Acne is one of the most common skin problems. Almost every one suffers from acne at some point of their lives. Acne most commonly appears on the face, but can also affect the back, chest and shoulders. It is not a dangerous condition, but if left untreated, can lead to permanent scarring.
How does acne happen?
Hormones. Changes in hormone levels during puberty may lead to excessive oil production in your skin which makes your skin more prone to bacterial infection.
Some hormone-related medical conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome can also cause acne.
Genetics. If you close relatives suffer from acne, you may be more prone to acne too.
Medication. Certain traditional medicine that contains abnormal amount of male hormones may contribute to acne problem. Anabolic steroid that body builders use can potentially cause acne too.
Cleanliness. If you ignore cleanliness of your skin altogether, you may become more prone to having acne. Ladies may notice that if they regularly sleep overnight with their make up on, they tend to get more acne breakouts.
Is there anything that can make acne worse?
In ladies, hormonal changes around or during menstruation may cause an acne flare-up.
Not keeping your skin clean enough can lead to acne and make existing acne worse.
Itchy hands! Squeezing or using contaminated home equipment to pick on the acne can make it worse and lead to scarring.
Some medication such as hormonal contraception can make acne worse. Make sure you speak to your doctor about this before starting on any contraception.
What are the treatment options available?
Get your acne treated early. If you leave it untreated long enough, it may become more difficult to treat later on, and you may have higher risk of having acne scars.
Be very patient. Acne treatment takes time. It can take months for acne to settle down, and you will still need maintenance treatment afterwards. Therefore, it is important to have one regular doctor treating your acne so your progress can be monitored meticulously.
The types of treatment required usually depend on the severity of the acne – topical cream, oral medication, injections and device-based aesthetic treatment.
This is usually suitable for mild acne. Topical cream such as benzoyl peroxide, retinoids and topical antibiotics can be used for mild acne.
You may require oral medication treatment if your acne is more severe, or if topical treatment alone does not work well. Oral medication that can be used to treat acne include oral antibiotics, oral isotretinoin tablets and some oral contraceptive pills. It is very important to consult your doctor before taking oral medication because they are not suitable for everyone.
Cystic acne (big and swollen pimple) can be treated with injection treatment. Cystic acne should be treated quickly to minimize risk of scarring.
Acne Laser complements topical and oral medication well. It can be done regularly to control excessive oil and frequent breakouts.
On top of everything, most acne patients will benefit from medical grade exfoliative facial treatment (HydraFacial) to cleanse the skin thoroughly and to clear the infected clogged pores. Cleaning your face at home may not be good enough in moderate to severe acne cases.
The ultimate aim of acne treatment is to keep acne under control as early as possible and to prevent permanent scarring. We know that acne scars are difficult to treat!
Acne treatment can be a long process. Do not give up halfway or you will not see an optimal end result. See a doctor to get your acne assessed professionally so that the best treatment options can be recommended to you.