There is nothing more frustrating than getting up in the morning, looking in the mirror… and there it is… A pimple!!!!

To make it worse it seems to happen when you least need it , right before an important event or when we have a new date..

But what is acne?

It is not that you don’t cleanse your skin enough or that you are doing something wrong…

Acne is a common skin condition, characterized by different types of skin lesions commonly known as pimples, comedones ( blackheads, whiteheads), cysts, pustules etc.

 It is caused by the influence of several factors such as genetics, over production of sebum (skin’s natural oil), hormonal influences and slow exfoliation among others and can also  be induced by certain medications or cosmetics.  It appears frequently in teenagers because the sebaceous (oil) glands are very active during puberty; but is also very common among adults due to hormonal changes that can be caused by pregnancy, birth control pills, medications, health conditions, menopause etc. It normally affects areas of the face, chest, and the back.

Within the 4 grades of acne, it can be classified as: mild, moderate and severe. 

Even though acne is not considered a life threating condition, it makes it to the top as one of the most frequent skin disorders treated by dermatologists because it can have strong psychological effects and affect the person’s social life.

EXAMPLES OF ACNE GRADES:

Acne grades 1 to 4

 

 

Typical Adult Acne

Regularly presents lesions around the jawline

ACNE HAS NO KNOWN CURE BUT IT CAN BE CONTROLLED.

 In order to see improvement, it is necessary to target all different factors involved in the formation of acne. Therefore; a comprehensive program is the best approach to see more effective results. Indvidual products can only target some of the factors producing poor results.That is why most people get frustrated trying different products with no success or see some results initially but then, the product seems to stop working. 

TIP: Even when the acne is under control, a maintenance regimen should be used to halter future flare ups because the condition is still existent. 

When no inflammatory lesions are present, acne facials and a good skincare regimen can do the trick. However, when the acne is more severe, the addition of prescription medications may be necessary because bacteria colonizes deep into the follicle making it very difficult for topical skincare ingredients to reach. Bacteria multiplies quickly and spreads with ease in the right environment, so a personalized evaluation with a professional is recommended in this case to determine if medication is needed as well as the course of treatment required to improve the condition.

SKIN TREATMENTS THAT BENEFIT ACNE:

  • Microdermabrasion (Suitable only for Non- inflammatory acne) Also effective once the acne is under control, to treat residual pigment (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) left by the previous lesions.
  •  Chemical Peels ( Salicylic acid, Azelaic acid, Jessner Peel, Mandelic acid etc.)
  • Red and Blue Light Therapy (Red works very well to reduce inflammation and blue to reduce bacteria)
  • IPL Intense Pulse Light 
  • Clinical Acne Facials with advanced extraction techniques (Extractions must be performed only by a professional trained in this skin condition under extreme sanitation to prevent infection and scarring)

AN INTENSIVE AND EFFECTIVE  ACNE PROGRAM COMBINES: 

  • Facial Acne treatments
  • Prescription medications in severe cases ( if necessary to reduce bacterial growth in inflammatory acne) 
  • Adequate Skincare regimen with acne fighting ingredients, selected according to acne grade. Some of the most used ingredients are: Acid exfoliants like: salicylic, azelaic, mandelic and glycolic. Anti bacterials: benzoyl peroxide, sulfur and topical antibiotics among others to help control blemishes and minimize the gorwth of bacteria. Retinoids: retinoic acid, retinol or equivalent to accelerate cell turn over and prevent pore clogging.

AN EXAMPLE OF A TYPICAL ACNE REGIMEN GOES LIKE THIS: 

(This is just an example, each case is different and may require different treatment)

AM

  1. Gentle cleanser
  2. Exfoliating toner or pads
  3. Anti bacterial gel or cream on affected areas
  4. Hydrating moisuturizer ( If needed. It is best to use oil-free products or light textures like gels, lotions or cream gels )
  5. Sunscreen 

A good option is to find a light textured suncreen that can also hydrate the skin that way you can simplify your regimen to 4 steps in the morning.

PM

  1. Gentle cleanser
  2. Retinoid or  Adalpalene or Equivalent ( Examples: retinoic acid Retin A(prescription), retinol, Tazorac, Differin etc.

To minimize the drying effect of retinoids, you can apply a moisturizer over it, 20 minutes after the application of the retinoid. 

IMPORTANT TIP: 

Most skincare ingredients used to treat acne make the skin more sensitive to the sun. It is crucial to use sunscreen daily to prevent a sunburn. 

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If you are more inclined to natural remedies. I will soon write an article about how to treat acne from a holistic approach.

 

As always..

I thank you very much for being here,

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Founder of Zkin Fix Skincare

Medical Aesthetician

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