Acne Breakout? Let’s Break Out of it together.
Acne and Acne Scars are two of the most common skin issues faced by people these days. In fact, if you’re reading this article right now, understand that acne treatment as well as treatment for acne scars is one of the most common searches in Google.
Therefore, that is precisely why we wanted to address this problem.
To all our readers – worry not! Acne and Acne Scars is not the end of the world. Every other girl, boy, man, or woman, has either acne or acne scars, and sometimes both. Some people just have them more than the others.
The good news is – acne can be controlled and acne scar removal is possible! Sometimes, acne treatment just takes more time depending on the cause of the acne. This is because acne break outs can happen for different reasons in different people, and therefore, the acne treatment techniques may vary too.
What is acne?
Before we move on to discussing acne treatment and acne scar removal, it is important that we understand what acne is. Acne is a swelling, or a popping growth on the skin that is sometimes also filled with pus.
Our skin has pores, from where oil comes out. The oil that comes out is produced in ‘sebaceous glands’, which are located just under the skin. This oil is supposed to prevent the skin from getting dry and to keep it moist and protected.
However, sometimes, these glands secrete excess oil –which could be because of hormonal changes or simply because of a person’s genetics. So, if your parents or their parents had oily/acne-prone skin, it is likely that you will inherit this trait.
Acne is formed when, some dead cells clog the pores on the skin, causing the oil to get trapped, leading to a swelling. Sometimes, harmful bacteria also gets trapped within these pores, causing damage to nearby tissue. This causes the redness and the typical pain that people experience during acne.
Acne treatment options
Many different acne treatments and acne scar removal options are available depending upon the severity of acne and acne scars. Acne is a long term disease and any form of acne treatment will need time and patience. However, that does not mean that you need to lose hope.
Sometimes, there is no immediate recovery for acne. You can start the right kind of acne treatment and take consistent care to efficiently curb its growth and the frequency of breakouts. Acne Scar removal also takes time and patience, just like pimple treatment.
Though there are numerous available acne treatment options, consultation from a doctor is highly recommended. Some of the options suggested by doctors for pimple treatment are:-
- Topical (used directly on skin) like Acne Creams or oral antibiotics (tablets or pills) are often used. These remedies, combined with some Benzoyl Peroxide, focus on wiping out the harmful bacteria and minimizing the pain and swelling.
- Benzoyl peroxide such as Brevoxyl or Triaz, as well as salicylic acid is generally recommended for pimple treatment for mild acne.
- Taking retinoid (a chemical that has vitamin-like effects) and antibiotics for pimple treatment is known to help in moderate to extreme cases.
- Laser therapy and light therapy are some of the other acne treatment options available.
Doctors generally combine different form of acne treatments depending on the degree of infection. Your medications may vary from ointments to tablets basing on your acne.
Acne treatment at home
The best way to deal with acne scars at home and accelerate the acne treatment process starts with taking good care of the skin. One of the most crucial aspects in treating an acne infection is maintaining a proper hygiene. However, it’s a popular myth that acne is caused due to poor cleansing habits.
How is washing one’s face related to acne?
There is no such research that proves any correlation between the two. On the contrary, extensive cleaning and washing your face often with scrubs might be harmful for your skin. In fact, you should use normal temperature water and a smooth cleanser or face-wash to wash the infected skin twice a day and keep the dirt away.
Switch to using Non-Comedogenic Cosmetics
Comedo, or comedones if plural, is simply understood as a pimple or a blocked pore. Therefore, comedo-genic products are those that may facilitate further blocking of skin pores and causing acne. Hence, non-comedogenic refers to anything that is less likely to create further blocked skin pores.
Always go for lightweight moisturizers or creams, and sunscreens that are not heavy and get absorbed in the skin quickly, etc.
Love the skin you’re in
Don’t touch your face, especially the acne and the acne scars, so that the bacteria present on your hands don’t infect your skin. Be careful that you don’t squeeze or prick the infected areas as that might lead to acne scars or black spots.
If you are involved in physical activities such as exercises, sports, and dance etc that lead to sweating, remember to always use a cleanser to remove the sweat and prevent further spreading of the infection. You may also cleanse your skin with rose water and Fuller’s clay (multani mitti).
Eat healthy food that heals your body
Your body is a wonderful system that adapts to surroundings, always keeps evolving, and is intelligent in healing itself. Loving yourself starts from treating your body with more respect by feeding it food that helps in nourishing it and does not cause further damage to it.
Vitamins like C, E, & A, and minerals like Zinc and Selenium boost the generation of new skin cells and the production of collagen. This is very helpful in pimple treatment and acne scar removal. Therefore, make sure to include nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables in your daily diet in addition to your laser/surgical treatments and acne creams.
Eating almonds (contain Vit E) helps is removal of acne scars, Red and Yellow bell peppers and fruits like Oranges, lime, strawberries, guavas, and kiwi contain vitamin C, that greatly helps in pimple treatment and acne scar removal. Vitamin A rich foods like Sweet Potato, tomato, carrot, mango also help in acne scar removal.
Drink plenty of Water
For effective pimple treatment and lightening of acne scars, apart from using the right acne creams, it is important to drink plenty of water too. When your body is adequately hydrated, it naturally flushes out waste, toxins and sometimes even bacteria. This is essential for acne scar removal and curbing the growth of acne.
Laser treatment for Acne
Laser treatment is a popular acne treatment, mostly because it’s quick and an alternative to surgical methods. There are two types of laser treatments available for acne, which are:-
- Non-Ablative treatment: In this method, light is targeted on the infected skin to remove excess oil from the blocked pores. It heats the sebaceous glands and contracts them, reducing the emission of oils and stimulates the growth of collagen.
The selective targeting and heating prevents any harmful effect to the surrounding healthy skin. Laser also kills the bacteria that use the oil produced from sebaceous glands to grow.
- Ablative treatment: Unlike the above method where light is used to shrink the sebaceous glands, this treatment involves removal of a minuscule portion of skin near the infected area. This allows new skin to grow and replace the old one.
Ablative treatment is more invasive and generally impacts the top-most layer of the skin. It is effective, and generally requires more recovery time for the patient.
To find out which acne treatment out of the above two will work best for you, you must consult the right doctor. Based upon the severity of the acne and the kind of results desired, the right laser treatment will be advised.
Acne Scar treatment
Acne scar treatment is again dependent on the degree of your acne scar as well as your skin. Some acne scars are not that deep and are merely the results of pigmentation of the skin. While, in severe cases, there are thick dense acne scars which affect the skin intensely and cause raised surfaces as well.
Whenever an acne wound heals, residual collagen produces scars that affect the skin structure and sometimes also its composition (e.g. loss of color etc). Though scarring occurs due to swelling of the skin caused because of acne, not all acne result in scars. It varies from person to person and can be of different types.
The good thing is that acne scar treatment is possible, as well as successful in acne scar removal in almost all cases.
Types of Scars
Sharp and deeply penetrated acne scars are called icepack scars. A broader version of them, with deep edges, is called the boxcar scar. Round and ovular pigmentations with sloping edges on the skin are mostly known as the rolling scars.
Hypertrophic scars or keloids are the more severe kind, where skin is raised up due to formation of excess scar tissue. “Keloid means” any irregular dense tissue formed at the point or area of injury or infection.
The treatments for acne scar removal generally involve removal of this scar tissue. Some forms of surgical methods are:-
- Punch technique: Removal of the entire scar and then separating it from the healthy skin using a circular cutter. Used mostly for boxcar scars.[
- Dermabrasion: Removal of the top layer of the affected skin with the help of a wire brush
- Laser Resurfacing: Removal of the top layer of the affected skin with the help of laser. It is often coupled with punch techniques and sub-scission process.
- Augmentation or filling: Process of filling up the pores with various forms of Collagen. The collagen can be obtained from one’s body fat or produced synthetically.
- Sub-scission: A combination of separating the scar from the tissue below it by using a needle and raising it to level with the healthy skin.
Acne Scar laser treatment
As discussed above, both ablative and non ablative laser treatments can be used for treating acne as well as the scars it produces. The scars are a byproduct of the natural healing process that is followed by our body. Sometimes pigmentation is often confused with a scar, but pigmentation fades away in months and is not a permanent scar.
Laser treatment for acne scar removal is of two kinds, depending more on the wavelength of the laser.
– Erbium: YAG In this process, Erbium laser is used on the infected skin to remove the outmost layer. It’s mostly used to remove the superficial scars. Wavelengths of Erbium are used to target the infected skin.
The light vaporizes the water inside the tissue and shrinks the collagen.
– CO2 laser treatment: This treatment involves focusing short beams of carbon dioxide on the infected area, which vaporizes the underlying skin area. This process is carried on each layer of the skin, layer by layer, till the fresh skin below replaces the old scars.
Acne treatment creams
Whenever we use acne creams as a part of acne treatment, there are some primary purposes that it has to solve, like:-
- Unclogging the skin pores that are blocked because of excess oil and dead skin.
- Removal of harmful bacteria
- Decreasing the production of excess oil in the skin
If you are consulting a doctor, he/she will prescribe the right kind of acne creams for you based on what kind of acne it is that you have and what is the end result that is being aimed at.
You are most likely to be using acne creams that contain the following chemicals and compounds – Tretinoin, Glycolic Acid, Retinaldehyde, Benzoyl peroxide, Gluconolactone, and natural ingredients such as turmeric, lemon, neem extract, clove, aloe-vera, rose water, long pepper etc.
Cystic Acne treatment
Acne results in forming of pores on the skin, which further causes swelling and pain when infected by bacteria. When this infection spreads deeper, pus accumulates inside it and causes more itching. That’s when you know that your acne is cystic.
Cystic acne is a more severe kind of acne where cysts are formed. In fact, diffusion of the pus can affect the healthy skin and aggravate the infection. Therefore, touching and plucking this acne is to be avoided at all costs.
Most of the times, oral antibiotics are advised for cystic acne treatment. Doctors prescribe acne creams and gels containing retinoid (a chemical similar to Vitamin A) to unclog the pores and help the antibiotics. Benzoyl peroxide is also used, but cystic acne requires a special diagnosis and doctors consultation is highly recommended.
Back acne treatment
Though the word acne relates more with the face, it’s not the only place that is affected by acne. The back, like the face, has too many sebaceous glands and hence is susceptible to acne. Also known as backne, it is considered to be a severe form of acne.
In self care, try to avoid using any form of skin products on the back. You should wear loose clothes and try to avoid putting weight or pressure on the back.
Sometimes medications such as male hormones or lithium can lead to acne. For the treatment of back acne, both oral (meant to ingest) antibiotics and topical (meant to apply) antibiotics are commonly used. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are also used for back acne treatment.
Some home based remedies like taking a sea salt shower, or an oatmeal bath, or applying a paste of baking soda with water, and spraying apple cider vinegar are other helpful methods that are generally used.
Best acne treatment
Acne treatment is a long continuing process that requires self care and patience. Not all acne is the same, and hence there is not one form of advisable acne treatment. Therefore, a combination of various kinds of acne treatments may be used to deal with your acne situation.
Medications, skin care, and laser procedures are widely used for acne treatment purposes. The best acne treatment is dependent on the type of acne, the degree of its severity, and the infection of your skin. Moderate to extreme levels of acne are treated with retinoids and antibiotics.
In some cases, where there is bad inflammation and pain, women are prescribed oral contraceptives to reduce the effect of hormones on the production of excess oil through the sebaceous glands. Laser therapy along with Isotretinoin is used in cases where punching and other techniques don’t give the desired results.
Your doctor will be the best person to suggest the right pimple treatment or combination of acne treatments suitable for you.
Best acne scar treatment
Just like acne treatment, acne scar treatment too is dependent on the type of scar and the degree of its severity. There are various types of acne scar treatments available, and a combination of these may be used depending upon the needs of the patient.
Our opinion is that a proper and timely consultation with a doctor is the best way to start an effective pimple treatment or an acne scar treatment. At the same time, you can start taking simple steps, described in the Acne Treatment at Home section above, right now for acne control and acne scar removal.