Acne – An Equal Opportunity Skin Problem

Most of us have gone through the agony of acne. Never-ending pimples on our face, back, chest or shoulders usually while we were teenagers. Some people never seem to « outgrow » their skin problems and it can affect people well into their 20’s, 30’s and beyond. Acne is a chronic skin disease that can affect everyone, no matter their age, race or skin type. Almost 90 percent of young people between 13 and 25 years old have acne. Answers to acne may be found through professional cosmetic care.

Besides your skin type, gender also plays an important role in whether or not you will have acne. Excessive activity of sebaceous glands is, in many young girls, brought on by an increased influence of male hormones – androgens. Treatment therefore consists of the usage of so-called antiandrogens that block this excessive hormonal production and consquently the production of sebum.

Today, it is quite common for acne to occur in middle-aged women with mature skin. This type of acne is called acne cosmetica and it is caused by “excessive skin care.” This means the skin is constantly being oversupplied with too many different cosmetic products. They are often changed and usually chosen and applied unsuitably, although they are bought in the most luxurious perfumeries.

Acne usually develops on the face which sometimes causes psychological problems, especially in teenagers. Youth can sometimes be cruel, especially considering their still immature interpersonal relationship skills. Teasing can sometimes even lead to psychiatric treatment. Luckily, esthetic medicine, especially dermatology, can offer a solution to severe acne problems. Thanks to private medical centers and clinics that specialize in laser and esthetic dermatology and have invested heavily in their clinic’s equipment, it is possible to successfully fight acne.

On the other hand, it is important to mention that in spite of the newest techniques in the form of special lamps and lasers it is impossible to treat this problem either overnight or even within a week. The client must be cooperative and patient because the treatment can last for months. At the beginning, many young people underestimate their acne symptoms because they believe it is only a cosmetic problem which disappears together with puberty. It is necessary to realize that acne is a skin disease. A specialist’s help should be sought early on, not only when the disease is already intense and the state of the skin neglected.

What causes acne?

Acne is caused by the increased creation of sebaceous glands, increased formation of keratin and bacteria that settles in sebaceous glands, where it has optimum conditions to reproduce.

The increased formation of keratin, which forms in the entrance of hair follicles, closes the opening of the associated sebaceous gland and blocks the release of the sebum. Sebum produces here on the skin’s surface and forms a so-called comedo. The bacteria are then multiplied inside the glands, which causes the inflammatory process. It leads to the creation of infected pimples, and eventually nodules and abscesses.

Do not squeeze your pimples!

Patients that do not obey their surgeon’s advice, those who are already neurotic from their disease or those who have not yet visited a surgeon, often “treat” their acne with home remedies. They often tend to “empty the pimples” immediately. This behavior causes very severe complications on the skin in the form of pigmentations, red spots and last but not least also smaller or bigger scars.

The scars formed after squeezing pimples always present a big problem. It is not possible to completely remove them (like after injury or surgical procedure) even with the most effective lasers. The state of the scar and skin is just corrected and improved. Although a visible improvement occurs after a specialized procedure, which is quite expensive, the best solution is to avoid scarring your skin. This can be done by treating acne systematically and individually from the beginning.

What type of acne treatment is effective?

It isn’t possible to describe the process of the best treatment. The best and most effective treatment is the one that is individually designed for each patient. The surgeon’s first step is to persuade the patient about the suitability of the treatment and to communicate well with them. In addition, the client has to be patient and should not have unrealistic expectations about the treatment.

At first, the surgeon will arrange for the patient an individual treatment plan that in general consists of chemical peels. The goal is to counteract the keratin formation that blocks the openings of sebaceous glands, and works anti-bacterially at the same time. Phototherapy is also used in the treatment – the affected skin is treated with a biostimulation laser or Omnilux device. This unique device produces a special pure light in the spectrum of visible red light with a wavelength of 633nm. The light does not contain UVA and UVB rays.

This light is perfectly absorbed by the bacteria (which are called Propionibacterium acnes) that cause the inflammatory reaction and acne. The bacteria contain a substance, Coproporphyrin, which reacts very intensely to light with a wavelength of 420 to 633nm. It stimulates a bactericidal effect that destroys the bacteria in the sebaceous gland. Special products are applied before the light therapy to ensure the light’s maximum effect. These are so-called photo-sensibilizers that support the intensity of the whole treatment.

Treatment with the Omnilux device has other positive effects, including killing Propionibacterium acnes. The whole healing process is improved and it stimulates the regenerative process of tissues. It causes pH changes in the intercellular cavity and also the stimulation of immunoregulatory processes. Thanks to the effects of Omnilux, the results that occur during the treatment continue even after it has ended. This device is therefore used not just for acne treatment but also for photo rejuvenation procedures.

An individual treatment plan also contains the application of a special cleansing and calming gel laser mask and a treatment with a powerful diode laser or dye laser, which reduces the formation of inflammatory processes with the high energy of its beam. It also removes red spots on the skin and generally lifts the skin because of its effect on collagen and elastin fibers. The process is usually finished with a vacuum microdermabrasion that mainly removes ugly remains left over from already healed acne, it is similar to an erbium laser or CO2 laser that radically solve small post-acne scars in undisciplined patients.

All of these medical approaches are combined and complemented with suitable cosmetic care recommended by the surgeon and the use of drugs, especially antibiotics, vitamins and so on. It is important to attend all periodical visits with a specialized cosmetician, regularly cleanse the skin and use the right cosmetic products.

An experienced surgeon should talk always frankly with the patient; he/she should explain to the patient the whole situation according to their diagnosis and to promise an improvement only to the extent that is possible within the given medical procedure. Unrealistic patient expectations caused by a misunderstanding of the possible results can lead to even greater frustration than from the disease itself. This is especially true of young patients who greatly trust in the treatment. They sometimes think the results will be like a model in a fashion magazine after only 14 days of intensive treatment at a clinic.