Someone who has moderate to severe adolescent acne will likely to suffer from post-acne scarring. His or her appearance, as well as self esteem will also be adversely affected. How does one live and cope with acne and acne scars?
There are strategies to cope with acne and acne scars. First of all, you need to know what causes acne. Adolescent and adult acne usually comprises both comedonal and inflammatory acne. Comedones are commonly known as blackheads and whiteheads. They are created when the openings of the hair follicles become clogged and blocked with dead cells and sebum which is an oily substance secreted by sebaceous glands in the skin to keep it moist.
Inflammatory acne results when the follicular wall ruptures, releasing sebum, cells and bacteria into the surrounding tissue, causing inflammation and redness. Hormonal changes in the body, as well as hereditary factors, influences the development of acne.
Stress does not cause acne. However, if you have acne, stress may aggravate the condition. Additionally, a high glycaemic index (GI) diet has been associated with the worsening of acne. The Glycaemic Index is a measure of how quickly the level of blood glucose peaks after a person eats a particular type of food. High GI foods, such as refined carbohydrates, is digested quickly and results in the level of blood sugar rising quickly.
Severe acne will require a combination of oral treatment methods, such as prescription oral antibiotics or isotretinoin, and topical treatment methods, which include topical antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide and retinoids.
1) Oral Acne Treatment
Oral antibiotics have anti-inflammatory properties. Doxcycline and minocycline are more effective than tetracycline. Isotretinoin is an oral retinoid that decreases the size of the sebaceous glands. It is highly effective for severe nodulocystic scarring acne as it depresses sebum production, reduces the amount of acne-causing bacteria and eases inflammation. It is imperative that treatment with isotretinoin be continued until the required cumulative dosage is achieved. This is calculated according to your body weight.
Your dermatologist may also supplement your oral acne treatment with topical antibiotics. Topical antibiotics have proven to be beneficial.
To address the problem of acne scarring, laser resurfacing with a fractional carbon dioxide laser or erbium YAG laser, chemical peeling (glycolic and salicylic) and dermabrasion are helpful in reducing the appearance of the scars and pigmentation.
4) Acne Control Treatment
Photodynamic or light therapy using blue and violet light to kill bacteria that cause skin lesions has shown promising results in decreasing the number of inflammatory acne lesions. Avoid exposure to UV rays six weeks before and after treatment to minimize the risk of side effects.
A diet for acne control is one that comprises plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, low in saturated fat and refined carbohydrate. Reduce your intake of white sugar and white flour. Substitute with whole grains and other forms of complex carbohydrates and increase your intake of essential fatty acids.
Acne and acne scarring may cause emotional scarring in additional to the physical scarring. Effective treatment could reduce the agony and should be initiated early.