What is acne?
Acne is a common chronic skin disorder affecting 85% of 16-18-year-olds are affected. Official 2015 health statistics showed 366 million people affected globally, making it the 8th most common disease worldwide.
Often considered a regular part of growing up, it’s crucial to recognise the adolescent’s developmental stage, which includes acute self-awareness of body image. In extreme cases of acne, depression or thoughts of suicide can occur. Even light acne can lead to feelings of anxiety and reduced self-esteem in both teens and adults. Acne treatments are more than superficial, they have the potential to safeguard the emotional well-being of our teens and other affected individuals.
Are There Different Types Of Acne?
Yes, there are several subtypes including infantile and childhood acne, pregnancy acne, adult acne, comedonal acne, follicular occlusion syndrome and the most common – acne vulgaris. Mostly confined to the face, the neck, chest, and back can also be affected.
What Does Acne Look and Feel Like?
It is characterised by:
- Open and closed non-inflamed blackheads and whiteheads
- Inflamed small red bumps (papules)
- Pus-filled lesions which may be white or yellow (pustules)
- Large red bumps (nodules)
- Firm lesions that contain fluid or partially fluid material (pseudocysts)
- Lesions are often painful.
- Post-inflammatory pigmentation
What are the causes of Acne?
Research points to a combination of the following factors:
- Familial tendency
- Acne bacteria – at puberty, the number of bacteria on the skin surface increases
- Immune Sensitivity – an elevated immune response to the condition
Are there Additional Causes Of Acne?
While not conclusive, research has also shown potential links to:
- Polycystic ovarian disease
- Drugs e.g. steroids, hormones, anticonvulsants, epidermal growth inhibitors
- Pore-blocking makeup, creams or sunscreens
- High environmental humidity
How Can I Be Certain I Have Acne?
To be entirely certain of your diagnosis, book in with one of Skin Centre’s qualified dermatologists. The team has decades of training and experience, consistently remaining up to date with current research and development, ensuring that you’ll receive premium care, education and treatment.
Our dermatologists will offer a diagnosis after a thorough physical examination. Unusual presentation may require further investigations.
How Can I Treat Or Manage My Acne?
Acne can be irritatingly persistent, but numerous options are available to relieve and reduce your severity, some eliminating the problem altogether. The prevalence of the disease justifies constant research, and as leaders in their field, Skin Centre makes it a priority to remain abreast of new developments.
What Are Some Common Treatments?
Mild – treatments can include:
Topical treatments like washes, solutions, lotions, gels, and creams – designed to reduce bacteria, unplug blocked pores, encourage new skin cell growth, reduce inflammation, and loosen dry, scaly skin for removal which will allow other topical solutions to work more efficiently.
Low-dose combined oral contraceptive to regulate hormone imbalances
Moderate – treated as for mild acne the following may be additionally prescribed:
Anti-androgen therapy could be considered for females, these are drugs which act on the way hormones (like testosterone) work in the body.
Isotretinoin – oral Vitamin A to decrease facial oil (sebum) production
Severe – treatment can include:
Higher doses of oral antibiotics and isotretinoin in suitable patients
Important – If ulcerated or extensive skin lesions are present or you are experiencing high body temperature, joint pain, or bone pain, it is imperative to be seen by a medical practitioner as soon as possible.