Acne

Discover more about acne and how to fight it!

Causes of acne are multiple. Your trusty cellphone, for example, keeps you close to your friends, but also to your enemies as it’s a propagator of nasty bacteria and dirt. Learn more with us on what causes acne, and pick up quick tips and solutions to help keep it at bay for clear, radiant skin from within.

The state of your skin will reflect what you eat. Some foods are good for your skin, giving it the nutrients that it needs, making it look smooth, radiant and young. While some foods can cause you to have bad skin, leading to premature aging, tired looking skin or even break outs!

Let’s look at some of these foods that contribute to bad skin:

1. Caffeine – Caffeine is present in beverages like coffee, tea, hot chocolate and colas. It makes your skin look tired, dull and aged. Caffeine also reduces the moisture level of your skin. Our dermal layers need fluids to replenish cells and maintain healthy cell growth. Hence, you should try to cut down on caffinated beverages as much is you can to achieve a healthy, glowing skin.

2. Processed Foods – The consumption of processed foods does not just affect the appearance of your skin but is harmful to your body as a whole. Due to processing, foods lose most of their important nutrients and thus may not be able to provide our body with the vital nutrients it needs to function effectively. More importantly, preservatives, artificial food colors and other chemical additives, which are added during processing, may cause allergic reactions and other skin problems.

3. Oily and fatty foods – Foods that contain huge amounts of saturated fats, trans fats and hydrogenated oil are bad for the skin. When these bad fats are subjected to heat from cooking, it may release toxins or free radicals. Free radicals are one of the many causes of aging. Thus, consumption of foods packed with bad fats will increase the risks of skin break outs.

4. Alcohol – Alcohol is bad for your liver, which is like your filter system. By drinking alcohol, you will increase the chances of damaging your liver, and deprive your skin of receiving its necessary nutrients. Hence, regular consumption will result in tired looking skin. Not only that, alcohol dehydrates your skin, making it dry and irritated. It also dilates the capillaries, making fine blood vessels visible. This is why heavy drinkers tend to look red and if drinking is not controlled, the capillaries will remain dilated.


5. Salt – Salt causes tissues to swell, and the subsequent deflating results in reduced elasticity for your skin. This is why salt is known for causing water retention and you should avoid eating salty foods late at night to prevent getting your face all puffed up the following morning.

6. High Glycemic Index Foods – Foods that are high GI includes white rice, white bread, baked potato and most desserts. High GI foods are easily digested and readily converted into sugar or glucose. Such high levels of glucose in the blood can trigger several hormonal activities which may cause acne. Also, sugar molecules attach readily to collagen. This results in collagen depletion which will cause your skin to lose its elasticity eventually lead to premature aging.

After looking at what bad foods can do to your skin, you may want to start watching what you put into your mouth. You will feel healthier and see the positive changes in your skin!

What are the different types of acne?

There are four grades of acne. All the forms can be defined by eye but there are some symptoms to classify them:

1. Presence of non-inflamed acne
2. Presence of inflamed acne
3. Breakout activity
4. Proportions of inflammation
5. Parts of body covered by acne

You should know your grade of acne: it can facilitate acne treatment.

Knowing your acne type is going to help you choose efficacious cure for a disease. Some types of acne can be treated only by dermatologist but you can cure mild forms of pimples at home.

The First Grade of Acne.

The easiest and mildest form of acne.There can be some pimples, even blackheads or whiteheads, on the surface of the skin but they are non-inflamed and non-numerous.

All the people have this type of acne during puberty. Some pimples appear in the forehead and nose, chin, cheeks or near eyes.

This type of  pimples usually is cured at home and results of treatment are overwhelmingly successful by remedies containing a salicylic acid. If you avoid acne treatment in this stage 1st grade can quickly transform to 2nd and bring troubles.

The Second Grade of Acne

The second grade of acne is more severe form than first grade. There are going to be non-inflamed blackheads and whiteheads but surface of the skin is getting slightly inflamed. The frequency of pimples appearance and their breakout activity will be more obvious.

This type of acne start its way from nose or forehead to other parts of body: chest, shoulders, back (for men). Women can be affected in chin, cheeks especially in periods.

Acne of this grade also can be cured at home using medicines containing a salicylic acid or a benzoyl peroxide. Here two simple advice to avoid transforming second grade of acne to third (more severe):

a) Don’t squeeze or pick your pimples in this stage;

b) If pimples don’t disappear after several weeks of acne treatment you should visit a doctor.

The Third Grade of Acne.

The main and important difference between two types of acne (second and third) is amount of redness and inflammation of the skin. Pimples (papules, pustules and nodules) appear in large numbers, they are inflamed and red.

Usually all the parts of body are affected by this type of acne besides the face (shoulders, neck, chest, etc.) This grade is particularly dangerous because infection spreads deeper subcutaneously and  probability of acne scarring increases.

This stage of acne should be treated only by dermatologist. Left without treatment it can transform in the fourth, the most severe form of acne.

The Fourth Grade of Acne.

This form of acne is the most severe, painful and complex in the treatment. Sometimes it is called “cystic acne” but this title is not quite correct: apart from cysts the skin covered by pustules and nodules so in some cases is more correctly to name it “nodulocystic acne”. A lot of pustules, nodules and cysts appear and are going to be very painful. They are inflamed and breakouts are severe.

All the areas of body are affected and infection is very deep. The 4th grade of acne leaves acne scars nine times of ten.

The 4th grade of acne must be treated by the experienced dermatologist only.

{An example of severe acne. Abstracted from Google.}

For those who are ridiculed because of their unwanted hair, they can have them removed through permanent hair removal so that they do not have to pluck or shave anymore. Having yourself waxed or undergoing electrolysis are two painful ways to remove hair. Considering the alternatives, lasers make an excellent hair removal option. With waxing, hairs grow back in about a month. Electrolysis, while it might destroy hairs permanently, is tedious, time consuming, painful, and can result in scarring.

What is IPL?


IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. It is a technology aimed at producing light of high intensity during a very short period of time. It involves specific lamps together with capacitors whose rapid discharge provides the high energy required.

It is a method of hair removal from the body most commonly employed by medical practitioners and esthetician. It involves the use of a specially constructed xenon flash light and focusing optics.

Cheaper and faster than laser hair removal, the IPL removal procedure has become very popular. Although the precise effectiveness of IPL compared to laser epilation is debated by scientists, equipment manufacturers and practitioners, their results are generally accepted to be roughly equivalent. IPL can also be used as a skin treatment in a process known as photo-rejuvenation.

How does it work?

(Extracted from Dermnetnz)

IPL systems work on the same principles as lasers in that light energy is absorbed into particular target cells with colour (chromophores) in the skin. The light energy is converted to heat energy, which causes damage to the specific target area. IPL systems are different to lasers in that they deliver many wavelengths (or colours) in each pulse of light instead of just one wavelength. Most IPL systems use filters to refine the energy output for the treatment of certain areas. This enhances penetration without using excessive energy levels and enables targetting of specific chromophores (these are skin components that absorb light).

IPL therapy is considered a non-ablative resurfacing technique, which means that it targets the lower layers of skin (dermis) without affecting the top layers of skin (epidermis). The results are not as dramatic as ablative resurfacing where both the dermis and epidermis are injured to produce a much more noticeable overall outcome. The advantage of IPL therapy is its minimal downtime – a patient can often have the procedure done in their lunch break and return to work immediately afterwards.

Before & After

{Image extracted from Google}

Book an IPL appointment with us now!

Most of us are familiar with facial acne and its causes. However, acne is not just restricted to our face as it can also appear on the other areas of the body, more commonly on the back and sometimes arms.

Back acne, also known as bacne develops when there is an overproduction of sebum due to sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands found below the surface of the skin produces sebum through the pores of the skin. Hence, when excess sebum are produced, these pores become clogged which prevent the removal of dead skin cells. This eventually results in acne which can appear in the forms of blackheads, pimples, pustules or even cysts.

In comparison to facial acne, it is usually more challenging to treat acne on the back as the skin is much thicker. Also, with larger sebcaeous glands on the back, more sebum will be produced causing the back to be much oiler as well. This is also why the back tends to develop more severe lesions like nodues and cysts, which is hard to treat and likely to scar

Tips

SHOWER REGULARLY

Make sure to use a body wash which has anti-bacterial properties. Whenever possible, try to shower right after any excessive perspiration. This is because perspiration together with the sebum produced can cause further clogging of the skin pores which tends to aggravate the condition.

EXFOLIATE DAILY

With the skin on the back being much thicker than the skin on the face, it is naturally more difficult to get rid of dead skin cells on the back. Hence, regular exfoliation is necessary to promote the growth of new skin cells on the back.

KEEP YOUR FABRICS CLEAN AT ALL TIMES

Things like towels, pillowcases, bedsheets, clothes  and anything else which might come into contact with your back should be kept clean as bacteria present on these fabrics can cause back acne. Sometimes, back acne can be caused by external irritants like the wearing of  tight fitting clothing or the carrying of back pack. Hence, try to wear natural fabrics like cotton instead of nylon and avoid carrying your belongings in a backpack.

TEA TREE OIL

Tea tree oil contains a constituent called terpinen-4-ol which is responsible for killing bacteria and has been frequently  used topically to acne lesions. Frequent use can help destroy bacterial that causes back acne.

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is an effective natural bacteria-fighting agent that contains many vital minerals and trace elements that are vital for a healthy body. Find out how to prepare home remedies to treat back acne.

ALOE VERA GEL

Aloe Vera helps reduce the redness and swelling that comes with acne rather than destroy it. Best to apply after cleansing, it is able to soothe skin and heal scarring.

RETIN-A

Retin A is used topically to treat acne and requires a prescription by dermatologist. It is not suitable for women who are pregnant or if you are suffering from eczema.

LED LIGHT

Medical grade blue LED light has been proven effective in reducing acne by killing bacteria. Coupled with red LED light that can reduce inflammation, this combination is a documented therapy for the control of acne.

Having back acne can be frustrating. If you are facing severe back acne problems, do consult a professional Aesthetician for advice. In cases where the acne is caused by hormonal problems, you might have to seek treatments with a dermatologist.

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-Pauline Ng

Acne is a rather common skin problem faced by teenagers and adults alike. The humid climate we are living in does nothing but makes it worse. We will never have to worry about getting our hands on anti-acne products, all readily available – everywhere.  But the problem once again lies in finding one which really works for us. That’s why in this entry we’ll take a look at 20 medications proven to be effective in acne treatment.

1) Benzoyl Peroxide

An antibacterial agent, Benzoyl Peroxide allows oxygen to reach clogged pores and effectively cleanse your skin, ridding acne-causing organisms.

2) Salicylic Acid

Found in many acne products, Salicylic Acid is an ingredient that is naturally derived from fruits and plants. It is an exfoliant and able to remove dead skin cells, therefore promoting the growth of new skin cells. It can also penetrate clogged pores, keeping them clean and free from acne outbreaks.

3) Topical Retinoids

Topical Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A. It removes acne-causing bacteria and is usually used for treating comedonal acne like blackheads and whiteheads. In addition, it is able to minimize large pores and remove blemishes by exfoliating the skin and preventing clogging.

4) Retinols and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

It has been known that both Retinols and AHAs are able to reduce signs of ageing. Both act as exfoliants and help accelerate the growth of new skin cells. Similar to topical Retinoids, Retinol is also derived from Vitamin A. It helps to reduce wrinkles and increase collagen for skin elasticity. As for AHAs, it can be derived from everyday food like sugar, citrus fruits and milk.

5) Azelaic Acid

Used as an alternative to Retinoids and Benzoyl Peroxide, it is an anti-bacterial agent that can prevent the growth of acne-causing organisms. Commonly found in grain food like Barley, Wheat and Rye, Azelaic Acid is used to reduce swelling and inflammation without causing dryness to the skin.

6) Topical Antibiotics

Generally, Topical Antibiotics work faster and have minimal side effects. The two most commonly used are Clindamycin and Erythromycin. These antibiotics are either used alone or combined with Benzoyl Peroxide. As an anti-bacterial agent, it prevents the growth of acne, blackheads and whiteheads. Moreover, with its anti-inflammatory properties, it helps to reduce swelling from acne pustules.

7) Tetracycline

Propionibacterium acnes (P.acnes) is the bacteria responsible for acne growth. When Tetracycline is used, it is able to penetrate into the sebaceous glands to inhibit the action of P. acnes. Its anti-inflammatory properties allow it to reduce and remove pustules papules. The three types of Tetracyclines include Plain or Generic, Minocycline and Doxycycline, with Minocycline being the most effective in the treatment of acne rosacea. It is advised that pregnant women should avoid any kinds of Tetracycline treatment.

8) Doxycycline

A type of Tetracycline, Doxycycline is used to prevent the growth of P. acnes. It inhibits the protein production which is essential for the survival of P. acnes. Doxycycline also aids in treating acne by controlling the inflammatory reactions that take place around the infected areas. By using Doxycycline, it helps remove blemishes and keep the skin free from bacteria. Other uses include the treatment of malaria, cholera and pneumonia.

9) Minocycline

Minocycline is an antibiotic which cures severe acne problems. Its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties enable it to inhibit the growth of acne and reduce any redness and swelling. Besides treating acne, Minocycline is also widely used in treating respiratory infections, urethritis and swollen joints.

10) Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills help to control the hormones in our body. Since the cause of acne is due to our hormones, Birth control pills will work for the treatment of acne. It is able to help to inhibit sebum production, thereby preventing any stimulation of oil glands which eventually cause acne. By regulating the production of the hormones, Birth control pills are able to help reduce acne breakouts.

11) Isotretinoin

Also known as Accutane, Isotretinoin is used to treat severe acne which has become resistant to topical or oral antibiotics. It effectively decreases sebum production in the oil glands which is a food source for acne-causing bacteria. Besides that, it also helps to remove dead epidermal cells and free up clogged pores.

12) Photodynamic

When the sebaceous glands start to produce more and more sebum, the sebum tends to accumulate and clog up the pores. This will then allow P. acnes, the acne-causing bacteria, to thrive. Photodynamic therapy makes use of a light source and a chemical solution to remove the acne. The blue light used in photodynamic therapy helps to activate porphyrins(a byproduct of P. acnes), which will then destroy these P. acnes.

13) Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion is widely used for scar removals. It is a non-invasive surgical procedure which helps to remove the outer layer of your skin. By doing so, it helps to speed up the growth of new and healthier skin. Dermabrasion can also be used to remove wrinkles and moles.

14) Sulfur

The keratolytic properties of Sulfur help in the removal of dead skin cells which prevents any pore blockage. When used, it can also help to curb oily skin as well. Its comedolytic properties help to get rid of blackheads and whiteheads. Moreover, Sulfur is also used in the treatment of dermatitis and bacterial infections.

15) Chemical Peels

Initially used for anti-ageing and exfoliation purposes, chemical peels are now gradually used in treating acne. This procedure is usually carried out by doctors and aestheticians and is especially effective in the removal of blackheads and whiteheads. The acid mask used helps to exfoliate and promote the growth of new skin cells. Moreover, it can also be used to slow down the development of wrinkles and even out any skin discoloration.

16) Anti- Androgens

Androgens are hormones that are responsible for causing acne. This is because it stimulates the sebaceous glands which eventually produce a large amount of sebum. Therefore, the consumption of anti-androgen drugs is necessary to inhibit the action of androgens on these oil glands.

17) Hormonal Therapy

When androgens come into contact with oil-producing glands, a large amount of sebum will be produced. This makes your skin prone to having acne. Thus the main purpose of anti-androgens drugs is to reduce the number of free androgens inside the body.  Hormonal therapy can be in many forms and this includes oral contraceptives.

18) Chinese Herbs

In Chinese medicine, the most basic principle is to strike a balance between the Yin and the Yang. As such, the main objective here is to achieve homeostasis. This is essentially the recovery of your body back to its original state. Compared to oral antibiotics, Chinese medicine requires a longer treatment period. For people who dislike the consumption of any synthetic chemicals or find the drugs too expensive, they can opt for the use of Chinese medicine.

19) Ayurveda

It is believed that energy is required for all human activity. The three types of energy include Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Based on this principle, it is said that acne results because of the imbalances of these energies in the body. Thus only when an equilibrium is reached, will you be healthy and be rid of any acne problems. Usually, imbalances are caused by bad dietary choices and lifestyle. So to prevent any acne outbreaks, make sure to live a healthy lifestyle and have a healthy diet!

20) Homoeopathy

Homoeopathy works on the basis that if a substance is able to cause a person to fall ill, that same substance can also serve as a treatment for the other person. There are 6 different types of homoeopathic remedies for the treatment of acne.

21)    Antimonium Tartaricum

This is usually recommended for individuals who have painful and large pustules.

22)    Calcarea Carbonica

As it improves the skin’s resistance to diseases, this is recommended for those who have frequent acne breakouts.

23)    Hepar Sulphuris Calcareum

Normally, this treatment will be used when boils are present. Also, it helps to hasten the healing process of your skin.

24)    Pulsatilla

This is especially useful for teens who face acne problems during puberty as well as women who suffer breakouts during their menstrual period.

25)    Silicea

For chronic acne problems, this will be an effective remedy for you.

 

With a better understanding of how each medicine works, you are now able to fight off acne more effectively. Be sure to choose a product that works for your skin!

 


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