Are you constantly haunted by spots, pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and all different types of acne on your face? Today we will take a deeper look into what are they, which are their causes and how to deal with them.
What is acne?
Acne is a long term skin condition that manifests when dead skin cells and oil from the skin clog up the hair follicles. The region’s acne generally affects are the face, chest, and back which occurs because the skin on those faces has a high number of oil glands.
A brief history of acne
Acne, contrary to popular belief, is not a newly formed nuisance. They have actually been around for thousands of years and have plagued people around the world. During the excavation of ancient Egypt, archeologists have dug up historical records that lead us to believe that even Pharaohs had an acne problem. This persists throughout the years, from Cleopatra all the way to today people have battled this condition. However, the real revolution in understanding how acne works happened in the mid-twentieth century and it’s the one that we use to this day.
The sequence of events that explain the formation of acne is the following
- Blockage of the skin follicle by dead skin cells
- Bacterial invasion of the pore of the hair follicle
- Changes in sebum production
- Lastly, inflammation
The cause of acne
The scientific consensus on what causes acne is very clear. 80 percent of acne cases are actually caused by genetics. Research shows that hormones called androgens are the key part of the cause by inducing increased production of sebum, in both sexes.
Most cases of acne, report that the inflammation begins around the same time that the individual hits puberty. During puberty, the aforementioned androgens cause follicles of the skin to expand and produce larger quantities of oily sebum.
The androgen hormones testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) are all causes of acne. Individuals who have complete androgen insensitivity syndrome do not develop the skin condition, thus showing us that androgens are the key.
High amounts of stress can also be the cause behind the severity of the acne outbreak, however not the primary factor of its creation.
There is zero evidence to support the claim that certain foods are directly responsible for the creation of Acne. However, there is very solid evidence that suggests that certain foods have an effect on the severity of the outbreak of acne.
- Low sugar diet (lower glycemic load diet) have been proven as effective in reducing acne by multiple random and nonrandomized trials
- While there is no concrete evidence, Milk contains the whey protein and hormones such as IGF as well as precursors of dihydrotestosterone.
- Eating greasy foods does not increase the acne nor does it cause it
- Vitamin B12 may trigger similar skin conditions to acne if daily intake exceeds the recommended dosage
How to deal with acne?
While not all dermatologists agree and subscribe to the benefits of each technique, one thing they agree on the fact that there isn’t one universal solution. Every patient responds to treatments differently, therefore it’s imperative that every patient is examined individually and carefully.
There are four grades for acne from 1- Mild all the way to 4- Severe. Once your dermatologist has examined your skin, they will assist in choosing the right method for you, topical or oral.
- Topical treatments focus on killing the acne-causing bacteria and/or decreasing the oil of the skin
- Oral acne treatments work internally, usually prescribed if the patient has acne cysts and nodules.
Most well-known treatments for acne
- Salicylic acid is the most common treatment from mild to moderate acne. Most commonly used by preteens as it can be found available in most drugstores. Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid that dissolves excess oil and exfoliates away the dead skin cells
- Benzoyl peroxide is another common remedy for cleansing the bacteria that causes breakouts. Benzoyl peroxide is also quite dangerous with side-effects such as drying the skin out and being strong enough to even bleach your clothing. We do not recommend using it however if you choose to use it regardless, make sure that the formula doesn’t contain more than 2 percent benzoyl peroxide. While it does nothing to combat the bacteria, it’s considerably harder on your skin.
- Sulfur. This is “a tale as old as time” between sulfur and acne. Sulfur based remedies for acne date as far back as the days of ancient Egypt. While it might smell like rotten eggs, sulfur is extremely effective in drying up pimples and whiteheads. It sucks up the oil from the skin, not allowing it to build up. However, the smell is a deterrent for most people.
There are over 100s of remedies that could help with any of the events we mentioned earlier that help in the creation of acne. Basically, anything that decreases the oil levels, clears dead skin cells and combats bacteria is nowadays marketed as a cure for acne.
Our recommended cure
RF micro-needling technique
RF micro-needling technique uses microneedles to deliver energy into the deep into the dermis in order to raise collagen levels in the skin. For a long time, this technique has been used in clearing up wrinkles, scars, and rejuvenation of the skin, however, research in the Journal of Dermatology of May 2014 shows that it can also be useful in combating acne. The research conducted trials for 12 weeks on 25 patients and the conclusion was that radiofrequency micro-needling is a safe and effective treatment for acne vulgaris
If you wish to learn more about acne and the state of your skin, please feel free to visit our advanced medical center in Abu Dhabi. We offer free skin analysis and our dermatologists will assist you in choosing the best possible method for dealing with acne and other skin conditions.