What Causes Acne?
Acne is a skin condition caused by inflammation of the oil glands found in hair follicles.
There are four preliminary causes of acne:
Increased oil production
Active oil production is needed for acne to form. During puberty, excessive signals from the male sex hormone (androgen) make oil glands grow in size, which leads to an increase in oil production. People with acne have oilier skin than other people. Hormones that lead to excessive oil production in girls or women also lead to other problems such as excessive hairiness or irregular menstrual cycles.
Increase in hair follicles
In patients with acne, the number of hair follicles increases and blocks pores. Clinically speaking, acne types called blackheads (open comedones) and whiteheads (closed comedones) are formed this way.
Microbial factors on the Skin
Accumulation of some microbes in the hair follicle causes acne. The most prominent of such microbes is the Propionibacterium acnes. Others are Staphyloccus epidermidis and Pityrosporum ovale.
Some substances secreted from bacteria that causes acne cause inflammation. This leads to acne that is red, bumpy, cystic, and painful.
Who is Susceptible to Acne?
Acne is commonly seen in puberty, in girls between the ages of 11-16, and boys between the ages of 14-18. It can also appear at any age outside of puberty. Factors such as stress, UV rays, cosmetics, certain medications (for example cortisones and Vitamin B), and menstruation for women can lead to acne formation.
When Should Acne Be Treated?
Acne should be treated no matter the clinical appearance or the patient’s age. If acne is treated in the blackhead stage or white little bump stage, skin can heal without scarring. Inflamed acne should be treated as soon as impossible as chances of scarring is very high for this kind of acne.
What Happens If Acne Is Not Treated?
Chances of scarring increases if acne is not treated. If acne is not treated in its early stages, it can lead to inflammation. These large, cystic, inflamed pimples can cause scarring as they heal. Scarring can take the form of thin crevices or bumps. This can be very problematic for the skin’s outward appearance.
How is Acne Treated?
The most important factors in treatment are the patient’s age, as well as the shape and disposition of acne. If faced with early stages of acne such as blackheads or whiteheads, creams and lotions with peeling properties that dry out the skin could be sufficient. But if acne is inflamed, creams than contain antibiotics should also be used.
If acne appear on parts of the body outside of the face area, like the back, and if inflamed acne turns into cystic acne, topical creams would not be enough. Antibiotics that are administered orally or specialized Vitamin A medications should be taken. If a patient also suffers from irregular menstrual cycles or excessive hairiness alongside acne, birth control pills could also be prescribed.
Cosmetic products used to treat acne should be selected carefully. Cleansers, moisturizers, and makeup products used should be suitable to the patient’s skin type as these are part of a complete acne treatment regimen.
Does acne reappear after treatment?
Acne can reappear after treatment based on the patient’s skin type. Acne is seen more often in people with oily skin, which is why it’s important to use cosmetic and skin care products designed for your skin type. Medical-cosmetic products that balance out oil in the skin could reduce the risk of acne formation.
What should one do to prevent acne formation?
Consulting a dermatologist and assessing your skin type are essential. A dermatologist could recommend medical-cosmetic products that are suitable for your skin type.
The first step in acne prevention is cleansing. Sleeping with makeup on, and the use of heavy powders and foundations can increase acne formation, which is why cleansing is so important.
The second step is using the right moisturizer. It is often assumed that oily skin does not need moisturizer since it’s oily, but oily skin also needs a suitable moisturizer. You should opt for water-based moisturizers for oily skin.
The third step in acne prevention is regular skin-care. You should use products with peeling agents that are suitable for oily skin. These peeling agents balance out the skin’s oil, which in turn prevents acne formation.
Is it harmful to pop pimples?
It is absolutely harmful to pop pimples. Popping a pimple can actually make it grow bigger. You can increase the time it takes to heal and risk scar formation for pimples that could otherwise be treated with a simple regimen. Popping pimples without sanitary precautions could also lead to bacterial inflammations on the skin.
Is it Possible to Get Rid of Acne Scars?
When acne is not treated on time, pimples leave behind scars as they heal. Deep and inflamed acne has a much higher risk of scarring. Acne scars can take different forms such as crevices on the skin or irregular bumps. If acne is treated on time and in a suitable way to your skin, chances of scarring decreases. If healed acne leaves behind scars, it is possible to treat the scars. For acne scar treatment, chemical or enzymatic peeling procedures, peeling creams that get rid of the skin’s damaged layer, dermaroller, dermapen, laser treatments, or radiofrequency needle procedures can be used.
How to prevent acne from scarring?
- For acne to not scar, you should start treatment under a dermatologist’s supervision
- Medications recommended by the dermatologist should be used regularly
- Playing with or popping pimples cause acne to deepen and therefore to scar
- Blackheads are always the first signs of acne. Inappropriate methods of blackhead extraction can cause scarring as well as deeper acne formation
- Medications used for acne treatment can lead to sun sensitivity, and so it is advised to stay out of the sun, otherwise hyperpigmentation could occur.
How does laser treatment for acne scars work?
The main purpose of acne scar treatment is to repair skin damage. There are two ways in which the skin can be repaired in laser treatment. Laser treatment can repair skin by peeling off the outermost skin layer that is damaged. Laser treatment can also help renew collagen to help repair damaged skin. Laser treatments should be applied 3-4 weeks apart and for 4-8 sessions. The number of sessions needed depend on the depth and number of scars. You should avoid UV rays during treatment, which is why treatment is usually done in the winter. After treatment, red spots, thin incrustations, and brown pigmentation can occur. These symptoms usually disappear within 3-7 days.
How is acne treated with chemical peels?
- Control of the skin’s outermost later with chemical agents is called “chemical peeling”. A variety of acidic and basic agents are applied to the skin for peeling. The purpose of chemical peeling is to cause surface damage to the skin for a desired depth, and to use the advantages of skin’s healing process to treat acne scars.
- As a result of peeling, skin repairs the damage caused and renews itself. As the skins renews itself, it renews its collagen and elastic fibers.
For acne treatment, fruit acids, salicylic acid, and TCA peeling are commonly used. These agents are prepared in different concentration levels, applied to the skin, and cleaned off after a certain amount of time. After application, skin should be protected from the sun. Depending on how concentrated the peeling agent is, peeling treatments are applied 2-4 times a week.
How does roller/dermapen (micro-needling) treat acne scars?
The treatments named roller, dermaroller, dermapen or micro-needling are administered with a specialized device that has numerous thin stainless steel needles. This device creates small punctures in the skin with a mechanical movement. The skin goes into reparation mode due to the punctures and releases growth agents. These growth agents repair the skin, healing the acne scars.
Dermaroller treatments can also be used in conjunction with mesotherapy or PRP treatments. In acne treatment, PRP treatments applied right after the use of a dermaroller are known to be effective and successful.
Dermaroller applications for acne scar treatments should be used 2-4 weeks apart, and for 4-8 sessions.
How do radiofrequency needles treat acne scars?
The biggest problem with acne scars is the damage done to the skin tissue underneath the outermost layer of the skin. The more this damage is reversed and new tissue forms, the more progress you will make in scar treatment. Radiofrequency needles heat up skin tissue underneath the outermost skin layer, leading to more collagen renewal and new skin tissue formation. In recent years, this method has been effectively used in treating acne scars.
Gold needles are used for the radiofrequency method; energy delivered through these needles warms up the skin in a controlled manner without damaging the skin’s outermost layer. Because radiofrequency needles do not hurt the skin’s outermost layer, there is no risk of hyperpigmentation (this risk exists for laser treatments). Radiofrequency needle treatment can be applied in all seasons. PRP treatments applied right after the use of radiofrequency needles are also known to deliver effective results.
Radiofrequency needles for acne treatment are applied once a month, and 3-6 sessions are needed to see successful results.
How Should One Use Cosmetics on Acne-Prone Skin?
The use of right cosmetics for acne-prone skin is of utmost importance because the use of unsuitable cosmetics can cause breakouts, increase the severity of an existing acne problem, or cause an allergic reaction. Oily or combination skin is acne-prone, but acne treatments can dry out the skin.
Cosmetic products used alongside acne-prone skin show variation. If you use medications or creams that dry out the skin such as Vitamin A; cosmetics, cleansers, and moisturizers you use should be delicate, made especially for sensitive skin, and should contain sun protection.
If only topical creams are being used in acne treatment, as a moisturizer or as a moisturizing primer before makeup application, creams should be used that contain specialized agents that fight acne formation. Mineral-based cosmetics are essential.
On acne-prone skin, mineral-based concealers, eye-shadows, foundations, and powders should be used.