What causes Acne breakouts?
What causes acne breakouts can differ from one individual to the next. It may be triggered by stress, food, hormones, and even certain skin care products.
Inflammatory acne is one of the most common forms of acne, and often causes significant discomfort. They mainly take the form of red spots (papules) and pus filled spots (pustules). It can occur at many locations including the face, jaw, neck, chest, shoulders and back. It often arises from comedomes (blackheads and whiteheads). Did you know that Whiteheads compared to Blackheads are especially prone to inflammation as the pores are clogged within the skin!
Inflammatory acne can quickly progress to more severe forms of acne such as Cystic Acne if not treated early. Quite frequently, inflammatory acne can leave behind acne marks, acne pigmentation and acne scars due to the underlying inflammatory process.
Why do I get inflammatory acne?
Inflammatory Acne is common in both teenagers and adults alike. It can present itself rather quickly and not resolve after 2-3 weeks.
Genetics, hormones, diet and stress can be factors that contribute to what causes acne breakouts. In addition, the use of certain cosmetic products, diets and lifestyle habits may make you more prone to acne. Over washing the face worsens the problem as the protective skin oils are stripped away from the skin’s surface.
What skin products should I use?
A well-balanced, simple and effective skin care regime is a fundamental step at maintaining skin health. The number of skin care products in the market can be overwhelming, but a general guide is as follows:
- Use a gentle facial cleaner
- Oil free skin care products
- Non-comedogenic skin care products
- Power based foundation (to soak up excess oil)
- Sunscreen that contains Zinc oxide and Titanium dioxide to lessen risk of skin irritation.
Using products that are not oil-free, comedogenic, and applying thicker formulation skin care products can clog pores. These products may be what causes acne breakouts in the first place.
What treatment options are available for inflammatory acne?
The treatment depends on the severity of your acne, your medical history, allergies, skin type and skin sensitivity. Often, combining treatments are more effective at targeting the different processes of acne to give a better outcome.
- Topical Acne Creams
Prescription Acne creams containing a combination of a retinoid and benzoyl peroxide have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-comedomal properties to provide a multi-prong approach to acne.
- Oral Antibiotics
Antibiotics are a mainstay of treatment for inflammatory acne, and work by reducing bacterial load and inflammation. Antibiotics have proven to be safe and effective in many studies to treat acne. A course of treatment may last at least 4 months.
- Oral Retinoids
Oral retinoids is a form Vitamin A medications that work extremely well in acne and are currently the most effective treatment for severe acne. It reduces oil secretion by 90% within 6 weeks of treatment, reduces whiteheads and blackheads by 90% within 3 months and has an anti-inflammatory effect.
A consultation is necessary to discuss about the side effects, suitability and precautions before starting oral retinoids.
Carbon Peel Laser
The Carbon Peel Laser is an advanced acne treatment that is delivered using laser energy to improve pimples, acne and breakouts. This form of acne treatment is 100% drug free and utilizes laser energy to reduced inflammation, pore size, sebum production and stimulates collagen.
We recommend the Carbon Peel Laser to complement existing acne therapies, and may be an ideal treatment for individuals in whom medications may be unsuitable. It is a comfortable procedure with no downtime, and results improve with repeated treatments.
Hydra Plus + Facial
The Hydra Plus Facial treatment is a non-invasive, multi-step treatment that uses a unique delivery system to cleanse, exfoliate, extract and oxygenate your skin. It performs multiple effect of clearing away impurities, dead skin cells, blackheads and whiteheads; and infusing essential nutrients such as hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and peptides to restore your skin back to health.
How long does the treatment last and when can I see improvement?
Every individual is different in his or her genetic make up and response to acne treatment. Acne treatment is usually slowly responsive in the beginning stages as you are getting used to and incorporating the treatment into your routine.
On average, you may notice some improvement in your skin condition after one month. Most patients require treatment for at least 4-6 months.
It is important that acne be treated early and aggressively during the initial flare up period to reduce skin scarring, acne marks and pigmentation. Thereafter, maintenance therapy is vital to keep acne at bay and lessen the chance of a breakout.
How can I improve my acne scars?
Acne scarring is an unfortunate complication of acne. It often results from acne that has been left untreated and resultant damage done to the dermal layer of the skin. Severe forms of acne such as cystic acne have a much higher risk of scarring.
There are many forms of acne scars, and acne scar revision will depend on the type or types of acne scar you have.
Our clinic uses various techniques including chemical peels, subcision, surgery and fillers to resurface and correct acne scarring.