What causes acne?
There are different types of acne. The most common is the type that results from fluctuating hormones; i.e. during puberty, menstrual cycles and menopause. The severity of acne can range from a few blocked pores, also known as comedones, to severe infected cysts causing scarring. Acne is the end result of hormonal, bacterial and inflammatory disturbances that take place at the skin pore (pilosebaceous follicle). Acne is not caused by diet or hygiene.
When a pore becomes blocked and the oil produced at the hair follicle cannot escape, the skin becomes fertile ground for bacterial invasion and growth. Blockage occurs and a small comedone appears. As this process advances, surrounding inflammation further block pores. This results in pustules and cysts. Acne may be present in various stages with remissions and exacerbation.
What factors aggravate acne?
Any factors that block or prevent the escape of natural oil, or sebum, from the skin pore will cause and aggravate acne. Acne can be made worse by:
Medications such as anticonvulsants and steroids.
Using comedogenic cosmetics, moisturizers, lotions, oils, and hairsprays.
Wearing anything that causes frictional skin trauma, such as hats, helmets and hockey pads.
Touching the skin a lot.
Washing the face too often or scrubbing the face too hard.
Using harsh soaps or very hot water.
Squeezing and picking.
Sweating a lot.
Experiencing a lot of Stress.
What is the right treatment for you?
See a Physician who treats acne because the staging, severity, causes and your particular medical status all influence which treatment is best suited to you. Individualized treatment and follow-up are key to success.
Treatment options may include:
Non-Prescription Products: Essential Acne skin care products, Detoxifying Facials under steam, Alpha or Beta Hydroxyl Acid lotions, Retinols, and oral supplements such as Zinc and Omega.
Prescription products: For more severe cases it may be necessary to use Retinoids, Benzoyl Peroxide, Antibiotics, Accutane®, Salicyclic Acid, Dapsone ,Birth Control Hormones, Photo dynamic Therapy.
- Initial treatment: A minimum 12 weeks is required to achieve success.
- Maintenance treatment: This depends on many factors and is determined on an individual basis.
Treatment Success :
There are many factors which influence outcome:
- Patient Compliance: Studies have shown that the biggest single factor in treatment failure is due to the patient not following the treatment instructions.
- Realistic expectations: Acne cannot be cured. The aim of treatment is to minimize inflammation, keep it controlled, halt progression, and prevent or minimize scarring. In teenagers, treatment continues until natural resolution occurs; usually in the late teens or early twenties. In adult acne, treatment and maintenance therapy may be necessary into middle age.
The goal here is EARLY treatment BEFORE scarring occurs. At MD Aesthetics we aim to give you the full range of medical treatments for acne. The initial consultation with our Aesthetic Consultant costs $50. If you are subsequently required to see our on-site physician, the visit is covered by OHIP.