Atrophic acne scars have lost collagen from the healing response and are the most common type of acne scar (account for approximately 75% of all acne scars). They may be further classified as ice-pick scars, boxcar scars, and rolling scars. Ice-pick scars are narrow (less than 2 mm across), deep scars that extend into the dermis. Boxcar scars are round or ovoid indented scars with sharp borders and vary in size from 1.5–4 mm across. Rolling scars are wider than icepick and boxcar scars (4–5 mm across) and have a wave-like pattern of depth in the skin.
Pimples or acne are skin lesions/inflammations that occur when the sebaceous glands (oil glands) of the skin get infected with bacteria and swell up. Pimples are also known as pustules or papules, spots, and zits. The sebaceous glands that are present throughout the skin, except in the palms and soles, secrete a waxy or oily substance called sebum. The sebum helps to maintain the oil balance of the skin and makes it look healthy. When there is any abnormality in the sebaceous gland, pimples develop (1).
The first lasers to be used were aggressive, 100% resurfacing; which means they would treat the whole skin area, leading to open healing and prolonged recovery time and redness. Those drawbacks led to the advent of fractionated lasers.
Severe acne can have a huge impact on self-confidence and self-esteem, leading to anxiety and depression. This type of acne will not usually respond to over the counter skincare products available at pharmacies or from supermarket shelves.
“Stress leads to increased cortisol levels,” says dermatologist Ava Shamban. Like testosterone, cortisol is a hormone that can increase oiliness as well as inflammation. Not a good combo when you want to avoid being red in the face. Once upon a time, our bodies produced cortisol only when we were in danger, but nowadays, it’s much more likely to flood your system in response to a looming deadline than in response to a predator in the underbrush. So when your acne starts acting up, take a minute to figure out whether there’s anything you’re freaking out over, then unload all of that skin-wrecking stress.
Dermatologists aren’t sure why azelaic acid is so effective at clearing up inflammation, but it’s often used as an option for sensitive skin or pregnant patients. Linkner says the ingredient is good at treating malasma, acne, and rosacea. Your dermatologist can prescribe a foam product with azelaic acid, and you can also find beauty products with very small amounts of this active ingredient.
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Zinc is a mineral your body needs in small amounts that not everyone gets enough of, especially vegetarians. That’s because zinc is most abundant in red meat, organ meats and seafood, although whole grain foods and nuts are decent sources. Some research shows that acne sufferers have lower zinc levels than those without the disease and that taking zinc supplements may help. Unfortunately, zinc supplements can interfere with the absorption of other minerals like copper, so it’s important to take zinc under a doctor’s care. The other way to get the benefits is to eat more foods rich in zinc.
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Tea tree oil is renowned for being good for your skin. In addition to this, it also contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, which makes it highly beneficial for acne treatment. In fact, studies that compare tea tree oil to the acne medication benzoyl peroxide shows it to be just as effective. But please remember to dilute tea tree oil before you use it; otherwise, your skin may get irritated.
^ Jump up to: a b c Tan, J; Boyal, S; Desai, K; Knezevic, S (April 2016). “Oral Isotretinoin: New Developments Relevant to Clinical Practice”. Dermatologic Clinics (Review). 34 (2): 175–84. doi:10.1016/j.det.2015.11.002. PMID 27015777.
If your acne is the hormonal type, “no topical product alone will make a huge difference,” says Jennifer MacGregor, a dermatologist in New York City. In fact, the treatment a doctor gives you may not even seem like it’s about skin at all. For many women, taking birth-control pills can help clear up skin. Because most contain estrogen and progestin, they help suppress testosterone and prevent breakouts. Already on the pill and still breaking out? A doctor may prescribe spironolactone, a drug for hypertension that controls androgens. Don’t take it if you’re thinking of getting pregnant, though, since it can cause birth defects. (Many doctors prescribe spironolactone to women of child-bearing age only if they’re also on the pill.)
Imagine this – you have a party to go to or have an interview lined up, and a pimple decides to pay you a visit. You are devastated and need a quick fix. Don’t be disheartened because makeup can be your saving grace, whether it is to cover a random pimple or many more with scars around your face. Follow these simple steps and techniques to cover acne effortlessly:
Clean skin is a pretty obvious need for an acne-free face and body. You want to make sure you use the right cleansing methods and exfoliate gently. I always look for pure options, such as Castile soap. Castile soap offers a gentle way to cleanse using plant-based ingredients, such as olive oil. (11)
Retinoids, a prescription-based treatment for acne, are derivatives of vitamin A, so you might assume that adding more vitamin A to your diet might be helpful. Is there any truth to this? According to a study published in the Clinical Experimental Dermatology involving 100 acne sufferers, those with lower levels of vitamin A and vitamin E had more severe acne symptoms, but it’s not clear whether vitamin A or E helps if you have normal levels. Still, adding more vitamin A and vitamin E-rich foods to your diet may be beneficial. Good sources of vitamin A and carotenoids, vitamin A derivatives, include liver, eggs, milk, pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe and apricots. The best sources of vitamin E are nuts and seeds, especially almonds, sweet potatoes and oils.
Topical retinoids are used in anti-aging efforts, and can speed up the rate of cell regeneration, aiding your skin in sloughing off the dead skin cells at a regulated rate. In some patients, retinoids can also serve as an anti-inflammatory agent, but they have been known to cause irritation when first used.
^ Jump up to: a b c Riahi, RR; Bush, AE; Cohen, PR (June 2016). “Topical Retinoids: Therapeutic Mechanisms in the Treatment of Photodamaged Skin”. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology (Review). 17 (3): 265–76. doi:10.1007/s40257-016-0185-5. PMID 26969582.
Diane S. Berson, MD, FAAD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Ithaca. Disclosure: Consultant for Galderma Stiefel, Proctor & Gamble, and Neutrogena.
For UVA protection, a sunscreen with a high UVA protection of PA+++ or higher of PA++++ as recommended, especially to treat PIE. PPD is the UVA equivalent of SPF; use a sunscreen with a minimum of PPD20. The PA+ system has a + that corresponds to a tier of PPD protection. Of note, different countries use different systems. Japan and Taiwan changed their PA system to a 4+ tier system while Korea uses a 3+ tier system.