Acne & Acne Scarring
The condition
The Symptoms
The causes
The treatment

Ocean Cosmetics understand how distressing it can be to suffer from acne, especially as an adult.

Acne is a highly prevalent medical condition (most commonly “acne vulgaris”) of the skin, most common in adolescents, although can occur at any age. It is suggested that up to 50% of adults experience acne at some point, with much higher rates in adolescence and young adulthood.

Acne results from the oil glands at the base of hair follicles (called sebaceous glands) being stimulated by hormones triggered during the onset of puberty. The follicles become blocked with oil (“sebum”), dead skin cells, trapped hair and normal skin bacteria – resulting in acne. The severity of acne can vary widely, from mild cases to severe, painful nodules and cysts, which often results in scarring.

There are a number of more severe forms of acne that may develop, which we can further explain. These include cystic acne (usually caused by opening pimples to bacterial infection, causing deeper damage), and inflammatory acne conditions.

We are experienced at successfully treating acne, so don’t hesitate, call us today and let us help you.

 

Blackheads, whiteheads, papules (lumps under the skin) and pustules (pimples) are all acne symptoms. As bacteria invade the follicle from the surface of the skin, the immune system swings into action to fight the infection, causing inflammation, which manifests as redness, swelling and pain.

There are a number of factors that may be involved in the development in acne in some people, but there are no hard and fast rules. There are a number of “triggers” associated with the onset of acne, including certain medications, some diseases (e.g. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), stress, smoking, the use of skin products (e.g. moisturiser, sunscreen, make-up) and the hormonal changes associated with menstruation in women.

Other factors such as genetics (making some people more likely to develop acne if there is a family history) and friction against the skin (e.g. wearing a helmet or tight clothing, or scrubbing and squeezing pimples) can cause and sometimes even worsen existing acne.

It was long believed that diet had a significant role in the development of acne, but this has mostly been disproven. There is conflicting advice and evidence regarding the role of high-fat and high-sugar foods. However, recent reviews of all available research supports diets high in protein and low in refined carbohydrates and processed foods to reduce the risk of developing and worsening acne.

 

It is important to remember that acne and resulting physical scarring is no less important or distressing than any other chronic condition. Quality of life studies have demonstrated a range of social, psychological and emotional problems in people with acne, similar to those seen in people with asthma, arthritis and diabetes! Even mild acne complaints can have an impact of self-esteem and mental health, and should be taken seriously.

Treatment should aim to reduce oil production, inflammation and infection, of course, but also consider the prevention of further skin damage and scarring later on. The type, severity and persistence of the acne will also determine the type and duration of treatment suggested.

Treatment is divided into four categories:

(a) General recommendations: adherence to basic skin cleansing routines and avoiding known triggers (e.g. smoking, certain foods, squeezing pimples, face scrubs).

(b) Non-prescription treatments: a number of lotions and creams which have anti-inflammatory properties eg nicinamide B3, retinoid and BHA/AHA are available at Ocean Cosmetics, which rely on regular application to a large area of skin. Please book a consult to see our doctor or dermal therapist to guide you what is appropriate for your skin.

(c) Prescription treatments: a number of treatments, both oral (i.e. taken by mouth) and topical (i.e. creams and lotions) have been developed, including antibiotics and hormones. These can only be prescribed by a medical professional, who will monitor the overall effects. Some severe cases will need to see dermatologist for roaccutane.

(d) Other: alternative treatments available at Ocean Cosmetics include common cosmetic procedures such as Chemical peels, LED light, microdermabrasion, Clear & Brilliant or Fraxel Laser and Dermapen micro-needling. These modalities address all acne issues including breakouts and scarring. In addition, it helps to improve your overall skin condition.

 

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