All You Need To Know about Acne!

Acne affects around 80% of people, and most of them are aged 14-30. 25% of these people experience it in their teen years, and many of them develop facial scars as a result. Acne often affects the face; however in some instances it can affect the chest, back and neck. Over time, acne can cause serious psychological damage, as well as social problems and occupational preferences. For this reason alone, it is important that you get control of your acne if it is affecting your day to day life. The sooner you start treatment, the sooner you can begin to live your life to the full again.

Many treatments however have shown limited success for most people, and they often involve long term courses of medication with side effects. At Krysta line & Laser Clinic however, we have many treatments available that have limited side effects.

What Causes Acne

Acne can be as little as one blackhead. It can also be severe and cystic, so there are many different forms. Overall, acne is a disorder which affects the skin’s sebaceous glands, and it has been known to be a genetic defect. The epidermis usually has a dead layer of skin, and it is constantly shedding keratinized cells.

These cells are so small that you don’t ever see them, in fact, they are microscopic in size.

The skin on the face is covered in sebaceous follicles. The walls of these follicles are lined with dead cells, the same ones that are on the face. Normally the body releases intercellular glue, and this glue carries the dead cells to the surface where they can be shed. People who are prone to acne however experience blockages, in which the glue sticks cells together, preventing them from reaching the surface while also causing blockages.

At this stage however, the blockage is only in the follicle and not the surface of the skin. In fact, the skin may appear completely clear. As the process continues however, the blockage gets worse and worse until eventually the bacteria builds up and excretes an acid product that can then lead to acne lesions.

Open Comedones (Blackheads)

In order for these dead cells and oils to escape, the follicle needs to force the opening to the skin wider, which then makes the skin appear with blackheads.

Papules/Nodules /Pustules/Cysts

If the opening to the blocked follicle is closed, then the blocked follicle will expand to accommodate the dead cells. This may then develop into a papule, or a cyst.

The hair follicle itself will then continue to expand until it appears as a round ball. Follicles can only stretch so far, so theoretically they are a time bomb waiting to explode. Causes of this condition include stress, lack of sleep and the menstrual cycle. These are just a few examples of how the condition can reoccur even after the follicle has healed.

When the follicle reaches maximum capacity, the contents of the follicle itself then leak out into the tissue and this causes really bad inflammation. Even after the infection has subsided, the lesion and scarring may still be present however this depends on the size of the follicle.

The most severe reaction is when the follicle ruptures inside the dermis. This destructs the collagen in the skin, and it can also lead to severe scarring and pitting.

So How Can your GP Help?

Antibiotics

Your GP can help in many ways. The first way would be to prescribe antibiotics. This can include anything from Clindamycin to Doxycycline and even Minocyline. These antibiotics are used to lower the bacterial content in the body, therefore reducing acne as a result. Antibiotics don’t work right away, and it could take weeks before you see a result. You will also find that when you stop taking the antibiotics, the infection will most likely return. Antibiotics also have undesirable side effects, ranging from diarrhea to sickness and even an upset stomach. You also run the risk of developing antibacterial resistance. It is advised that you take antibiotics until your acne is under control, before undergoing laser light therapy to help prevent further outbreaks.

Contraceptive Pill

Your GP may also recommend the contraceptive pill. The pill prescribed to control acne is usually a mixture of estrogen and progentin. These are often prescribed if you experience acne that is related to your hormones. The most commonly prescribed contraceptive for acne is Dianette, however the problem with contraceptive pills is that they can cause dark brown blotches on the skin.

Isotretinoin

To receive this treatment, you’ll need to be referred to a dermatologist. In most cases, you’ll be prescribed Roaccutane, and it should be noted that this is only prescribed in severe cases of acne. This drug works by lowering the amount of sebum in the sebaceous glands, and there are side effects such as cracking of the lips and drying of the skin. If you have cystic acne however, then this may be the only treatment option available to you.

Corticosteroid Injection

This treatment option involves delivering an injection to the skin. The injection works by reducing inflammation as well as helping the skin to heal quicker.

External Medication

Retinoids- This medication is derived from Vitamin A, and it is used mainly to unblock the pores inside the skin.

Antimicrobials- This medication creates an environment inside the skin where bacteria simply cannot survive. The main problem with this medication is that it can cause a stinging sensation to the skin, as well as cracking and peeling.

IPL Acne Clearance

Propionibacterium is the main cause of bacterial acne; however it can be destroyed via light application. The process is relatively simple. The hemoglobin absorbs the light, which then heats up the surrounding area. This in turn causes a minor reaction, slowing down the reaction of oil as well as helping to reduce pore size. IPL treatment also helps the body to produce new collagen, which means that you won’t have as many scars.

Blue light can also be used to destroy bacteria. Blue light however has very short wavelengths, so it doesn’t penetrate the skin as well as other methods.

Studies however do indicate that yellow light has one of the highest levels of skin penetration, so it is much more effective in targeting bacteria causing Acne. Here at Krysta line & Laser Clinic, we have optimum systems and light sources that are fully designed to kill all the bacteria quickly and efficiently.

FAQs about IPL Acne

Who Can Have The Treatment?
Who Can’t Have The Treatment?
What Processes Are Involved In The Treatment?
How Many Treatments Do I Need?
Are There Any Side Effects?

Who Can Have The Treatment?

The IPL procedure can be performed on men and women, as well as teenagers. It is not suitable however for those who have a very dark skin tone. The treatment is also not available to those who suffer from cystic acne.

Who Can’t Have The Treatment?

You can’t have the treatment if you have, or suffer from any of the following:

Pregnancy
Cancer
Fake Tan/ Sun Beds
Healing Deficiencies Caused By Diabetes Mellitus or Lupus
Keloid Scars
Pigment Disorders
Roacutane Use
Immune Disorders
Lymphatic Disorders

What Processes Are Involved In The Treatment?

Before you start the treatment, your skin will be massaged with Salicylic Acid. This will prepare your skin for the laser, and it will also help your skin to achieve the right level of PH without irritation.

An oxygen treatment is then applied. The oxy fusion cream is mixed with a Catalase Anhydro Gel, and this is used to exfoliate the skin.

The laser technician will then apply a cooling gel to the skin, before the IPL is performed.

After the treatment, the gel is removed and a menthol mask is rubbed onto the skin.

Antibacterial Peptide cream is then applied.

After the treatment is over, your skin will feel much clearer when the redness and inflammation has been reduced. There is no down time with this treatment, and you can resume your normal activities almost right away.

How Many Treatments Do I Need?

The laser treatment is normally done over a period of time, but it is more than possible to see results after your very first session. We always recommend that you have at least 6 treatments every 4 weeks, and you may be recommended various home care products to help speed up the process.

Are There Any Side Effects?

After you have had your treatment, you may find that your skin is red and tender. On very dark skin, you may experience hyper and hypo-pigmentation, and male clients have reported some hair removal that could be permanent.