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26 Sep 2018 | CAPS Clinic

Acne – What is it and how do we treat it?

Acne occurs when hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It mostly affects the face but can also affect the neck, chest and back. Acne is caused by the following four factors:

  1. Oil production
  2. Dead skin cells
  3. Clogged pores
  4. Bacteria

Grades of Acne

There are 4 grades of acne and treatment is dependent upon the type and severity of the acne:

Grade 1 Presence of non-inflammatory lesions- open and closed comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) but usually no inflammatory lesions (papules and pustules).
Grade 2 Presence of comedones and a few papules and pustules.
Grade 3 Present of comedones, inflammatory papules, and pustules; a greater number of lesions are present than in milder inflammatory acne. Occasionally a referral to a dermatologist is         required, particularly when there is significant back and chest involvement.
Grade 4 Presence of comedones, inflammatory lesions, and large nodules greater than 5mm in diameter; scarring is often evident. Referred immediately to a dermatologist.

How is acne treated

Early diagnosis and treatment are important in order to cease progression and prevent or minimise scarring. Grades 1, 2 & 3 can all be successfully treated and managed at CAPS utilising a number of techniques including:

  • medical grade skincare,
  • dietary and lifestyle modifications
  • peeling procedures
  • and occasionally Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and/or laser applications including LED phototherapy (blue light).

We have found that with education and constant monitoring of this condition, acne and the scarring often accompanying acne can be managed.

The results are not immediate – it takes time and commitment on the part of the patient and the Dermal Clinician to work through each individual case and establish the best program to follow.

At My Genesis Clinic in Canberra we know that use of the right skincare can improve and manage your acne. Patients should make an appointment with a Dermal Clinician to discuss their skin-care routine to ensure it is compatible and complements the grade and severity of their acne.

Unfortunately, most supermarket or over the counter products do not contain sufficient active ingredients to be effective at controlling the acne therefore a Dermal Clinician can customise and prescribe an active yet gentle skincare regime to help control the 4 factors involved in acne.

Our products do not contain artificial fragrance or preservatives which are known to irritate or clog the skin yet they are active enough to bring about cellular change within the skin without irritation.

Daily use of sunscreen is also recommended and we find formulations with zinc and/or titanium dioxide more tolerable. Makeup can be used to conceal spots however some makeups can exacerbate acne. We recommend a mineral makeup such as Colorescience which is free from talc, dyes and fragrances which will help improve your skin and not contribute to the problem.

Treating Acne with Healite 

One of our most effective tools in treating acne is Healite utilising LED technology. Healite is a completely pain-free, no-downtime treatment which stimulates your skins own healing process and using the blue light kills bacteria to clear acne-prone skin. Utilising the Healite’s different wavelengths means we can not only treat acne but a range of concerns such as fine lines and wrinkles, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea as well as help with wound healing and scar reduction.

If you are struggling with acne, make an appointment with one of our Dermal Clinicians to learn more. Call (02) 6282 1155 today.

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