Acne is the inflammation of the pilosebaceous glands, which manifests itself as spots, pimples, black and white comedones, cysts and nodules.
The pilosebaceous glands from which acne originates, commonly called sebaceous glands, are the ones from which hair also rises. Each strand of hair corresponds to a gland that produces sebum, i.e. the fat that makes the skin elastic and protects it.
How does acne form?
When the skin produces excess sebum, it builds up in the gland causing inflammation. In particular, the “pore” from which the hair emerges is blocked by filling with fat and fragments of dead epithelial cells. A white dot (closed comedo) appears on the outside. The plug can open under the pressure of the sebum and a blackhead can form (open comedo). As unsightly as this may seem, it does not actually cause inflammation. If, on the other hand, the plug resists, the sebum accumulates in the canal where the hair is, until it tears the sheath that covers it, causing inflammation.
If the epidermis breaks down, the classic “pimple” (pustule) and papule appear; if the inflammation cannot find a way out, cysts or nodules form.
Acne is a chronic and relapsing disease, very frequent during adolescence, but not exclusive to this age. The disease usually clears up by age 20, although it can last longer.
Causes of acne
The genesis of acne is multifactorial. The main causes of increased sebum production can be:
- hormonal alterations: the sebaceous gland, in response to male hormones (testosterone), present both in males and females, produces an excess of sebum;
- bacterial alterations: acne is favored by a bacterium, Propionibacterium Acnes, which normally lives on the skin in physiological conditions, but when the pores are blocked, this multiplies and causes inflammation;
- genetic predisposition: children of acneic parents generally suffer from this problem;
- acute stress;
- systemic inflammatory processes due to food and other intoxications.
Types of acne
Depending on the lesions, four types of acne are identified:
- mild or severe comedones (with a prevalence of comedones on the forehead and nose in the first instance, on the entire face and back in the second);
- papulo-pustular in all its variants (this is the most frequent form with a prevalence of more or less inflamed papules and pustules);
- nodulo-cystic and cystic (<10% of cases, with subcutaneous nodules and cysts that can cause scarring);
- conglobata (the most severe form of acne, with nodule-cystic lesions. It can last up to 30 years, with the formation of severe scarring).
In addition to the above types, there is another form, rosacea, a dermatosis caused by a parasitic mite that occurs more frequently in women and in fair-skinned individuals (hence the popular name of the disorder, also known as “curse of the Celts”). Rosacea manifests itself with evident redness of the face (especially the cheeks and nose, sometimes even the area around the eyes), as well as telangiectasias and seborrheic skin, papules, pustules and itching. This condition can be corrected with the use of IPL, the laser treatment for acne.
Treatments for acne
A timely and accurate diagnosis, the choice of targeted and personalized therapy based on the patient’s needs, and the type of acne, allows the specialist to develop a decisive clinical picture and prevent permanent scarring.
In addition to a specific dermatological treatment for acne with the use of drugs, which is often necessary, there are aesthetic medicine therapies and solutions that help regulate sebum production and, at the same time, attenuate and erase scars.
Image regenerative clinic’s protocol for acne treatment
Image Regenerative Clinic pays great attention to this widespread problem (not only among adolescents) by providing treatment with proven efficacy. It has three phases, following the standard development of acne itself.
This is the most difficult one, because it aims to de-inflame the affected part by fighting the pain and the formation of new pustules / cysts when acne is at its maximum inflammatory and infectious moment.
Treatments, in addition to the topical-systemic therapy, are varied:
- salicylic acid peel;
- Comedon Extraction associated with Hydrafacial, with specific anti-inflammatory serums;
- ozone therapy;
- Kobayashi method;
- Pure Facial;
- magnetic bioresonance with kinesiological tests;
- nutritionist visit for food evaluation.
This is dedicated to reduce any post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation spots, an inevitable consequence of an acute inflammatory process. These spots are usually mixed, composed of classic pigment (melanin), hemosiderin and post-inflammatory redness residues.
Alongside topical-systemic therapy, Image Regenerative Clinic offers various highly effective methods:
- lightening peels (mandelic acid or lactic acid);
- HydraFacial combined with brightening serums;
- IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) with a simple or compound anti-inflammatory approach to counteract both inflammation and pigmentation;
- anti-redness blue LED light;
- Pure Facial;
- magnetic bioresonance with kinesiological tests,
- nutritionist visit for food evaluation.
This phase deals with erasing any acne marks that left on the skin as much as possible. Of course, each scar has a different structure, extension and conformation, which must be considered specifically. The therapies to eliminate scars are:
This is a medical procedure for facial acne of the most common type, a form of mechanical exfoliation that physically removes blackheads and other blockages from the skin thanks to an instrument called an extractor.
In general, all types of acne begin with a blackhead, i.e. an occlusion of the follicular ostium, which contains sebum, keratin, melanin, hair and bacteria, first of all Propionibacterium acnes.
Comedone Extraction physically removes the obstruction from the follicle thanks to the extractor. This treatment can only be carried out on non-inflammatory acne, but it is considered an excellent form of prevention precisely against new possible inflammatory manifestations, because it eliminates the cause. Naturally, some cyclical sessions will be necessary to remove any new blockages.
It should also be remembered that, to increase the effectiveness of Comedone Extraction, this procedure can be performed in association or synergy with other targeted treatments, such as specific peelings, Kobayashi method, Hydrafacial, glycolic acid peeling, IPL pulsed light, Genesis laser, Tea Tree Rubber Mask and others.
How do I get rid of acne scars?
There are various techniques to eliminate acne scars, depending on the individual scarring situation. There are laser treatments (fractional lasers), aesthetic medicine procedures (hyaluronic acid infiltrations to counteract depressions) or mini-surgical solutions (subcision).
What is the best method to treat acne?
The best way to fight acne is to prevent it, and being aware that it won’t self-extinguish without scarring consequences. Do-it-yourself medicine is absolutely not recommended. Instead, you should go to a specialist who can take care of this condition both on a clinical level, with a correct hormonal investigation, and by indicating the most adequate aesthetic treatments – which is often able to solve a good 60% of the problem.