There are very few humans who wouldn’t have got a single zit in their entire lifetime. They should be proud of their awesome genes and disciplined lifestyle.
For the rest of us, acne has become a part of our life (on & off at least)!
Whether we call it acne or pimples or zits or moohase, it still remains a very problematic skin condition. No general treatment or unsolicited advice works for everyone. So, stop gulping those blood purifiers and applying clay masks every other day!
You see, the problem is not acne per say, it can be treated if you see a dermatologist on time. It is the scars that it can leave behind if the treatment is delayed and that is something that takes a very long time to respond to treatment.
Understand the cause
Acne is multifactorial. Of course there is the bacteria causing it but there are many other reasons that makes your skin a very likeable place for the bacteria
- Oily skin
- Oily scalp
- Hormones (having a mind of their own)
- Menstural issues
- Erratic schedules
- Unhealthy diet
- Disturbed sleep
- Underlying stress (that you won’t recognize)
- Using skin care products that don’t suit your skin type
- Oral contraceptive pills
- Excess intake of Vitamin B12 supplements
- High BMI
Although any skin type can get be affected by acne vulgaris, oily skin is the hot target. Skin of certain areas of the body like face, chest, back & scalp has got a rich supply of sebum (natural oil of skin) because of dense distribution of sebaceous glands. This is not something under our control as we are born with it. But not making it more oily is something well under our control.
- Wash your face twice or thrice a day with an AHA or BHA containing cleanser. Better to consult your dermatologist who can suggest you a prescription strength face wash.
- Use gel / water based hydrators , sunscreen & makeup
- Opt for hydrators instead of moisturizers
- Give your skin time to breathe, go bare face thrice a week (night time)
- Quit the habit of touching your face or squeezing the pimple
- Keep your scalp clean & dandruff free
- Do not over moisturize
- No heavy creams and makeup products
- No need to leave oil on scalp overnight
HORMONAL /MENSTURAL ISSUES
You guessed it right, I’m talking about Polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD) or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It is much more than the cysts that develop in ovaries. PCOS not only affects the reproductive system but it has a huge impact on the skin. A woman suffering from PCOS can have either one or two or all of the following skin changes
- excessively oily skin
- excessively oily scalp
- acne that it not responsive to conventional treatments
- hair fall and thinning
- dark underarms and nape of neck
This is something for which you should surely see an endocrinologist, and a dermatologist. As all these changes are the results of hormonal imbalance which the cysts in the ovaries are causing. At times the symptoms are out of proportion to the number or size of the cysts. With a few lifestyle modifications and certain medications one can achieve an acne free healthy skin and hair.
People these days are hyper aware of the impact our lifestyle choices have on our skin. “Stress acne” is a real thing. As mentioned earlier, if your lifestyle, which includes the kind of diet you intake, how peacefully you sleep, physical activity that you do on a daily basis, how you tackle unpleasant people and circumstances also decides how your skin looks over the years. We need to release the happy hormones more than the stress hormone.
Depending upon the grade of acne, there are multiple treatment options.
You see small zits once or twice a month, they don’t bother you much. You make healthy lifestyle choices most of the times, then this is for you
- Use a salicylic acid containing cleanser twice a day ( a big NO for sensitive skin types)
- Use a mild water based moisturizer if you really really need it
- Use clindamycin gel on the zits twice a day
Pimples take turns to appear on your face & technically your face is never acne free
- Do all of the above
- Go see a dermatologist as you might need some oral medications (antibiotics, supplements, isotretinoin etc.) along with some tests.
- Opt for chemical peels at the clinic instead of facials at salon
Most of your teen and adult life has been about watching youtube videos on how to get rid of pimples & now acne is leaving scars –
- Dermatologist would certainly need to see some blood parameters
- You will need higher strength oral antibiotics and drugs like isotretinoin
- Chemical peels and carbon facial via Q switched laser would make the healing process faster.
How we manage acne at Meraki Skin Clinic
Half the battle is won when the patient decides to see a dermatologist for this concern & commits to treatment. Our experts ask you for a detailed history of the problem, get to know your lifestyle better & assess your skin.
A treatment plan is then made depending upon the severity of acne. Many times, patients respond well to prescription medication only and times at they might need the help of other additional treatment options like some sessions of chemical peels, microdermabrasion, QS Laser.
Since we believe in a wholistic approach, the patient is also advised about nutrition and other lifestyle changes.
Treatment of any disease is a teamwork. The patient is also equally responsible for following the doctor’s advice diligently. Although it sounds cliché but “slow & steady wins the race”. When it comes to acne, do not be in a hurry, it will do more harm than good. So, stop using all the OTC products and take charge of your skin by following an expert’s advice.