What is common to the age group between 12 and 17 apart from teen tantrums and high school crushes? The answer has to be acne. All teenagers have it in some form or the other and some even carry it over into adulthood, with consequences severe enough to merit a visit to the physician. Americans spend an astronomical amount on acne treatment.
Acne is the generic term for clogged skin pores, pimples and deep-seated cystic or nodular lumps occurring mainly on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms.
Knowing its requisite cure also involves knowing the causes of acne. Over-productive oil glands and clogged pores are the main reasons behind these skin lesions. This is why they are common during puberty or during hormonal fluctuations.
Now clogged pores, which are caused by dirt and dust, result in the glandular oil not being able to escape. There is thus swelling in the area leading to the skin lesions.
Acne manifests itself in various forms of skin disorders. Blackheads (open comedones) and whiteheads (closed comedones) are amongst the most common and the least severe forms of skin scar. With bacterial infection, these may progress to skin inflammations like the raised papule, the pus-filled pustule or the hardened nodule.
There are several forms of medication, some preventive and others curative. Preventive medication stresses on keeping the skin squeaky clean to prevent the incidence of clogged pores. Antiseptic liquid cleansers like Cetaphil cleanse the skin without causing any irritation. In fact, these should form an integral part of your daily skin care regime.
Taking care of your skin also involves going slow on the make-up and also religiously removing any traces of make-up when retiring for the night. You should not prick a pimple as this leads to scar and the possibility of further infection.
Topical creams and lotions like those containing Benzoyl Peroxide, antibiotics like tetracycline and Vitamin A-based tretinoin and adapalene are considered effective for acne. In fact, Benzoyl Peroxide is a highly recommended and widely prescribed cream, which gently exfoliates the skin and prevents bacterial infection.
However these creams have a drying and itching effect and should be started in low doses.
Isotretinoin is commonly given as a medicine for the severe nodular and cystic cases. But recent research has shown that isotretinoin causes birth defects if taken during pregnancy and has even been linked to alarming side effects like psychological ailments, depression and suicidal streaks.
Popular medication also includes oral antibiotics that work well in advanced cases. However, these should be taken under strict medical supervision, as they are known to cause harm during pregnancy.
By far the best remedy for such skin disorders is the TCA Peel. A favorite with dermatologists around the world, this form of medication is the safest, easiest and doesn't involve any side effects. The TCA Peels also work towards making the skin radiantly supple and thus younger-looking.
With the right treatment, acne aches will no longer pain you.
Drs. Christiaan Janssens
CRO Akwa Beauty & Wellness Brussels