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  • A person is likely to develop Acne than any other skin issue in their lifetime.
  • Acne is not infectious.
  • It is not scientifically proven that certain foods aggravate Acne, but if you feel that certain foods make your Acne worse (oily foods, chocolate or other types of food), it’s better to exercise caution.
  • Acne causes psychological stress and can lead to severe stress at times, which can often be debilitating. Specific questionnaires have been created for this purpose alone, since the psychological aspect of Acne is often severe and misunderstood.
  • ‘Blackheads’ are not dirt, but actually melanin (skin pigment) that has been oxidized by the oxygen in the air, leading to these brown to black bumps. At this stage there is no inflammation. Do not ‘pick ‘ or ‘squeeze’ these bumps, since this will worsen the problem.
  • Acne is not curable, but usually follows a natural pattern of remission and with proper treatment and skin care, the frequency, severity and degree of scarring can be minimized.

  • Acne is a problem of the teens, but there is also a type of acne that is known as ‘Infantile Acne’ and can be seen in infants. Another type of Acne is known as’ Adult Acne’, it can be very difficult to manage and usually has an underlying cause. There might be a strong genetic component to Adult Acne, or Acne that progresses beyond the teen years. Consult with your dermatologist for evaluation.
  • The oil secreted by the oil glands of the skin has a very important function. Oil helps in maintaining the moisture balance of your skin, prevents fungal and bacterial infections and plays a crucial role in keeping your skin supple. Therefore, do not over wash your skin since these essential oils will be stripped and cause further problems like excessive drying of the skin. Cleanse, tone and balance your skin using special formulations that will help reduce Acne. These days pure natural botanical preparations are available, and although not a lot of research has been done in this area, it has been known for centuries that certain naturally occurring compounds like Tea Tree, Acai Berry Extract, Turmeric, Green Tea and Fever Few to name a few, have all shown benefit. Much more research and studies need to be conducted to see the efficacy of these compounds in the long term management of Acne.
  • How does Acne begin? It is complex. Increased oil production + increased proliferation of the oil gland ductal cells + increased numbers of Acne Bacteria (mainly P. Acnes) + Inflammation = Acne Lesions.
  • Natural light plays a positive role in clearing up Acne. Although using artificial sources of UV radiation have not shown significant improvement.
  • Acne does not have a specific presentation but rather presents itself at various stages of evolution of varying severity. It can range from mild non-inflamed bumps (blackheads or whiteheads- comedones) to more serious inflamed moderate to severe deeper nodules that can form cysts and eventually leave scars that are very difficult to treat.
  • Please do not ignore it, and seek medical help, since the end result of Acne is scarring, which causes deformity, social anxiety, and distress.
  • Do not over-wash or over-cleanse your skin, this will dry your skin and may even worsen the acne due to chemicals in the cleansers that will act as irritants. Be careful about what cosmetics you apply to your skin, since this may lead to ‘Cosmetic Acne’. Only use natural based products that contain minimal additives or products that are labeled ‘non-comedogenic’.
  • High humidity, stress, sweating, menstrual cycles, certain clothing, certain medications, cosmetics and hormonal imbalance can all effect Acne.
  • New studies indicate that there might be hope for those people who cannot tolerate conventional medications. Studies indicate that Lasers, Intense Pulsed Light, and Blue-Red (LED) Light may prove helpful in managing Acne.
  • Some want a more natural option rather than conventional treatment modalities. They can consult with a certified Naturopath or Homeopathic Doctor and take a more holistic path towards managing their Acne.
  • Try using a multi-prong approach and be open minded, work together with your physician and holistic practitioner to achieve maximum benefit.
  • Some studies indicate that non-invasive safer treatments like Blue-Red Light ( LED ) devices can help mild-moderate Acne lesions. This is promising for those people who are intolerant to traditional topical or oral medications. Discuss this with an esthetician who is an LED expert, they might be able to help you.
  • Acne is a self-limiting problem, but one must treat it before it becomes severe and results in permanent scars.
  • Adult Acne is a more chronic problem, and you should always consult a skin care professional to treat any underlying issue.
  • The good news is that more studies are constantly being conducted and newer, safer and more natural based treatments will soon emerge that will help you manage Acne effectively and safely.
  • See what treatments work for you and stick to them. Never forget to follow a good skin care routine at home, since with Acne, constant management is required.
  • Please do not attempt to self-treat, and consult your skin care professional, a certified esthetician, and a dermatologist for proper guidance and treatment options. Acne responds well to regular proper early management.

References

  • Clinical Applications of IPL , Dr.Ansul N K , MSc (Dermatology), Anti-Aging (Paris) 2003
  • Treatment of Skin Disease , 1st Edition
  • Rook & Ebling, 3rd Edition
  • Original Layout, Concept, Illustration and Design, CutiConscious

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