Acne Treatment Therapy
Non-abrasive lasers (which are commonly referred to as cold lasers) do not attack and ‘burn’ the outer layers of the skin but use high-intensity light to reduce the production of sebum (skin oil) in the sebaceous glands and stimulate the production of collagen to act as a filler for depressed scarring. Cold laser treatment for acne scarring is becoming increasingly popular because there are very few side effects and recovery times are relatively short.
Low level lasers penetrate the epidermis which is the top layer of skin, into the dermis. Utilizing the most advanced selective absorption elements, the light is safely and easily absorbed by melanin in skin. This gently clears of the skin of all blemishes and marks making it smooth and attractive. The Photo rejuvenation acne therapy is very useful for treating acne. Acne marks usually take a long to heal but through photo rejuvenation therapy even the deepest acne marks dissolve away by the forth or fifth sitting.
Understanding Acne and Its Causes
Acne is an inflammatory disease of the sebaceous or oil glands and hair follicles of the skin. It is characterized by plugged pores and outbreaks of lesions commonly known as pimples or zits. Acne can occur on the face, neck, back, chest, shoulder, and upper arm areas. Acne is the most common skin disease. For most people, acne is associated with adolescence – indeed, most young adults have acne. For some, however, acne can last well into adulthood. While it is not a life threatening condition, it can have significant emotional effects. Severe and even moderate acne can lead to permanent scarring.
What is acne?
In acne, the oil producing sebaceous gland produces excessive amounts of oily secretion, which drains into the hair follicle. This secretion, called sebum, hardens into a plug called a blackhead, which blocks the follicle opening. Blocked pores allowed bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), which normally live on the skin, to grow in the trapped sebum and cause inflammation of the surrounding area.
Acne lesions (comedones or singular comedo) come in two basic forms – whiteheads and blackheads. A comedo that stays below the skin surface produces a white bump called a whitehead, whereas an open comedo that reaches the skin surface produces a black plug called
a blackhead. The black color of the blackhead is not caused by dirt. Neither whiteheads nor blackheads should be squeezed or “popped” without proper medical supervision under sterile conditions. This is because injured lesions can become infected and/or scarred.
Other Types of Acne Lesions
Sometimes acne lesions can turn into these various forms of lesions:
A papule is a small (less than 5 mm), inflamed solid lesion that appears as small, pink bumps on the skin. A group of small papules may not be visible to the eye, but can have a “sandpaper” feel and be tender to the touch.
A pustule is a dome-shaped lesion filled with pus containing a mixture of white blood cells, dead skin cells, and bacteria. Often red at the base, a pustule that forms over a hair follicle usually has hair in the center. Normally, pustules that are resolved without turning into cysts do not leave any scars.
Similar to a papule, a nodule is a dome-shaped or irregularly shaped lesion. However, a nodule is deeper than a papule, and can cause pain and/or scarring.
A cyst is a deep and painful lesion filled with pus containing a mixture of white blood cells, dead skin cells, and bacteria. It is usually larger than a pustule and can lead to scarring. This condition is usually referred to as cystic acne.
Red Spot (Macula)
Red spots or maculae are usually flat, pinkish red in color at first, with a well-defined border. Untreated, maculae normally go away on
their own after 4 to 6 months, and may change into a darker brownish red color before clearing up. Maculae typically disappear without any
trace or scars.
This form of pigmentation occurs at the site of the healed or healing acne, especially in people with darker skin tones. Some post-inflammatory pigmentation can last up to almost 2 years, especially with excessive sun exposure.
Scars caused by injury to the skin tissue and the subsequent repair process. In cases of acne, especially deep acne, tissue injury
is the result of the body’s inflammatory response to the dead cells and bacteria in the plugged sebum.
In most cases, only nodule and cystic acne are associated with scarring. In people who are prone to scarring, however, common acne lesions may result in permanent scars. There are two types of scars: those caused by increased tissue formation and those caused by
loss of tissue.
In the first type, called keloids, skin injury from acne inflammation causes the cells to overproduce collagen, resulting in increased tissue formation. Typical keloid scars are a series of solid, irregular bumps about 1 to 2 mm in diameter. This form of scar is rare, and usually only
affects people with a family history of keloid scarring. A more common scarring associated with acne is that caused by tissue loss, such as the ice-pick scar. Usually occurring in the cheeks, ice pick scar forms when deep and shallow indentations or holes are left by acne.
Who Gets Acne?
Acne is found in people of all races and ages. Almost all adolescents and young adults develop acne – indeed, nearly 85% of people between the ages of 12 and 24 have acne. For most, acne goes away by the time they reach their thirties. However, for some, acne can develop well into adulthood.
Acne affects young men and women about equally. However, young men are more likely to suffer from more severe and longer lasting forms of acne. Young women are more likely to suffer from intermittent acne caused by hormonal changes associated with their menstrual cycles or from acne caused by cosmetics.
Causes of Acne
Although the exact cause of acne is not known, it is thought that one or more of the following factors are involved in causing acne:
The predisposition to acne is inherited from either parents – that is, you are more likely to suffer from acne if one or both of your parents also suffered from acne.
The increase in the production of male sex hormones called androgens in young men and women during puberty is thought to cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and produce excess sebum. The oily sebum often forms hardened plugs that lead to acne. For women, pregnancy, menstruation or period, starting or stopping taking birth control pills, can cause drastic changes in hormonal levels and lead to acne breakouts. For some women, elevated hormone levels tend to make them breakout 2 to 7 days before their period.
Certain drugs, such as androgens, lithium (for psychological conditions), and barbiturates (to control seizures), can cause acne. Usually, the acne only lasts as long as the drugs are taken.
For some, cosmetics or makeup can plug pores or cause follicles to stick together and thereby cause acne.
Although the experts disagree on whether stress actually causes acne, it certainly can aggravate existing acne conditions. In particular, severe stress or prolonged emotional tension can make acne worse.
Humidity and Environmental Pollutants
High humidity as well as environmental irritants such as pollution can make acne worse.
Acne condition can worsen if the skin is rubbed hard, or pustules are picked and squeezed. Handling of acne with unwashed hands can also introduce bacteria, which can get inside the acne lesion and cause infections. Friction from collars, backpacks, or helmets worn too tightly can also cause acne to flare up. It is important to keep in mind that the causes of acne above are not absolutes – different individuals are susceptible to different causes (or combination of causes) of acne. Furthermore, factors cause acne in some people may only aggravate existing acne conditions in others.