Taking care of acne prone skin
- Keep your face clean: Wash your face twice daily with warm water and a mild cleanser. Gently wash your face with clean hands or a very soft cloth.
- Moisturize: Use a non-comedogenic moisturizer that minimizes dryness and skin peeling.
- Use prescription products for acne: use Benzoyl peroxide, Salicylic acid, or glycolic acid containing products as prescribed over acne in mild doses.
- Use makeup sparingly: Avoid using foundation, powder or blush during breakout. If used remove all makeup at night. Use only oil-free, non-comedogenic cosmetics free from dyes or chemicals.
- Watch what u put on your hair: Avoid using fragrances, oils, gels on hair as they may clog your pores. Wash your hair often using a mild shampoo and a conditioner.
- Keep your hands off your face: Never pick or pop pimples with your fingers, as it can lead to infection and scarring.
- Stay out of the sun: Some acne medications and UV rays can irritate the sensitive skin and cause inflammation. Use a gel based non-comedogenic sunscreen.
- Feed your skin: Avoid greasy and junk food and add more fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet.
- Exercise daily: When you exercise, avoid wearing clothing that rubs your skin and may cause irritation. Shower or bathe right after exercise.
- Chill! Some studies link stress with the severity of pimples or acne. Ask yourself what’s making you feel stressed. Then look for solutions
When in doubt, check with a dermatologist to see if you need more treatment to prevent or stop acne.
Treatment Options for Acne
General Guidelines for Acne Treatment
- We Choose Initial Treatment according to the grade of acne
- We assess the psychological impact and counsel the patients accordingly
- We discuss the use of cosmetics and cleansers with the patient
- We tailor the treatment according to the patient’s skin. (oily, dry or sensitive)
CHOICE OF THERAPY:
Patients with Grade 1 mild acne improve with topical comedolytics. e.g- ( Retinoids – Tretinoin, Adapalene)
Grade 2 and 3 moderate acne requires
- topical treatment with comedolytics and antibacterials ( Clindamycin, Nadifloxacin, Azithromycin) and
- systemic therapy with antibacterials e.g- (Doxycycline, Minocycline, Azithromycin)
- Miscellaneous treatments for acne include Azelaic acid, Glycolic acid, Salicylic acid.
Severe Grade 4 acne usually requires isotretinoin or hormonal treatment.
Surgical/ procedural treatment is a useful adjunct when other modes of treatments are ineffective. The presence of scarring requires additional measures.
PROCEDURAL TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR ACNE
Procedural treatments are therapies performed by a dermatologist, healthcare practitioner. They are used in the treatment of mild to severe acne. Procedural therapies are meant to be supportive and used in conjunction with topical and/or systemic treatments.
- Light chemical peels – Despite the name, light chemical peels do not “peel” the skin. Instead, they deeply exfoliate the skin using an alpha-hydroxy, beta-hydroxy, or glycolic acid. Light chemical peels improve acne by removing dead skin cells and helping to clear pores of debris.
- Microdermabrasion – This treatment may be performed at your dermatologist’s office. A machine is used to rapidly discharge super-fine crystals over the skin’s surface, blasting away dead skin cells. It is not painful. A microdermabrasion treatment deeply exfoliates the skin, loosening debris from within the pore. It is best for those who have non-inflamed acne, with many blackheads and/or whiteheads.
- Phototherapy – Phototherapy is the term used to describe any treatment utilizing laser or light. They work by killing P. acne, reducing inflammation, or shrinking the sebaceous glands, depending on what therapy is used. There are many different light and laser treatments available including blue light, red light, and photodynamic therapy. Phototherapy can be used to treat all stages of acne, from mild to very severe. Your dermatologist can help you decide which treatment, if any, would be most effective for you.
- Corticosteroid injections – Cysts are serious lesions that damage skin tissue. Dermatologists can inject a cyst with a corticosteroid, reducing inflammation and the chance of scarring. Corticosteroid injections speed healing of the lesion to just a few short days.
WHAT ARE THE ‘DO’S AND DONT’S IN TREATMENT OF ACNE?
- Do not use abrasive cleansers and scrubs.
- Increase the intake of citrus fruits such as oranges, grapes, lime and lemon and other foodstuffs which are high in vitamin C and zinc.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Do not pick or squeeze the pimples as this causes infection, pigmentation and scarring.
- Light non- comedogenic cosmetics can be used but avoid oily makeup, moisturizers, hair sprays and pancake foundations, oil-based makeup worsens acne.
- Avoid facial massages with oily creams.
- Do not apply excessive hair oil if you have acne over the forehead.
- Diet. No foods cause acne, but certain foods may cause flare-ups.
- Avoid stress factors.
- Environment. Exposure to oils, grease, polluted air, and sweating in hot weather aggravates acne.
- Be patient and give medicines some time to act. You may have to take antibiotics for 8 – 10 weeks.
- In mild cases, acne will last for 4-6 years and in severe cases, it can last even up to 15-20 years. Hence maintenance treatment is essential.
- You may require surgical intervention in the form of comedone extraction, superficial chemical peel, Microdermabrasion etc.