Going For Acne Laser Treatment

If some one has acne, they have a lot of spots on their face, neck and body. Acne is very common among teenagers. It is the most unfortunate situation for the youth to have stubborn case of acne on their face. For, that is the stage of life, when they like to be not only healthy but much more attractive and presentable!

Common skin problems related to acne include skin rashes; popping of blackheads, whiteheads and nodules in the form of pimples and acne; and formation of dry, oily areas and reddish-brown blotches on skin. Greasy and spicy foods can also cause acne prone skin.

Healing of the acne lesion is not the end of the problem. It is the beginning of a new series of problems, to solve which a lot of patience and understanding is required. Repeated trips to the clinic of the dermatologist are necessary thus.

The post inflammatory effects caused by acne are part of the skin’s natural healing process. Medication and practices in vogue can only help facilitate this healing process. Laser therapy, in the treatment of acne, is still at the kindergarten level. Researchers and scientists in this area are themselves confused a lot, and so far, unable to arrive at definite conclusions. Their problem is also the same as faced by the specialists of acne treatment in other branches of science.

No single treatment is right for everyone. Type of skin varies from person to person. The topography and skin texture of each person is different. Therefore, the person who opts for and the person who gives treatment, both have to be realistic about the results, while tasking up the option of laser treatment.

Two types of acne patients are likely to opt for laser therapy. One, those who are interested in getting rid of the scars, pimples or whatever it may be, on emergency basis and secondly those who are willing to wait but wanting to have a permanent cure. The typical side effects that go with other systems of acne treatment are applicable to laser therapy as well. The damage is likely to be caused by the laser system that is still in the stage of research and development. Well, no one should be in a hurry to own it.

Laser treatment specialists are also fully aware of their own limitations about the present status of this system. Proper skin care will still remain a problem even after you get rid of the unwanted part of the skin. Improved tissue metabolism that will boost the blood flow to pores, causing them to open, is the only answer. e researchers are not themselves convinced about the efficacy of laser treatment, how can your dermatologist advise you to go fort it? Even if he does, you please be guided by what you have decided for you!

Getting To Know Acne

This factsheet is for people who have acne.

Acne is a skin condition that causes spots. Most people affected by acne are aged between 12 and 25.1 However, men and women in their 30s and 40s can also suffer. There are many treatments available to help deal with the condition.
What is acne?

Acne is a skin condition that typically causes one or more of the following:

* blackheads (comedones)
* whiteheads
* red or yellow spots
* greasy skin
* scars

Acne typically affects the skin of the face, back, neck, chest and arms and the severity of the condition can vary.

Acne affects people of all skin colours. The processes that cause acne are exactly the same in people with black or brown skin but the impact is altered by the skin pigmentation.

Acne is very common and affects about 80 in 100 people aged 11-30 at some time.

home | health information | health factsheets
Acne

This factsheet is for people who have acne.

Acne is a skin condition that causes spots. Most people affected by acne are aged between 12 and 25.1 However, men and women in their 30s and 40s can also suffer. There are many treatments available to help deal with the condition.
What is acne?

Acne is a skin condition that typically causes one or more of the following:

* blackheads (comedones) 2,3
* whiteheads2,3
* red or yellow spots2,3
* greasy skin2,3
* scars2,3

Acne typically affects the skin of the face, back, neck, chest and arms and the severity of the condition can vary.1,4

Acne affects people of all skin colours. The processes that cause acne are exactly the same in people with black or brown skin but the impact is altered by the skin pigmentation.

Acne is very common and affects about 80 in 100 people aged 11-30 at some time.4
The skin

The surface of the skin has lots of small sebaceous glands just below the surface. These glands make an oily substance called sebum that keeps the skin smooth and supple.

Tiny pores (holes in the skin) allow the sebum to come to the skin surface. Hairs also grow through these pores.

IIllustration showing the structure of skin
Illustration showing the structure of skin
What causes acne?

Acne is caused by the overactivity of the sebaceous glands that secrete oily substances onto the skin.

The sebaceous glands of people with acne are especially sensitive to normal blood levels of a hormone called testosterone, found naturally in both men and women.

Testosterone in people prone to acne triggers the sebaceous glands to produce an excess of sebum. At the same time, the dead skin cells lining the openings of the hair follicles (the tubes that hold the hair) are not shed properly and clog up the follicles.

These two effects combined cause a build-up of oil in the hair follicles. This causes blackheads and whiteheads to form.

For some people, their acne does not progress beyond this stage.

However in other people, the build-up of oil in the hair follicles creates an ideal environment for a bacterium called Propionibacterium acnes to grow.

These bacteria normally live harmlessly on your skin but when this ideal environment is created, they grow. They feed off the sebum and produce substances that cause a response from your body’s immune system. This inflames the skin and creates the redness associated with spots.

In more severe ‹inflammatory acne›, cysts develop beneath the skin’s surface. These acne cysts can rupture, spreading the infection into nearby skin tissue. This can result in scarring.

What makes acne worse?

There are a number of things that can make your acne worse. These include the following:

* picking and squeezing the spots may cause further inflammation and scarring1
* stress can make acne worse in some people, although it is not clear why1,
* in women, outbreaks may be affected by the hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle1,
* excessive production of male hormones such as testosterone from conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome may be another cause.5 For more information, please see the separate BUPA factsheet Polycystic ovary syndrome
* some contraceptive pills may make acne worse. This is due to the type of progestogen hormone in some pills whereas some other types of contraceptive pills can improve acne – see Treatments section below. Your GP will advise you which contraceptive pill to take
* some medicines can make acne worse. For example, some medicines taken for epilepsy, and steroid creams and ointments that are used for eczema. Do not stop a prescribed medicine if you suspect it is making your acne worse, but tell your GP. An alternative may be an option
* steroids can cause acne as a side-effect

Treatment

Acne may cause you considerable emotional distress but there is a range of treatment options to help you tackle the problem. No treatment will completely ‹cure› your acne. The aims of treatment are to prevent new spots forming, to improve those already present, and to prevent scarring.3
Home treatment

It is important to keep spot-prone areas clean, so wash the affected area twice a day with an unperfumed cleanser.1,6 The skin needs a certain amount of oil to maintain its natural condition, so avoid aggressive washing with strong soaps.

There are a number of over-the-counter remedies available from pharmacies to treat mild acne. These usually contain antibacterial agents such as benzoyl peroxide (eg Oxy and Clearasil Max).

As well as its antibacterial effects, benzoyl peroxide can dry out the skin and encourage it to shed the surface layer of dead skin. Together, these effects make it harder for pores to become blocked and for infection to develop.

Benzoyl peroxide can cause redness and peeling, especially to start with. This tends to settle down if you reduce the number of times you use it. You can then build up your use gradually.

No home treatments for acne will work immediately. It can take weeks, if not months, for significant effects to be noticeable. If home treatments have not worked after two months, or you have severe acne, you should visit your GP.
Prescription medicines

Your GP may start your treatment by prescribing a preparation containing benzoyl peroxide. If this does not work, or if you have more severe acne, there are a range of other treatment options that you can either rub onto your skin (topical) or take in tablet form (oral).
Topical treatments

There are several topical treatments you may be prescribed including those listed below:

* azelaic acid (Skinoren) is an alternative to benzoyl peroxide and may not make your skin as sore as benzoyl peroxide
* topical retinoids (eg Adapalene) are medicines based on vitamin A, which are rubbed into the skin once or twice a day.7 They work by encouraging the outer layer of skin to flake off
* a topical antibiotic lotion applied to the skin can be used to control the P. acnes bacteria (eg Dalacin T). Treatment needs to continue for at least six months. Preparations that combine an antibiotic with other acne medication are available (eg Benzamycin which combines an antibiotic with benzoyl peroxide)

Oral treatments

There are several oral treatments you may be prescribed including those listed below:

* oral antibiotics (tablets), such as tetracycline, can be prescribed for inflammatory acne. They should be taken daily for around three months, although it might take four to six months for the benefits to be seen.7 The success of this treatment can be limited because the strains of bacteria are often resistant to the common antibiotics. Antibiotics do not prevent pores from becoming blocked so treatment to prevent blackheads, such as benzoyl peroxide, is often also prescribed at the same time
* some types of oral contraceptive tablets help women who have acne. A combination of the usual pill hormone called ethinylestradiol with cyproterone acetate (eg Dianette) suppresses male hormone activity so is often used in women with acne
* isotretinoin (eg Roaccutane) is a medicine known as an oral retinoid, which also exists in a topical form (see above). Isotretinoin works by drying up oily secretions. It tends to be prescribed to people with severe forms of acne that have proved resistant to other treatments. There a number of serious side-effects of this drug, such as liver disorders and depresssion. You should not take isotretinoin if you are pregnant, as it is very dangerous to an unborn baby. For safety reasons, isotretinoin is only prescribed under the supervision of dermatology specialists.

Getting a Prescription for Acne Medication

Some people have acne so intense that it is necessary for them to seek professional help. For some people, they must see a dermatologist to help with this annoying problem. When they go to the dermatologist for help, they will sometimes recommend a prescribe acne medication to help with the problem.

There are many prescription medications that are used today to help treat acne. Most of them are applied to the skin and are used for mild to severe acne. There are however, other methods of treating acne from the inside out and those require an oral method of taking the acne medications. This is important for people that have extensive acne problems that keep getting worse instead of better.

There are some dermatologists that use therapy to help control an acne problem for some of their patients. For this to occur, the acne has to be so severe and intense that there are no other methods of treatment working or if the patient and the acne is not responding to any other form of treatment.

There are also acne medications that are taken by mouth. These are antibiotics that a patient has to take on a regular basis to help control the acne. The dosage will usually start out high and then lessen as it is becoming effective.

There are also injections that can be a form of acne medication. This is used to treat severe acne and it will help to prevent scarring. Again this method is used for the people that have acne so severe and no other method of treatment is working to their benefit.

A lot of women will use oral contraceptives to help control their acne. This form or acne medication will affect the hormones in a women’s body and will lessen the chance of them having acne. This is a great idea for women who have an acne problem and want to take a contraceptive at the same time. There are some women however, that it has the reverse effect on.

There are a variety of different creams and ointments to use for acne medication as well. These are found both in the store and sold as prescriptions. The more intense creams and ointments are prescribed and do cost more. When you have a complex form of acne that is hard to treat, this is when the prescription medications have to be used.

It is all up to the person with acne if they think that they should seek professional help for their acne medication or not. They will know when they can no longer take care of the problem and need to have help.

Get the flawless skin you ever wanted

Acne is the almost popular scenario being encountered by our rind especially the teenagers and A good amount of adults. It can be seen normally in our cheek, neck, some on our shoulders, support, weaponry and still in our thighs. These are clogged sebum in our pores or these are what we normally ask whiteheads and blackheads, nodules, pimples, or cysts. Although we are conversant with the usually known acne, we must too be mindful of the new forms or kinds of acne.

Here are some of Visible Signs Of Acne:

Comedones:
– These are areas of the skin that are affected by acne, the external form of comedones.

Papules and pustules:
– As the early blemishes get bigger and inflamed, papules and pustules will occur.

Nodules:
– These are solid lesions that extend into deeper lumps that destroy tissues.

Oily skin:
– The sebum production increases so that your skin looks and feels oily.

Cysts:
– Capsules shaped lesions that contain liquid or semi-liquid pus similar to that substance contained in pustules and can be infected.

WE MUST TOO BE MINDFUL OF THE NEW FORMS OR KINDS OF ACNE!

Get Rid Of Acne With Healing Diets

Annemarie Colbin, in her book «Food and Healing», makes the interesting point that diets themselves, even healing diets, are not a cure per se. They do often work, but their route to health is actually a product of supporting the body’s own healing processes.

Her view on skin conditions like acne is interesting. She sees acne as a result of the regular organs of elimination, the kidneys and lungs, being unable to eliminate all the toxic waster matter that we ingest into our bodies. She sees certain foods, like those that make up what she calls the Standard American Diet, as placing too great a stress on our body’s ability to process them, at least if symptoms of ill health are appearing like acne. She has found from her own observations that a change in diet often clears up even the large, purplish types of acne. She found this with her own experiences with acne. Annemarie says it takes about ten days to three months to work.

Annemarie describes acne as falling into two main causes in her approach. The first is associated with fat, protein and excess sugar. Here she recommends eliminating foods like milk, cheese, ice cream, fatty meats, nuts and peanut butter. The second category is associated with what she calls mineral-water excess, which is s term she uses to describe all substances taken out of their natural context. She mentions iodized salt, or even multi vitamins or supplements like kelp. This is very much a personal relationship as what negatively affects one person may not do so for another.

The link between excess minerals or vitamin supplements relates to Colbin’s idea of balance, which is that a living system always seeks to return to balance. Anatomy and physiology textbooks even define the processes of the body that way, and it is certainly a common idea in natural health systems, especially traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Colbin writes that excess minerals and vitamin supplements lead to an increased need for the macro nutrients protein, fat and carbohydrates. Salt is also in this category. The idea is that these vitamins and minerals, taken out of the context of the food itself, will lead to the body craving actual food to create a sense of balance. If we have a multi vitamin at mealtimes, within the RDA, I don’t believe this is going to present a problem. Especially given that our foods are often depleted of the range of essential nutrients that they would normally have if they were grown organically and in nutrient dense soils. But it is certainly an argument in favor of approaching nutritional supplements in a balanced way also. Some people mistakenly think more is better. This clearly illustrates it is not.

References: Annemarie Colbin, Food As Healing (Ballantine Books, New York)
Simon Mills, The Essential Book Of Herbal Medicine (Penguin Arkana)

Get Rid of Acne

Many people in the world think acne is something that is really negative. Although acne does not really affect anything else but the physical look of a person, but to some this may affect them very negatively. There are many different ways to get rid of acne, one might try different acne treatment products. Because acne affects all age group, there are products made for many different age groups to help getting rid of acne.

Some acne treatment products include Zyporex and ClearPores. Usually these products should not give any side effects but in some cases they do give some side effects. Usually products like this usually get rid of your acne within a week and sometimes in a few days. Some of these products are very costly but sometimes they are very cheap, also sometimes they are even given out to you for free just so you can try it. Most of these products are simple to use and may also help you reduce any more acne appearing on your skin.

The second type of acne treatment is using natural remedies. This is getting more and more popular over the past few years and many are using it. This is because of two main reasons; it is cheaper and it does not give side effects. Some think that if they do not give side effects it will take longer for them to get rid of the acne. That is not true because natural acne treatment products, such as Green tea extract and Licorice Root Extract, still get rid of the acne before a week but most of the time within a few days. They give no side effect and these natural remedies have been used for sometimes thousands of years and most of these remedies are being used to cure other medical things.

The third popular way to get rid of acne is using home made acne treatments. This treatment is quite popular because one can use different remedies until they locate one they like and that functions best for them. So this way they can change around remedies a lot and usually these remedies are natural so it has the benefits of natural acne treatments.

Frequent Questions Raised About Acne

Acne is a very common disease. People who have it tend to have similar kinds of questions about it and its treatment. This section addresses some of the common questions asked by people with acne. Please remember that your dermatologist is always the best source of specific information about your individual health issues, including acne.

Questions and Answer does follows:

1. What causes acne?

The causes of acne are linked to the changes that take place as young people mature from childhood to adolescence (puberty). The hormones that cause physical maturation also cause the sebaceous (oil) glands of the skin to produce more sebum (oil). The hormones with the greatest effect on sebaceous glands are androgens (male hormones), which are present in females as well as males, but in higher amounts in males.

Sebaceous glands are found together with a hair shaft in a unit called a sebaceous follicle. During puberty, the cells of the skin that line the follicle begin to shed more rapidly. In people who develop acne, cells shed and stick together more so than in people who do not develop acne. When cells mix with the increased amount of sebum being produced, they can plug the opening of the follicle. Meanwhile, the sebaceous glands continue to produce sebum, and the follicle swells up with sebum.

In addition, a normal skin bacteria called P. acnes, begins to multiply rapidly in the clogged hair follicle. In the process, these bacteria produce irritating substances that can cause inflammation. Sometimes, the wall of the follicle bursts, spreading inflammation to the surrounding skin. This is the process by which acne lesions, from blackheads to pimples to nodules, are formed.

2. I wash my face several times a day. Why do I still get acne?

Many people still believe that acne is caused by dirty skin. The truth is, washing alone will not clear up or prevent acne. Washing does, however, help remove excess surface oils and dead skin cells. Many people use all kinds of products, including alcohol-based cleansers, and scrub vigorously, only to irritate the skin further and worsen their acne. Washing the skin twice a day gently with water and a mild soap is usually all that is required. However, acne is actually caused by a variety of biologic factors that are beyond the control of washing. For that reason, you should use appropriate acne treatments for the acne.

3. Does stress cause acne?

Stress is commonly blamed for the development of acne. Stress can have many physiologic effects on the body, including changes in hormones that may theoretically lead to acne. In some cases the stress may actually be caused by the acne lesions, not the other way around! If the acne is being treated effectively, stress is not likely to have much impact on the majority of people.

4. I never had acne as a teenager. Why am I now getting acne as an adult?

Usually, acne begins at puberty and is gone by the early 20s. In some cases, acne may persist into adulthood. Such types of acne include severe forms that affect the body as well as the face (which afflict males more than females) and acne associated with the menstrual cycle in women. In other cases, acne may not present itself until adulthood. Such acne is more likely to affect females than males.

There are several reasons for this. As females get older, the pattern of changes in hormones may itself change, disposing sebaceous glands to develop acne. Ovarian cysts and pregnancy may also cause hormonal changes that lead to acne. Some women get acne when they discontinue birth control pills that have been keeping acne at bay. Sometimes young women may wear cosmetics that are comedogenic-that is, they can set up conditions that cause comedones to form.

5. What role does diet play in acne?

Acne is not caused by food. Following a strict diet will not, clear your skin. While some people feel that their acne is aggravated by certain foods, particularly chocolate, colas, peanuts, shellfish and some fatty foods, there is no scientific evidence that suggests food causes or influences acne. Avoid any foods which seem to worsen your acne and, for your overall health, eat a balanced diet–but diet shouldn’t really matter if the acne is being appropriately treated.

6. Does the sun help acne?

Many patients feel that sunlight improves their acne lesions and go to great lengths to find sources of ultraviolet light. There is no proven effect of sunlight on acne. In addition, ultraviolet light in sunlight increases the risk of skin cancer and early aging of the skin. It is, therefore, not a recommended technique of acne management, especially since there are many other proven forms of treatment for acne. Moreover, many acne treatments increase the skin’s sensitivity to ultraviolet light, making the risk of ultraviolet light exposure all the worse.

7. What is the best way to treat acne?

Everyone’s acne must be treated individually. If you have not gotten good results from the acne products you have tried, consider seeing a dermatologist. Your dermatologist will decide which treatments are best for you. For more information about the types of acne treatments that are available, and for basic acne treatment guidelines, please see Acne Treatments in the main part of AcneNet.

8. What kind of cosmetics and cleansers can an acne patient use?

Look for «noncomedogenic» cosmetics and toiletries. These products have been formulated so that they will not cause acne.

Some acne medications cause irritation or pronounced dryness particularly during the early weeks of therapy, and some cosmetics and cleansers can actually worsen this effect. The choice of cosmetics and cleansers should be made with your dermatologist or pharmacist.

Heavy foundation makeup should be avoided. Most acne patients should select powder blushes and eye shadow over cream products because they are less irritating and noncomedogenic. Camouflaging techniques can be used effectively by applying a green undercover cosmetic over red acne lesions to promote color blending.

9. Is it harmful to squeeze my blemishes?

Yes. In general, acne lesions should not be picked or squeezed by the patient. In particular, inflammatory acne lesions should never be squeezed. Squeezing forces infected material deeper into the skin, causing additional inflammation and possible scarring.

10. Can anything be done about scarring caused by acne?

Scarring is best prevented by getting rid of the acne. Dermatologists can use various methods to improve the scarring caused by acne. The treatment must always be individualized for the specific patient. Chemical peels may be used in some patients, while dermabrasion or laser abrasion may benefit others. It is important that the acne be well controlled before any procedure is used to alleviate scarring.

11. How long before I see a visible result from using my acne medication?

The time for improvement depends upon the product being used, but in almost all cases it is more a matter of weeks or months instead of days. Most dermatologists would recommend the use of a medication or combination of medications daily for 4 to 8 weeks before they would change the treatment. It is very important for patients to be aware of this time frame so they do not become discouraged and discontinue their medications. Conversely, if you see no change whatsoever, you might want to check with your dermatologist regarding the need to change treatments.

12. Would using my medication more frequently than prescribed speed up the clearing of my acne?

No–always use your medication exactly as your dermatologist instructed. Using topical medications more often than prescribed may actually induce more irritation of the skin, redness and follicular plugging, which can delay clearing time. If oral medications are taken more frequently than prescribed, they won’t work any better, but there is a greater chance of side effects.

13. My topical treatment seems to work on the spots I treat, but I keep getting new acne blemishes. What should I do?

Topical acne medications are made to be used on all acne-prone areas, not just individual lesions. Part of the goal is to treat the skin before lesions can form and to prevent formation, not just to treat existing lesions. Patients are generally advised to treat all of the areas (forehead, cheeks, chin and nose) that tend to break out rather than just individual lesions.

14. My face is clear! Can I stop taking my medication now?

If your dermatologist says you can stop, then stop–but follow your dermatologist’s instructions. Many times patients will stop their medication suddenly only to have their acne flare up several weeks later. If you are using multiple products, it may be advisable to discontinue one medication at a time and judge results before discontinuing them all at once. Ask your dermatologist before you stop using any of your medications.

15. Does it matter what time I use my medication?

Check with your dermatologist or pharmacist. If you were taking one dose a day of an antibiotic, you could probably take it in the morning, at midday or in the evening, although you should pick one time of day and stay with it throughout your treatment. With oral medications prescribed twice a day or three times a day, you should try your best to spread out the doses evenly. Some antibiotics should be taken on an empty or nearly empty stomach. For optimal results with topical treatments, you should strictly follow your dermatologist’s recommendations. For example, if instructed to apply benzoyl peroxide in the morning and a topical retinoid at bedtime, it is important to follow these directions strictly. If the two were applied together at bedtime, for example, you could decrease the efficacy of the treatment because of chemical reactions that make them less effective.

16. I have trouble remembering to take my oral medication every day. What’s a good way to remember? What should I do if I forget a dose?

This is a common problem. Many patients try to associate taking their medication with a routine daily event such as brushing teeth or applying makeup. It also helps to keep the medication close to the area where the reminder activity is carried out.

In most cases, if you miss a day of your oral treatment, do not double up the next day; rather, get back to your daily regimen as soon as possible–but there may be different instructions for different oral medications. Ask your dermatologist or pharmacist about what to do if you miss a dose of your particular medication.

17. I have been using topical benzoyl peroxide and an oral antibiotic for my acne and have noticed blue-black and brown marks developing on my face and some discoloration on my body. The marks are especially noticeable around acne scars and recently healed lesions. Is this a side effect of medication and is it permanent?

It is not possible to make general statements about side effects of medications that apply to individual cases. A dermatologist should be consulted. The facial marks and body discoloration described by the patient in this case do fall within the range of side effects of some antibiotics.

Unique patterns of pigmentation are sometimes seen in acne patients treated with certain oral antibiotics—particularly minocycline. The pigmentation patterns that appear may include:

* Localized blue-black or brown marks in and around acne scars and in areas of previous acne inflammation

* A «muddy skin» appearance that may cover much of the body

* Diffuse brownish pigmentation of the feet and lower legs.

The pigmentation side effect gradually disappears after the therapy is discontinued.

Any side effect of a medication should be noted by the patient and brought to the attention of the physician. While most side effects are temporary they should be discussed with the physician and monitored.

18. My doctor is prescribing a topical retinoid for my acne. He said a retinoid is a substance related to vitamin A. If the drug is related to vitamin A, shouldn’t vitamin A dietary supplements be helpful in getting rid of acne?

Dietary vitamin A is essential to good health, especially vision. It has healthful effects in the skin. Large doses of vitamin A for the treatment of acne is not recommended on grounds of safety. The retinoids and retinoid-like substances used as topical treatments for acne are prepared especially for their potent effect on the shedding of cell lining in the sebaceous follicle. Their use should be monitored by a dermatologist.

Dietary vitamin A has multiple health effects in the human body. Vitamin A is essential for good vision. Extreme vitamin A deficiency can result in blindness, usually accompanied by dry, scaly skin. Vitamin A overdose that far exceeds the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 5,000 IU can have effects nearly as catastrophic. Extreme vitamin A overdose can cause the skin to blister and peel—an effect first seen in early North Pole explorers who nearly died after eating polar bear liver that has an extraordinarily high vitamin A content.

Topical retinoids are usually prescribed as a treatment for moderate to severe acne. Side effects are chiefly dermatologic, including redness, scaling and dryness of the skin, itching and burning. These side effects can usually be managed by adjustment of the amount and timing of retinoid applied to the skin. Dose adjustment must be discussed with the dermatologist who prescribed the treatment.

19. Are there any acne treatments specifically for people with dark skin? Are there any treatments specifically harmful to dark skin?

There are no acne treatments specifically for use on dark skin. Acne treatments are generally as safe and effective on dark skin as on light skin. Some treatments for acne scars may cause temporary lightening of dark skin.

Acne is a common skin disease that has the same causes and follows the same course in all colors of skin.

Very dark or black skin may be less well-moisturized than lighter skin. Topical anti-acne agents such as benzoyl peroxide that have a drying effect on the skin should be used under the supervision of a dermatologist. Benzoyl peroxide also is a strong bleach and therefore must be applied carefully to avoid inadvertent decolorization of a patch of hair, towels or clothing.

Darker skin has a tendency to develop post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (excessive skin darkening at places where the skin was inflamed). Severe inflammatory acne may result in dark spots. The spots resolve over time; a dermatologist may be able to recommend cosmetic measures to make the spots less apparent until they resolve. Some acne treatments, such as topical retinoids and azelaic acid, may also help fade the discoloration.

Removal of acne scars by dermabrasion or chemical peeling may cause temporary lightening or darkening of dark skin in the areas of treatment. Scar treatment should be discussed with a dermatologist or dermatologic surgeon before it is undertaken.

Alterations of melanin (dark pigments that give the skin its color) pigmentation such as vitiligo and melasma are not related to acne, but they may be present simultaneously with acne. The diagnosis and treatment of melanin pigmentation disorders such as vitiligo requires a dermatologist with knowledge and experience in treating these conditions.

20. Is acne that appears for the first time in adulthood different from acne that appears in adolescence?

Acne has a specific definition as a disease of sebaceous follicles. This definition applies to acne that occurs at any age. However, it may be important to look for an underlying cause of acne that occurs for the first time in adulthood.

Current understanding of the causes of acne vulgaris is described in the Main Text section Why and how acne happens. In brief summary, acne vulgaris develops when excessive sebum production and abnormal growth and death of cells in the sebaceous follicle result in plugging of follicles with a mixture of sebum and cellular debris and formation of comedones (blackheads and whiteheads). Bacteria in the follicles—chiefly Propionibacterium acnes, the most common bacterial colonist of sebaceous follicles—may contribute to the inflammation of acne by release of metabolic products that cause inflammatory reaction. The pathogenic events, which cause disease, in the sebaceous follicle are believed to be due in large degree to changes in levels of androgenic (male) hormones in the body—a circumstance usually associated with growth and development between ages 12 and
21. Some acne investigators believe that although this understanding is generally correct, there is more yet to be learned about the causes of acne vulgaris.

Acne that appears after the age of 25-30 years is (1) a recurrence of acne that cleared up after adolescence, (2) a flare-up of acne after a period of relative quiet—for example, during pregnancy, or (3) acne that occurs for the first time in a person who had never previously had acne.

Acne that occurs in adulthood may be difficult to treat if there are multiple recurrences. Some patients with severe recurrent acne have undergone repeated courses of treatment with the potent systemic drug isotretinoin.

Acne flares in association with pregnancy or menstruation are due to changes in hormonal patterns.

Acne that appears for the first time in adulthood should be investigated for any underlying cause. Drugs that can induce acne include anabolic steroids (sometimes used illegally by athletes to “bulk up”), some anti-epileptic drugs, the anti-tuberculosis drugs isoniazid and rifampin, lithium, and iodine-containing drugs. Chlorinated industrial chemicals may induce the occupational skin disorder known as chloracne. Chronic physical pressure on the skin—for example, by a backpack and its straps, or a violin tucked against the angle of the jaw and chin—may induce so-called acne mechanica. Some metabolic conditions may cause changes in hormonal balance that can induce acne.

Some lesions that appear to be acne may be another skin disorder such as folliculitis—infection and inflammation of hair follicles—that require different treatment than acne. Acne that appears for the first time in adulthood should be examined and treated by a dermatologist.

22. My 15-year-old daughter has what I would describe as a very mild case of acne. She has made it much worse by constant picking and squeezing. She looks in the mirror for hours, looking for some blackhead or blemish she can pick or squeeze. Does she need psychological counseling?

Excessive picking and squeezing of otherwise mild acne is a condition called excoriated acne, seen most often in young women. A dermatologist may provide effective counseling.

The typical person with excoriated acne is a person—often a young women—who is so distressed with her appearance due to acne that she literally tries to «squeeze the acne out of existence.» The acne is often very mild, but the person’s face may constantly be covered with red marks from squeezing, and open sores where lesions have been picked open.

The word excoriate means to scratch or abrade the skin. Excoriated acne is a medically recognized condition that should be discussed with a dermatologist. Occasionally giving in to a temptation to squeeze a blackhead is not defined as excoriated acne. Hours in front of a mirror, squeezing and picking every blemish, is a definition of excoriated acne. A dermatologist may be able to counsel the patient regarding a course of treatment in which the patient can participate, but keep «hands off.»

23. Can the rate of secretion or the composition of sebum be altered by diet? If it can, shouldn’t alteration of diet be considered a treatment for acne?

Diet has never been proven to have a role in the cause or treatment of acne. Dietary manipulation may have a role in the treatment of some scaling diseases of the skin, but not in the treatment of acne.

Dietary cause is one of the most persistent myths about acne. Foods, such as chocolate or greasy foods, do not cause acne, but certain foods seem to make some people’s acne worse. The following can bring on or worsen it:

* Hereditary factors

* An increase in male hormones found in both males and females

* Menstruation

* Emotional stress

* Oil and grease from cosmetics, work environment

No food has been shown to be effective in preventing or treating acne. A healthy diet is, of course, necessary for good general health.

24. Shouldn’t I just try to eliminate sebum from my body?

No. When it isn’t blocked in your pores, sebum helps keep your skin healthy.

25. Why does acne usually start at puberty?

No one knows for certain. What is known is that the sebaceous glands that produce sebum get much larger at puberty than they were before.

26. Why does the skin around a pimple turn red?

This redness is caused by the body’s inflammatory response. Inflammation is a sign that your immune system is working to fight an infection. However, the inflammatory response doesn’t always work perfectly, and can even be the cause of scarring.

27. If my skin turns red, does that mean that I’m going to have scars?

Usually, no. Even when there will be no permanent scar, the aftereffects of the inflammatory response can leave the skin red for months, sometimes for more than a year.

28. What are free radicals?

Free radicals are byproducts of oxidation in your body. We all need oxidation to occur as part of our life process, but there is concern that the buildup of unrecycled free radicals contributes to many conditions, including skin damage. Antioxidants, including several of the active ingredients in Acuzine, help prevent the buildup of free radicals.

Following Acne Skin Care Regime

The basic fallacy about acne skin care that most of the people commit, is to understand the role played by the skin in the human system in isolation. God has created a total, complete and perfect machine in the form of human body and he has covered it with skin for valid reasons. When something is wrong with the parts (organs) inside, the complaint regarding their malfunctioning is reported through the skin.

The digestive organs only react to what we have given to them. Their reporting system is fair and without any blemishes. The combination of rich carbohydrates and protein in great number forces the toxins to the surface of the skin and form acne and pimples. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that if you apply some lotion or balm and in the process some pimples disappear, do not think that you have achieved something.

A host of other pimples are readying themselves for the attack on the surface of the skin, they may however change the strategy and appear on other parts of the body. Because, the royal battle is going on within, on the part of the affected body.

As a natural healing process of skin, the post inflammatory acne changes start surfacing. By adopting some medical and herbal practices you can speed up this healing process. The understanding and knowledge about the type of acne is important in the treatment of acne. Also, constant exposure to the sun can cause severe skin damage and delay the healing of your acne. Thus wear a good sunscreen and be protective to heal your acne.

Common skin problems include rashes, acne, blackheads, whiteheads, dry and oily areas, reddish-brown blotches. In acne conditions, skin care is not only its external medication, but we have to clearly understand and be conscious about the food intake– foods that aggravate the condition and foods that benefit. The former are acid producing foods. In the later category come minerals, especially iron-rich foods.

To say something about one of the ancient remedies prevalent in most of the Indian households— the juice of raw papaya, being an irritant is useful in several skin disorders, including acne. It is applied with beneficial results to swellings to prevent pus or warts and pimples formation. The juice as cosmetic, removes freckles and brown spots due to exposure to sunlight.

It is worth mentioning certain simple aspects and instructions to understand and follow a good acne treatment regime.

1. Avoid tight clothes, they are known to cause body acne by trapping sweat.
2. Use a sun-blocker by wearing a hat.
3. Dab the face dry, carefully. Do not apply pressure.
4. Use make up that do not clog the pores.
5.Think well before buying any over the counter products. Be even more careful, if they are introduced recently in the market.

Let your skin not be the experimenting ground for the product. It is better to go by the advice of the dermatologists in these matters.