What Is Acne?
Acne is a skin condition usually caused due to the accumulation of oils and dead skin around a hair follicle. It is the leading cause of whiteheads, blackheads, red spots, lumps, and pimples in young adults. It’s a persistent condition that cannot be dealt with easily. Acne can also begin in childhood and continue to spread and grow as one gets older. Though it is most visible over the facial skin, it can appear over other body parts such as the chest, upper back, shoulders, etc. In most men and women, it commonly occurs due to:
- Bacterial overgrowth of acne
- Overactivity of certain hormones like androgens
- Excess oil (sebaceous) production under specific regions of the skin
- A family history of acne conditions
- Constant friction and pressure over a part of skin with hair follicles
- Using makeup products that contain comedogenic ingredients
Areas like the face and chest are easily affected by acne as their skin surfaces have more oil glands and hair follicles. And if these hair follicles get infected by bacteria, they form red pimples. Blocked oil glands develop into cyst-like lumps, which cause mild to severe pain and discomfort.
What Are The Common Types Of Acne?
Acne types that are commonly encountered can vary significantly from person to person. Since there are several causes and shapes of acne, they are typically categorized into the following classes:
Acne Vulgaris: A common form of pustules, nodules, or cysts that develop in almost everyone
Acne Pustule: A whitehead with red skin surrounding it
Acne Papules: Small red or pink spots or lumps without a cystic whitehead
Acne Conglobata: A severe acne lesion that is painful and can cause scars
Acne Rosacea: A symptom of the skin condition rosacea which causes inflamed pimples
What Are Acne Scars?
Pimples and cystic heads fall off from time to time, but if the breakouts have penetrated the skin deep enough, they leave nasty scars behind. These scars then gradually cause uneven texture, red blotches, and hyperpigmented patches over the body. They may also cause discoloration or uneven tones over the skin.
Scars typically develop when the fibroblasts under the skin are unable to produce enough collagen when a pimple of blackhead falls off, leaving a pinhole wound behind. Since these wounds won’t heal completely, they form craters and holes, which are widely known as Atrophic scars. In contrast, if the skin produces excess collagen, the wound accumulates too much skin cells and forms raised bumps that may or may not be painful. These raised scars are termed as hypertrophic scars.
Most of the scars that occur over the face are atrophic, while hypertrophic scars usually appear over the chest or the back.
What Are The Common Types Of Acne Scars?
It is crucial to understand the type of acne scar your skin develops as different treatments affect each scar variably. Some commonly occurring acne scars may include:
Dark Spots: Purple, red, or brown marks that form after a pimple or whitehead is removed
Boxcar Scar: A shallow or deep U-shaped scar which may have visible sharp edges
Icepack Scar: Narrow V-shaped scars that may appear like deep oval holes
Rolling Scar: These are broad depressions with curved edges as if something rolled within them
Treating facial acne is more crucial as this condition aggravates faster there, causing irritation and mental distress. And dealing with scars is more challenging without getting rid of acne completely, as more scars can develop with growing whiteheads and pimples.
How Does Dr. E Treat Acne?
With her vast knowledge of dermatology and her passion for curing skin problems with the latest medical treatments, Dr. Ebrahim is widely regarded for consulting and providing personalized medication courses for acne treatment in Vancouver. After diagnosing your acne types and understanding your expectations, Dr. Ebrahim will plan a treatment regime with topical and oral medications. These acne treatment regimes will serve three primary goals:
- To prevent further acne development and control the ones that are present
- To prevent your skin from any new scars or damage and retain its tone
- To reduce present acne and its scars to make them less apparent and improve skin tone
Dr. Ebrahim has treated several patients in her career with distinct acne problems, and she is well adept in providing treatments that cater to the severity of your acne type, skin quality, and age. Hence, before you look for any acne clinic in Vancouver, it would be more than beneficial to get in touch with Dr. Ebrahim and consult her for comprehensive acne and scar treatment.
Patients Before & After Consulting Dr. E
Frequently Asked Questions
Eating chocolate does not cause acne. However, excessive chocolate consumption has been linked to the worsening of existing acne conditions. It is also believed that eating excess carb-rich foods like bread, biscuits, chips, etc. can worsen existing acne. And in some cases, even mental stress can have the same effect.
Some topical medications used for facial acne may not be usable over other parts of the body. Hence, Dr. Ebrahim may prescribe other oral medicines for body acne. The best way to know how your body acne would be treated is to consult Dr. Ebrahim and get your body acne type diagnosed.
Ance treatments and medications that are prescribed for medical reasons are approved for all ages. Being a family physician, Dr. Ebrahim always considers the age factor of all her patients and provides medically approved acne treatments in Vancouver, BC.
Unfortunately, not all types of acne can be prevented from occurring. Acne caused due to genetic inheritance or due to hormonal changes cannot be detected or prevented beforehand. However, following a healthy diet and skin hygiene can help reduce your chances of developing other causes of acne.
Acne scars are difficult to treat once the scar has matured. Studies have shown that treatment outcomes are better when the scar is developing and immature. In other words, if you have had a scar for several years, treating it will be more difficult and unpredictable.
Depending upon your scar’s age and type, and considering your financial and time limitations for laser treatments, there are several acne scar treatment options available, including:
- Punch Excision
- Shave Excision
- Microneedling With Radiofrequency
- Fractional Ablative Resurfacing
- Total Ablative Resurfacing