Acne, medically know as Acne Vulgaris, is a disease that affects the skin’s sebaceous (oil) glands. The small holes in your skin (pores) connect to oil glands under the skin. These glands make an oily substance called sebum. The pores connect to the glands by a canal called a follicle. Inside the follicles, oil carries redundant skin cells to the surface of the skin. A thin hair also grows through the follicle and out to the skin. When the follicle of a skin gland clogs up, a pimple grows.
Sometimes, the hair, sebum, and skin cells clump together into a plug. The bacteria in the plug cause swelling. Then when the plug starts to break down, a pimple grows.
There are many types of pimples. The most common types are:
- Comedone: a comedone is a clogged hair follicle (pore) in the skin. Keratin (skin debris) combines with oil to block the follicle. A comedone can be open (blackhead) or closed by skin (whitehead) & occur with or without acne.
- Whiteheads: These are pimples that stay under the surface of the skin.
- Blackheads. These pimples rise to the skin’s surface and look black. The black color is not from dirt.
- Papules. These are small pink bumps that can be tender.
- Pustules. These pimples are red at the bottom and have pus on top.
- Nodules. These are large, painful, solid pimples that are deep in the skin.
- Cysts. These deep, painful, pus-filled pimples can cause scars.
Acne is the most common skin disease. People of all races and ages get acne. But it is most common in teenagers and young adults. An estimated 80 percent of all people between the ages of 11 and 30 have acne outbreaks at some point. Some people in their forties and fifties still get acne.
The current measures to evaluate the severity of acne are as follows:
Simple Classification/Grading System
- Mild acne (mild acne): a comedone is the primary lesion. Papules and pustules may exist but have a small size and very small amounts (generally <10).
- Acne is (Moderate acne): The number of papules and pustules are quite a lot (10-40). Comedone considerable number (10-40) also exist. Sometimes accompanied by a mild disease in the body.
- Acne is severe (Moderately severe acne): The number of papules and pustules are very many (40-100), usually with lots of comedone (40-100) and sometimes contained within the nodular lesions and inflamed large (up to 5). Large areas usually involve the face, chest and back.
- Very severe acne (Very severe acne): Acne and acne nodulocyst konglobata with severe lesions; many nodular lesions / pustular & tenderness along with many comedone, papules, pustules and comedone smaller.
The exact cause of acne is unknown, however certain factors are thought to play a role:
- The hormone increase in teenage years (this can cause the oil glands to plug up more often)
- Hormone changes during pregnancy
- Starting or stopping birth control pills
- Heredity (if your parents had acne, you might get it, too)
- Some types of medicine
- Greasy makeup.
Skincare Ingredients to avoid
It is important whatever skin condition or type, we are aware of what we are putting onto our skin – as there are many ingredients which can greatly aggravate any underlying condition. Substances that can contribute to acne are mineral oils (oil acne), tar (tar acne), chlorinated hydrocarbons (chloracne), drugs (acne medicamenta) and a multitude of cosmetic substances such as lanolin, cetyl alcohol, saturated fatty acids and their esters.
Those with sensitive skin should avoid ingredients such as ethoxilated alcohols and polyethylene glycols (PEG’s) as both are used as emulsifiers and solubilisers. With the influence of ultraviolet rays and atmospheric oxygen they develop peroxides which in turn generate aggressive radicals (Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Once formed these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction, like dominoes).
Given these substances are widely used in many cosmetic products, the skin treatment therapist and educated consumer is advised to carefully study the ingredient list on products before prescribing products to treat acne. Even sun protection products can contain these harmful substances. Ethoxilated alcohols can be recognised on the ingredients listing either by their middle or final syllable (-eth), eg. Ceteareth-10. Please note that no dermaviduals product contains these ingredients.
Where to from here?
Water-dispersed (liquid) nanoparticles may contain alpha or gamma-linolenic acid in the form of natural oils & are not only effective against cornification disorders but also have anti-inflammatory properties (evening primrose oil and liposome concentrate plus). The carrier substance is natural phosphatidylcholine, which has sebum reducing and hence anti-comedogenic effects on oily skin due to its high content of linoleic acid. An interesting approach for male adolescents is treatment with phytohormones gained from soybean or red clover which have lightly estrogenic effects. The liposome shell dissolves on the skin barrier and releases linoleic acid in addition to the phytohormones.
After a thorough Clinical Skin Assessment your therapist will prescribe a customised homecare regime, clinical treatments & a 12 month treatment plan, especially for you!
Your clinical treatments may include:
- Healite II Phototherapy (LED) treatments – Low-Level Light Therapy (LLLT) with HEALITE II is a non-ablative skin surface treatment system that uses light delivered through light emitting diodes to deliver pure light in precise wavelengths for the treatment of acne, relieving pain, promoting skin rejuvenation & strengthening, anti-inflammatory & wound healing;
- Customised Skin Solutions level 1, 2 or 3;
- Once your condition is resolved Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) to rebuild collagen.