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    Acne —facts more than skin deep

    Acne or pimples are a matter of concern for many. It affects almost every teenager and some may continue to have pimples in their adulthood. Many people consider pimples as physiological or a natural phenomenon seen during puberty and doesn’t feel that they should be treated.

    What is Acne?

    Acne lesions are formed by the inflammation of pilosebaceous unit. There is often associated colonisation of these areas by the bacteria propionibacterium acne (P acne). Increase sebum secretion mediated by androgens (a male hormone) creates a favourable environment for the growth of this bacterium. The blockage of the pores can occur due to various creams, oily cosmetics and sometimes by humidity. It leads to various types of lesions like black-heads(open comedones, white-heads(closed comedones), Inflammatory papule (red bumps), pustule or nodulo-cystic lesions. These lesions can develop scarring on healing which can be made worse by manipulation or by popping out pimples.

    Why should you treat pimples??

    pimples can produce severe scarring and pigmentation which can affect ones personality and self confidence. Boys and girls having severe pimples are know to have low quality of life and self-esteem. They play a great role in influencing ones personality. hence it is important to treat such a simple skin condition which can have such long lasting effects on ones personality.

    What causes pimples?

    Acne or pimples can be caused by many factors like hormonal changes, stress, diet, use of thick cosmetic creams, certain medications, exposure to hot and humid environment etc. Normal physiological hormone changes causes seborrhoea/oily skin which can lead to pimples. Occurrence of pimples after 25 years of age is usually hormone dependent. PCOD or polycystic ovarian disease causes a state of hyperandrogegism and most of those affected have severe type of acne along with menstural irregularities, obesity and increased facial hair.

    Does wearing a mask lead to break outs?

    Yes. Long term mask use can lead to frequent break outs. “Maskne” is a term describe for mask induced acne in the corona pandemic era.  This is due to occlusive effect of the mask and also due to skin barrier damage by the humid exhaled air. Remember to wear a cotton mask near to skin and apply a non-comedogenic moisturiser before you use a mask.

    What is the best diet to have a pimple free skin?

    Your diet should have less of dairy fat like butter, ghee, cheese etc and carbohydrates. Do reduce on your chocolates, nuts and sweets. Eat more veggies, fruits and drink plenty of water.

    How can you prevent pimples?

    The cause of pimples like hormone imbalance or PCOD should be addressed first. Wash your face with a mild cleanser twice daily. More frequent washing and using strong cleansers can damage your barrier. Use a non comedogenic make up. Use a moisturiser at night. Eat healthy food with less sugars and dairy fats. Don’t forget to exercise regularly and keep an ideal body weight.

    What is the best treatment for pimples?

    One should remember to cleanse face twice daily with an oil-clearing face wash preferably containing salicylic acid. Use a non greasy sunscreen with matte finish and a moistirizer at night. Pimples can be treated by medical treatments like tablets, creams containing clindamycin/retinoids/Benzyl peroxide and with procedures like Peeling. Antibiotics like doxycycline should be continued for few weeks as advised by your dermatologist. Oral retinoids (isotretinoin) are used to treat severe acne or those not responding to antibiotics. Acne scars can be treated by LASERs, Peeling, micro-dermabration, Dermatosugery etc. Mesotherapy with PRP gives good rejuvenating results.

    By,

    Dr Abin Abraham Itty MD,DNB

    Consultant Dermatologist

    Kochi, Kerala, India

    Acne —facts more than skin deep 2
    Dr. Abin Abraham Itty MD,DNB
    Dr Abin Abraham Itty is the consultant Dermatologist & HOD at VPS Lakeshore Hospital, Kochin and Dr Abin Abraham’s Dermatology Clinics at Kottayam & Kolenchery, Kerala. His Special interest includes Psoriasis & co-morbidities, Immuno-dermatology & Allergy, Vitiligo surgeries, Dermato-surgery and Laser surgery.

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