If you have a bad case of acne, you may feel that you are the only one. But many people have acne. It is the most common skin problem in Australia. Many people have acne at any one time. Most people who have acne are teenagers or young adults, but acne can occur at any age. Newborn babies can get acne. Men and women get acne. Some women get acne when they reach middle age.
What you see and feel depends on the severity of acne you have. You may have just a few of the signs and symptoms listed below, or you may have many.
Who gets acne?
What causes acne?
Acne appears when a pore in our skin clogs. This clog begins with dead skin cells. Normally, dead skin cells rise to surface of the pore, and the body sheds the cells. When the body starts to make lots of sebum (see-bum), oil that keeps our skin from drying out, the dead skin cells can stick together inside the pore. Instead of rising to the surface, the cells become trapped inside the pore. Sometimes bacteria that live on our skin, p. acnes, also get inside the clogged pore. Inside the pore, the bacteria have a perfect environment for multiplying very quickly. With loads of bacteria inside, the pore becomes inflamed (red and swollen). If the inflammation goes deep into the skin, an acne cyst or nodule appears.
Why treat acne?
Myths about acne are as common as the skin problem. Dermatologists know that letting acne runs its course is not always the best advice. Here’s why:
- Without treatment, dark spots and permanent scars can appear on the skin as acne clears
- Treating acne often boosts a person’s self-esteem
- Many effective treatments are available
How can you reduce acne?
You can reduce your acne by following these skin care tips from dermatologists:
- Wash twice a day and after sweating. Perspiration, especially when wearing a hat or helmet, can make acne worse, so wash your skin as soon as possible after sweating.
- Use your fingertips to apply a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser. Using a washcloth, mesh sponge or anything else can irritate the skin.
- Be gentle with your skin. Use gentle products, such as those that are alcohol-free. Do not use products that irritate your skin, which may include astringents, toners and exfoliants. Dry, red skin makes acne appear worse.
- Scrubbing your skin can make acne worse. Avoid the temptation to scrub your skin.
- Rinse with lukewarm water.
- Shampoo regularly. If you have oily hair, shampoo daily.
- Let your skin heal naturally. If you pick, pop or squeeze your acne, your skin will take longer to clear and you increase the risk of getting acne scars.
- Keep your hands off your face. Touching your skin throughout the day can cause flare-ups.
- Stay out of the sun and tanning beds. Tanning damages your skin. In addition, some acne medications make the skin very sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light, which you get from both the sun and indoor tanning devices. Not to mention, the use of tanning beds increases your risk for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 75 percent!
Consult a dermatologist if:
- Your acne makes you shy or embarrassed
- The products you’ve tried have not worked
- Your acne is leaving scars or darkening your skin
Microdermabrasion, Chemical Peels and Laser Treatments for Acne
Evincy Skin Clinic offers a range of solutions to combat persistent acne with proven medical options, including laser acne treatments. Our staff consists of a team of fully trained medical professionals who have had many years’ experience in improving the appearance of acne-affected skin. We provide professional, medical-grade laser treatment for acne that is effective and affordable, in addition to microdermabrasion and chemical peels.
Acne can affect all skin types and all ages, and may be caused by a combination of genetics, hormone changes, and health and environmental factors.
Acne can form when:
- Androgen (male) hormones stimulate excess sebum (or oil) production
- Excess oil, dry skin and debris combine and become trapped in the pore
Acne bacteria lives naturally on healthy skin but proliferates when pores become blocked. The damage caused by this bacteria, and the associated inflammation, can make the tissues more susceptible to other bacteria (such as staphylococcus aureus).
Acne can be categorised into different grades:
- Grade 1: Mild blackheads and papules
- Grade 2: Moderate blackheads, pustules and papules
- Grade 3: Moderate to severe inflammation, blackheads, pustules and papules
- Grade 4: Severe inflammation, blackheads, pustules and papules
Blackheads: A blackhead, or open comedo, is a wide opening on the skin with a blackened mass of skin debris covering the opening. This is a widened hair follicle, filled with skin debris (keratin squamae), bacteria and oil (sebum), giving it the blackhead appearance. It is black because it has been exposed to air and has oxidised.
Whiteheads: Whiteheads, also known as closed comedones, are follicles that are filled with the same material, but have only a microscopic opening to the skin surface. Since the air cannot reach the follicle, the material is not oxidised, and remains white.
Papules: Papules are small, solid rounded bumps rising from the skin, each usually less than one centimetre in diameter and not filled with pus (although they can go on to fill with pus later on and become a pustule). They can be quite sore and tender, as they are blocked deep within the surface of the skin.
Pustules: A small inflamed elevation of the skin that was once a papule. They are hard, inflamed and full of pus.
Cysts: This type of acne forms deeper in the skin and will present itself on the surface as a big, red pus-filled bump or cyst. The risk of acne scarring is at its highest from cystic acne. They must be handled with extreme care, and touching them should be avoided.
Acne is not affected by fatty or sugary diets, and is a medical condition that can be successfully treated. Acne can appear anywhere on the body, with the most common areas being the face, chest, back, and upper arms. Fortunately, our treatments can minimise acne in these areas
Acne Treatment Solutions
Evincy provides a multi-treatment programme to address and prevent all stages of acne formation, providing long lasting and targeted results. All treatments, including our laser acne treatment, are performed by medically trained skin clinicians or registered nurses.
Microdermabrasion is an effective method which assists in the removal of dead and dry skin cells from the surface of the skin, reducing pore blockage that leads to acne. It is especially effective for the removal of blackheads. Microdermabrasion can also help with the penetration and absorption of active acne skin care products.
For a more in-depth acne treatment, chemical peels exfoliate and refine the skin by using active ingredients such as alpha-hydroxy acids (fruit acids), beta-hydroxy acids and enzymes to penetrate deeper into the skin surface. Beta-hydroxy acid peels, also known as salicylic acid peels, are a good option for those with acne, as they target oil and help reduce inflammation associated with acne. For more information on chemical peels.
Skin needling is a regenerating treatment that works by stimulating the production and distribution of collagen. This is achieved by using multiple needles in various sizes to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin, triggering the body’s natural wound healing response. The result is an overall improvement in the appearance of skin, with wrinkles and lines smoothed, acne reduced, and scarring minimised.
Discover the amazing results that skin needling can achieve for acne in the below case study.
Skin Needling Case Study
Sue came to our Oakleigh clinic after her skin began to break out. She wanted a treatment that would help to give her clearer and more youthful skin. Mako, one of our friendly clinicians, recommended skin needling. After just one treatment, Sue experienced fantastic results, with reduced acne and clearer skin.
Sue explains the results in her own words:
“I was hesitant at first, but really wanted to give it a go. I’m so glad that I did because my skin improved dramatically even after one treatment. I love skin needling and I would like to say thank you for advising me to go through with it. Without Mako’s support and encouragement, I wouldn’t have the skin I have today.”
Low Level Laser Therapy
Laser therapy has become a popular treatment for those who have exhausted all traditional acne remedies, or for those who want to enhance microdermabrasion or chemical peels with laser acne treatment.
Laser therapy works with a cold laser that emits a powerful but gentle beam of light to the damaged area. This is absorbed by the cells of the damaged tissue or the area affected by acne, penetrating under the surface of the skin with no heating effect and repairing the inflammation where the acne has formed.
Laser therapy may be safely used on clients who are taking prescription isotretinoins (Roaccutane / Isotane).
We also offer combination therapies that combine the powers of microdermabrasion, chemical peels and laser treatments for acne to create a versatile, potent and results-oriented acne treatment plan. Microdermabrasion, chemical peels and laser acne treatment are also effective at targeting and treating post-acne scarring.