Acne is a condition which develops in and around the hair follicles and their oil producing glands (called the sebaceous glands). Although we have these glands all over the surface of our body, it is only on the face, chest and back that acne develops. The oil produced by sebaceous glands is called sebum and it begins to appear soon after puberty due to hormonal changes. Acne may be inflammatory or non-inflammatory. The primary non-inflammatory lesion is called “comedone”. Whiteheads are pale, slightly elevated papules categorized as closed comedones. Blackheads are plugs of material that accumulate in the sebaceous glands and are categorized as open comedones. Comedonal acne can become inflamed and lead to the formation of painful papules, pustules and nodules. Acne usually starts during teenage years but may also begin in the twenties or thirties.
There are a number of approaches to treating acne and the scarring it leaves behind. Your dermatologist can prescribe the appropriate skincare to treat your acne, as well as topical and/or oral medication. There are also procedures like Microdermabrasion, Hydrafacial, Acne Booster Peels and Broad Band Light (BBL) & IPL to help treat the condition. Vitamin C iontopheresis is effective in lightening the dark marks left over from inflammatory acne. Patients are encouraged not to pick and squeeze their acne as this can lead to more scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.