hormonally triggered), outbreaks can lead to permanent scarring and discoloration.
What Is Acne
Acne is a disruption in the skin caused by different factors including hormones and genetics. The pilo-sebaceous unit is comprised of the hair growing follicle and the sebaceous gland which releases sebum to the skin surface through the pore. There is a normal population of bacteria called Propionibacterium Acnes in the skin, but when the pores become clogged the build up of sebum and the proliferation of P.Acnes causes a blackhead or whitehead to form within the pore. White blood cells infiltrating the area and ensuing inflammation can lead to acneic lesions called papules, nodules or cysts.
How Does Acne Develop?
Acne is a disease of the pilosebaceous units (PSUs). Found over most of the body, PSUs consist of a sebaceous gland connected to a canal, called a follicle, that contains a fine hair (see “Normal pilosebaceous Unit” diagram, below). These units are most numerous on the face, upper back, and chest. The sebaceous glands make an oily substance called sebum that normally empties onto the skin surface through the opening of the follicle, commonly called a pore. Cells called keratinocytes line the follicle.
What can you do?
Preventing future blockages or clogging of pores can be facilitated through a variety of topical therapies including microdermabrasion, light chemical peels and acne skin regimen.
- Gently wash your face twice daily with a non-comedogenic (pore clogging) cleanser that contains salicylic acid.
- Try a topical cream or gel that contains either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. For treating individual pimples, use a spot cream containing sulfur or resorcinol.
- Exfoliate to get rid of dead skin cells that can clog pores. Instead of scrubbing, which can aggravate acne, try a toner or lotion with salicylic acid.
What to avoid
- Over drying the skin.
Fight the urge to overdo it by constantly cleansing and exfoliating or using too many treatment products too often. This will disrupt your natural acid mantle. Your skin will respond by producing even more oil, leading to even more breakouts.
- Picking and popping.
You’ve heard it a million times, but it’s true—you’ll only spread the bacteria and increase the potential for scarring. If you want deep cleansing or extraction, see one of our SKYN® talents.
- Anything oily.
Makeup, hair products, even the natural oils from your hair or fingers can all clog pores. Change your pillowcase daily and always use fresh towels.
SKYN® Treatments for Acne
The goals of treatments for active eruptive acne are: to reduce the bacteria count of the sebum production. The clinical improvements in the appearance of acne are evidenced by reducing the size of individual acne lesions, reducing the frequency of acne eruptions, and promoting faster healing times.
- Chemical Peels Advanced Dermal peels, such as the Modified Jessners Peel offer a special combination of acids (including salicylic and citric acid) to treat a multitude of problems, including cystic acne, oiliness and discolouration. Expect some flaking/peeling for a period of 3 to 7 days.
- Solari IPL Acne treatment The heat from this treatment helps dry up excess sebum and kills the acne-causing bacteria.
- Medical Microdermabrasion If your acne is limited to clogged pores, blackheads and oiliness, or you have uneven skin texture from past bouts with acne, Microdermabrasion provides vigorous exfoliation to get rid of dry flakes and surface impurities to reveal smoother, fresher skin
- INFINI RF & Microneedling Using the combined methods of both RadioFrequency and Microneedling, INFINI is a treatment suitable to help curb excessive sebum secretion and active inflammatory acne. The treatment also simultaneously tightens skin and pores, while correcting acne scarring.
- Carbon Spectra Laser Peel is great for acne and active breakouts including blackheads and large pores.
- ZO Stimulator Peel is the newest addition to the family of peels brought to us by Dr Zein Obagi. The results are remarkable with zero downtime.