Be good to your skin. You’ll wear it every day for the rest of your life. - Anonymous

What is acne?

Acne is a condition in which red, inflamed spots, which may be filled with pus, appear on the skin. Acne occurs when your skin pores become plugged with greasy secretions causing whiteheads, blackheads or pimples. These lesions are most common on the face, but may also occur on the neck, chest, back, shoulders, and upper arms.

Possible Causes: 

Acne causes are linked to pores in the skin getting clogged. This clog begins with dead skin cells. When the body secretes excessive sebum, the dead skin cells remain inside the pore instead of being shed. Sometimes bacteria that live on our skin, p. acnes, also get inside the clogged pore, causing it to become inflamed. When this inflammation goes deep into the skin, an acne cyst or nodule appears.

Risk Factors: 

Acne is one of the most common skin problems. Risk factors that increase the chances of getting acne are:

  • Hormonal changes, typically seen at puberty or pregnancy or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in women.
  • Certain medications, such as birth control pills or corticosteroids.
  • A diet that is high in dairy products and refined sugars or carbohydrates, such as bread and chips.
  • Hereditary factors.

Signs & Symptoms: 

Blemishes of many different types that appear on the face, back, chest, neck, shoulders, upper arms and buttocks could be acne symptoms. These could be pustules (commonly called pimples), or blackheads, whiteheads, papules, cysts or nodules.

Diagnosis: 

At Medcare, a skin specialist will determine if the condition is acne, as other conditions may have similar symptoms. Then the specialist will grade the acne – grade 1 for mild and grade 4 for severe, and also analyse acne causes.

Treatment Options: 

The dermatologist at Medcare may prescribe topical medication for external use, or an acne treatment prescription. Medications may include antibiotics, hormones (oral contraceptive pills for hormonal acne or PCOS) or isotretinoin to be taken orally. 

Acne can also be treated with procedures such as laser treatment, light therapy, chemical peels or acne removal procedure.  Inform your dermatologist if you are pregnant as Isotretinoin is usually not prescribed during pregnancy.

FAQs:الأسئلة الشائعة:
  • What are some good practices or acne home remedies?

    A: There are some skin care routines that you can follow to keep acne under control.

    • Clean your skin regularly using a mild soap oil control cleanser that has AHA or BHA exfoliating properties.
    • Keep your hair clean and away from your face.
    • If you use makeup, look for products that are water-based or labelled “noncomedogenic”, meaning they don’t clog your pores.
    • Don’t squeeze or pick pimples, as this causes them to spread and leave post inflammatory dark spots. 
    • Avoid wearing hats or tight headbands.
    • Avoid touching your face frequently.
    • Monitor your diet and drink plenty of water.
  • Can scars resulting from acne be treated?

    A: Yes, there are treatments that can get rid of scars caused by acne. Your dermatologist may recommend chemical peels that remove the top layer of the skin. Lasers could be used to give your skin a more even surface.

    Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can be taken from your own blood and injected into scars to get rid of them. At Medcare Dermatology centre, you can discuss your acne and your scars with your skin specialist.

  • What are some factors that aggravate acne?

    A: Acne may be triggered or aggravated due to:

    • Hormones: hormonal changes affect sebum production and may worsen acne.
    • Medications: certain medications such as corticosteroids or testosterone may worsen acne in some people.
    • Diet: carbohydrate rich food can aggravate acne.
    • Stress: stress can cause acne to worsen.
  • Why does pregnancy aggravate acne among some women?

    A: Some women may be troubled by acne during pregnancy. This could be due to overproduction of sebum due to the hormonal changes caused by pregnancy. When treating pregnancy acne, it is important to know which medications are safe to use, so it’s best to consult a dermatologist.