The discovery of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments is one of the most significant advances for many years in acne treatment of live acne (acne vulgaris). Acne patients undergoing IPL treatment for pitted scarring, soon discovered that IPL was also having a beneficial effect on fresh breakouts. In addition to boosting collagen production, it is believed that the IPL treatment keeps fresh breakouts at bay by killing the bacteria that cause infection and the formation of spots. Laser Skin Solutions always provides the most up to date information available on the exciting new research into acne treatment with IPL.
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What is acne?
Acne is a chronic skin disorder caused by the inflammation of the hair follicles and the sebaceous glands of the skin. It is a widespread and embarrassing condition that affects both teenagers and adults. It can produce life-long scars, both physically and emotionally. It typically begins during adolescence, when hormonal changes cause the enlargement and obstruction of sebaceous glands in the skin. Hormones, genes and environmental factors are also considered to play a part in acne.
What causes acne?
Acne spots are caused by the obstructions of hair follicles by sebum (the oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands.) When a plug of sebum becomes trapped in a follicle, bacteria multiply and the follicle becomes inflamed. The cause of the change in sebum secretion at puberty is uncertain but it seems to be linked with increased levels in androgen hormones (male sex hormones). There may also be a genetic factor, since acne can run in families. Some drugs may bring on or aggravate existing acne (eg. Corticosteroids which increase oil production in the skin).
How does laser actually work on acne?
The discovery of Intense Pulsed Light treatments is one of the most significant advances for many years in the treatment of live acne (acne vulgaris). Acne patients undergoing IPL treatment for pitted scarring, soon discovered that IPL was also having a beneficial effect on fresh breakouts. In addition to boosting collagen production, it is believed that the IPL treatment keeps fresh breakouts at bay by killing the bacteria that cause infection and the formation of spots. The Beauty Rooms always provides the most up to date information available on the exciting new research into acne treatment with IPL.
I read somewhere that it’s a myth that chocolate gives you acne – is this true?
There are many myths about what causes acne, particularly relating to diet. There is no evidence that diet plays any part in causing acne, so there is little point in avoiding chocolate. However an increase of sugar in the diet can interfere with insulin production. This in turn could affect other hormones causing a possible imbalance, leading to breakouts on the skin. In general however, diet is not normally linked to acne.
What is the cause of adult acne?
Studies have shown that the number of adults suffering from acne has increased in the last decade, more so in the case of women. This is believed to be mainly due to a combination of stress and hormonal changes. With more responsibilities at home and in the work place, stress levels are high, causing the skin to become more oily leading to acne attacks. Long term use of cosmetics that contain oils derived from fatty acids as their base can cause acne breakouts. Known as acne cosmetica, this condition is seen in some actresses who start off with clear skin, but then develop acne halfway through filming a television program.
At what age do people stop getting acne?
There is a misconception that only teenagers have acne breakouts and that once they pass this stage, acne will disappear. While this may be true in some cases, it is not always so. Acne in fact becomes a chronic problem in many people and refuses to leave even after attaining adulthood. On the other hand, some people who have had no acne during their teenage years, start developing it well after the age of 20. This condition is also very common and known as adult onset acne.
I have spots but I don’t think I have acne – would I benefit from Laser treatment?
Anything from the smallest blackhead to the largest cyst, is in fact acne. There is a misconception that you only have acne from grade 3 onwards and often people only seek treatment from their doctor for moderate to severe acne, when in fact their acne could benefit significantly by early intervention. Photorejuvenation (light based therapy) of the skin can be extremely beneficial for anyone suffering from spots and breakouts, when combined with a good skincare regime.
I’ve heard of the Leeds grading system for acne – what is this?
Grading acne is a means of assessing the severity of this highly variable condition. The Leeds grading system is just one of several systems used to diagnose and treat acne. However, there is no standard acne grading system. In medical terms, acne is graded as follows:
- Grade 1 (Mild Acne): characterised by the smallest form of blackheads which can felt rather than seen. These can often be felt or seen on the chin area.
- Grade 2: (Acne Cosmetica): characterised by small blackheads or spots which can be caused by every day cosmetics used on the skin.
- Grade 3: (Acne Vulgaris): is what most people visually recognise as acne, although all grades of this condition are in fact ‘acne’. Characterised by blackheads, papules and pustules.
- Grade 4: (Cystic Acne): the most severe form of acne which is characterised by blackheads, papules, pustules and cysts.