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Control acne

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Simple steps such as washing your face can help you manage excessive pimple formation and improve the texture of your skin, says  Dr Amit Karkhanis

Often thought of as a symbol of coming of age, acne is a nuisance irrespective of age or gender. Getting acne in the teenage years is such a common phenomenon that it is deemed normal at that stage. Leaving aside this hormonal cause, acne can be caused by many external and environmental reasons.

Acne is essentially a medical term for pimples. Our skin has many pores on the surface and these pores are the opening to a follicle. These follicles are made up of hair and oil glands. When the pores get blocked with excess oil build-up, dead skin, bacteria or other such foreign material, the skin gets inflamed and a bump is formed. This is acne.  

Prevention is better than cure. So essentially, the first step is to avoid the formation of acne on skin. Oily skin types are prone to this issue. Avoid build-up of excessive oil by washing your face at least two to three times times a day.

It is important to use the right kind of face cleanser, one that is suitable for your skin type and acne condition. A general rule is to use soft gentle foaming face washes, preferably containing hydroxy acids like glycolic acid and salicylic acid as these are great exfoliants and control sebum (oil created naturally in the pores) production. Make sure you do not scrub the face too much as scrubbing may worsen the condition and cause the infection to spread.

Your moisturiser, sunscreen or BB cream should be light and preferably water-based or mattifying to absorb the excess oil being produced and keep acne at bay. It is recommended to use products, and even makeup, that is labelled ‘noncomedogenic’ or ‘nonacnegenic’, as these will not clog the pores that cause acne.

In many cases, these basic hygiene steps are not sufficient and in-clinic treatments are required. If your condition is severe, it’s best to consult a skin specialist, get a thorough examination for appropriate diagnosis. This should be followed by effective treatment options.

One can opt for treatments like topical and oral medication combined with highly advanced combinations of lasers and dermal peels. The choice of correct clinical treatment depends on the grade and type of acne and your skin type. Lasers work on the hyperactive sebaceous glands and help control oil production, thus reducing their formation. Chemical peels have anti-inflammatory properties and temporarily reduce skin oil secretions. Also, peels have exfoliative properties that strip off the dead skin cell layer revealing fresh skin from underneath. This helps improve skin tone and texture.

Dr Amit Karkhanis is laser and cosmetic physician and Founder of Dr. Tvacha Clinic

Short takes

A gentle face wash used two or three times a day can go a long way towards preventing acne.

However, in severe cases, a skin specialist can help you with medication, or lasers and dermal peels.

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