Acne is one of the most common, yet hardest skin problems to clear and it is not just a problem found in puberty. It is a disease that can span right the way through to adult life and for some it can be persistent.
In normal circumstances, our skin’s sebaceous or oil glands will normally make oil that lubricates the surface of the skin. Acne is a result of the overproduction of oil by these sebaceous glands, inflammation and redness resulting as the pores of the skin become blocked, not only being filled with sebum, but also dead skin cells .Despite the blockage, oil continues to be produced, resulting in a swelling behind the blockage causing white heads or blackheads if the oil is exposed to air but still stuck into the pore. A perfect environment for bacteria develops leading to the larger red spots of acne.
Hormonal changes are the predominant cause of acne and should be addressed particularly in adult females. Diet and stress can also add to the burden of the skin and attempts to cover the skin with makeup can often make the condition worse.
Renude Laser Clinic provides a number of treatments and advanced technologies for acne.
Laser facialsare a non-invasive and relatively painless treatment, ideal for reducing oil production, removing dead skin and killing the bacteria that creates acne. Reducing the levels of sebum (oil) should also reduce the symptoms of acne and the size of acne cysts and nodules. The photo-acoustic shock waves of the laser reorganise the skin’s collagen resulting in tightening of the skin, improving the condition of acne scars.
A“sun kissed” redness can occur following treatment and is likely to disappear within 1- 2 hours.
Carbon- Activated Charcoal Laser Facials are a gentler form of laser treatment that can reduce black heads, helps shrink sebaceous glands, reduces oil production, reducing sebum and gland size and improving the tone of the skin. There is generally no downtime for this treatment.
The medical grade laser we use at Renude Laser Clinic, is a super pulsed laser with blue, red and infra-red light housed within the one unit. A super pulsed laser means that it can penetrate deep within the dermis providing therapeutic healing to the targeted skin.
Low Level laser therapy has a wide range of applications of use in dermatology, especially in indications where stimulation of healing, reduction in inflammation, reducing cell death and skin rejuvenation are required.
Red lightpenetrates deeper into the tissues changing the action of the sebum secretion of sebaceous glands. It reduces inflammation, swelling and redness, improves lymphatic drainage and can decrease signs of scarring.
Blue Lighttherapy kills Propionibacterium acnes bacteria, the bacteria that causes acne, making it the ideal light therapy to help improve the condition of acne.
With cystic acne, light therapy and a laser facial is usually recommended every second day. For mild to moderate acne, we usually recommend twice weekly appointments. We recommend that oral acne photosensitive medication not be taken up to 72 hours prior to treatment. To maintain great results, follow up treatments are generally recommended once or twice a year.
Results do vary from person to person and most people do require a series of treatments. Several studies have found a significant improvement with several treatments. Like most healing treatments, it does take time. It is always important to address the cause of the condition and heal from the inside out. As acne is predominately caused from hormonal imbalances, including Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and high androgens (Testosterone), herbal remedies and bioidentical hormones can be most useful. It is important to see your health care provider to get hormone blood levels monitored carefully if pursuing this form of treatment.
No one laser can heal acne including blackheads, whiteheads and acne cysts. This is why we use different laser applications here at Renude Lase Clinic.
Following all laser treatments sunlight must be avoided for 48 hours wherever possible or a 30+ sunscreen should be used.
Skin Care, Body Care and Enzyme Exfoliation
It is also important to follow good acne skin care methods as these will help achieve the best results.
Nearly EVERY commercial product in the skin care industryclogs pores. Many products can be petroleum based, contain plastics and other chemical irritants. If pores are clogged, blood flow attempting to make new skin cells can’t make new collagen and new skin cells stop regeneration. The skin will continue to trap old dead reddened scar tissue, creating pore scarring or acne scarring. Restoring normal functioning to the skin can occur with a combination of laser treatments and enzyme masks, always remembering to address the internal environment as well.
Products that are effective in the treatment of acne arepapaya enzyme exfoliation, pumpkin seed oil (zinc and Vitamin E), Vitamin A, Vitamin B3, Mint (Salicylic Acid), Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), grapefruit, emu oil, rosehip oil, calendula oil, pomegranate oil, jojoba oil, tamanu oil, apricot kernel oil, sea buckthorn oil and anti-inflammatory herbs such as thyme, rosemary, lavender, chamomile, rose and rosemary. Turmeric and ginger tea are also great anti-inflammatories.
More on good oils and enzymes
Vitamin Ein pumpkin seed oil is necessary in maintaining good barrier function of the skin. Pumpkin seed also regulates sebum, so is great for oily skin. Zinc, an essential mineral involved in hormones and healing skin, is also present in pumpkin seeds
Tamanu Oilhas mild antibacterial properties minimizing the growth of acne. The actives of canophyllol and canophyllic acid have been compared to amoxicillin, a commonly used antibiotic. Tamanu oil has also been found to be beneficial on aged scars due to its regenerative properties. Xanthones and coumarins found within the oil are potent antioxidants. Antioxidants inhibit the breakdown of cell membranes from free radicals and the xanthones have been found to reduce swelling and inflammation.
Protein destroying (proteolytic) enzymesare found in papaya and pumpkin. These enzymes stimulate exfoliation by digesting keratin and loosening the bonds between the cells. These enzymes are activated by water and are suitable for most skin types.
Salicylic acidcan not only be found in mint but also is found in willow bark, wintergreen leaves and sweet birch. Salicylic acid produces less irritation and exhibits anti-inflammatory properties making it a preferred option for clients with rosacea, acne and skin sensitivities.
A few studies have been performed on the benefits ofcastor oilfor acne skin. It is thought to disinfect the skin and kill the bacteria. Interestingly, it is often used internally for systemic fungal infections by health care professionals.
Facial scrubs or abrasive exfoliations should be avoided as these are likely to irritate and inflame the skin.
Facial toning mistscontaining rosemary, neem, aloe or thyme are non-drying and can be effective to help control excess oil. Astringents, often containing alcohol can unbalance the pH of the skin. As with any skin care treatment, knowledge of the ingredients is always important.Hereis our blog of toxic ingredients in skin care.
It does matter what you eat.
The glycaemic index of food (GI) is very important with people afflicted by acne. Low GI food decreases insulin-like growth hormone which affects acne, growth of skin cells and skin-cell production of androgens and rate of oil production. PCOS has been found to also respond to low GI high fibre diets (fresh fruit, vegetables and beans). Organic proteins lower androgens and removing food allergens such as dairy can be beneficial.Histamine intolerance is another important condition to be aware of in the fight against acne. Zinc, a very important mineral for sexual development, menstruation and ovulation has been found to be deficient in people with high androgens and acne. There are some genetic conditions that cause the body to dump zinc regularly, so supplementation can be beneficial. The antioxidants Vitamin A and C would be other supplementation to consider.
Disclaimer The information contained on this site is general in nature and for informational purposes. Read more…
For any health concerns, Dr Julie Epstein MBBS FRACP, an Integrative Consulting Physician with a long term interest in internal Anti-Ageing Medicine and Hormonal Imbalances is available for consultation at our premises. She investigates the whole body ecosystem and its balance rather than organ specific medicine. Evidence based medicine underpins Dr Epstein’s assessments, diagnoses and treatments.