Your skin challenge: Acne and Acne Scarring

No one likes the unsightly, embarrassing appearance acne or pimples gives your skin. And acne scars can take a long time to disappear. This skin problem is not limited to teenagers, and can appear on your skin later in your life. Acne and acne scarring appears on your skin in various forms. It can appear in the form of scaly red skin, blackheads, whiteheads, pimples or pustules.

Causes of acne

The cause of your acne may be inflammatory in nature, or related to something else. It usually affects an area of skin that has the densest population of sebaceous follicles (oily skin). These areas include your face, upper chest and back. An acne attack, or acne scarring that doesn’t disappear can result in psychological effects that include poor self-esteem and depression. Genetics and even the quality of sleep you get, your stress levels, your diet, what you drink, sun exposure, smoking and hormonal and psychological changes can play a role in an acne breakout. Acne scaring results when the acne becomes inflamed and cystic acne occurs. Scarring happens when the pores on your skin become larger due the accumulation of excess oil, bacteria or other impurities. This accumulation in the pores causes the follicle to break. As a result, the impurities spread to the dermis where it damages the healthy skin tissue. This, combined with the over-production of collagen to heal the wound leads to the formation of a scar. There are different types of acne scaring and the type of scarring that occurs on your skin depends on what damage there is on your skin and the skin repair process. The different types of scarring include:

  • Ice Pick Scars (deep pits)
  • Boxcar Scars (angular scars which normally occur on the temple and cheeks)
  • Rolling scars (wave-like appearance)
  • Hypertrophicscars (thickened appearance).

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Prevention

 You can prevent acne by ensuring that you keep your face, neck and body clean.

  • Wash your face twice with a gentle, cleansing product and a soft cloth that removes impurities, including make up.
  • Tone and moisturize your face and neck to prevent dryness and peeling.
  • Wear a sunscreen that is specifically for your face.
  • Don’t wear a lot of makeup, and if you have an acne breakout, try not to wear any makeup as it can irritate your skin. It is best to wear oil-free, noncomdeogenic makeup that doesn’t have any added dyes and chemicals in it.
  • Watch what hair products you put on your hair as they can get on your face and block your pores, causing a breakout.
  • Eat healthier foods and drink more water to keep your body hydrated. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of water to the health of your skin!
  • Don’t pick at your acne as this can lead to scarring and spread acne to other areas on your face or body.

Acne Treatments

At Dr Bhabha Aesthetics we offer a variety of treatments for every acne problem. After a consultation with one of our doctors, the appropriate treatment will be recommended and discussed with you in detail. Some of the treatments we offer for acne are:

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Fractional Laser

Fractional Laser is typically done in a series of one to four treatments, spaced four to six weeks apart, depending on the condition being treated, and the severity of the problem. Healing takes between two to five days, and in most cases you will be able to get back to work and apply make-up within two days after the treatment.

What are the benefits of fractional laser?

Fractional lasers are used in laser skin resurfacing to improve skin elasticity and texture, fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, sun damage, melasma and other skin discolorations. Unlike other laser skin resurfacing, fractional lasers only target small areas, leaving surrounding areas untouched. This can result in a faster, easier recovery. There are numerous types of fractional lasers that vary in many parameters including power, depth of treatment, percentage of skin treated, application of the laser, cost to purchase, speed, disposables and, consequently, results.

Is it safe?

Immediately after the procedure you may experience a mild redness, resembling light sunburn and some swelling may occur, which usually subsides after one or two days.

What can I expect?

Fractional Laser uses laser energy to create thousands of microscopic channels in damaged areas of the skin, without affecting areas of healthy, untreated skin. The zones of untreated skin invigorate the body’s natural healing process and the treated areas stimulate production of new collagen, plumping up the skin and smoothing out wrinkles, lines, scars and other irregularities. Fractional Laser is typically done in a series of one to four treatments, spaced four to six weeks apart, depending on the condition being treated, and the severity of the problem. Healing takes between two to five days, and in most cases you will be able to get back to work and apply make-up within two days after the treatment.

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Chemical Peels

Treatment consists of the layered application of the peel product. After the peel is removed, a soothing moisturizer as well as a sunscreen will be applied. In some cases, slight swelling, redness, mild itching or stinging can occur, depending on the strength of the peel, but usually ends between three to seven days after the procedure.

What are the benefits of a chemical peel?

Chemical peels are non-invasive aesthetic treatments designed to enhance the skin quality by applying a clinically approved chemical solution to exfoliate the surface layer of the skin and stimulating the metabolism of the cells beneath. There are several different types of chemicals used, depending on your individual skin condition, your skin type, and the desired results. It helps to restore your skin, resulting in a more radiant and healthier skin complexion. Chemical Peels can be performed on the face, neck, chest, arms, hands and the back. Chemical peels are recommended for the treatment of:

  • fine to moderate lines and wrinkles
  • certain types of scars
  • brown spots
  • sun damage
  • clogged pores
  • skin discoloration
  • dull complexion
  • acne scarring
  • rough skin
  • skin blemishes
  • blotchy skin
  • hyper pigmentation
  • age spots
  • freckles
Are chemical peels safe?

Chemical Peels vary from minor, Superficial Peels with little or no down time, to more serious, deeper peels that will require sedation and some time away from work. Chemical peels are contraindicated for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.

What can I expect?

Treatment consists of the layered application of the peel product. After the peel is removed, a soothing moisturizer as well as a sunscreen will be applied. In some cases, slight swelling, redness, mild itching or stinging can occur, depending on the strength of the peel, but usually ends between three to seven days after the procedure.

Laser Resurfacing

Laser Resurfacing can be performed as a once–off procedure for a more dramatic result or as a series of smaller, individual treatments with less down time. Your healing time will depend upon the size of the treated area, and the depth of the resurfacing. You may experience Erythema (redness), which may last several weeks. Healing time varies among individuals.

Don’t let your acne prevent you from living your best life. 

Book a consultation with Dr Bhabha Aesthetics. We are located at 23 Nicol Road, Bedfordview,  011 615 7214 and at 99 Oxford Road, Rosebank, 011 268 0990.