When some people say acne, what they’re really referring to is a few hormonal spots found on their body. But as medically diagnosed, acne is a very common chronic disorder affecting the hair follicles and oil glands of the skin that results in clogged pores and inflammation. Usually, these lesions can appear on the face, neck, back, chest and shoulders. It’s ongoing, painful, sometimes embarrassing for the individual and it can be very difficult to get an acne treatment that will get it under control.
Research has found that nearly 85% of adolescents and young adults between 12 to 24 years old develop acne (according to the World Health Organisation). Most people no longer have acne by the time that they reach their 30’s, but unfortunately, some people continue to have acne when they’re older.
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Acne results from several factors such as genetics, hormonal changes, bacteria, stress and occasionally, food intake. And when it comes to the Middle East, we live in a region that is often hot and dusty; this leads us to stay indoors and put the air conditioning on full blast. In other words, we are in the perfect environment to develop acne. Nonetheless, one of the main factors that lead to acne is high hormone levels. Androgen is a male sex hormone, which increases in both young men and women during puberty which may lead to the clogging of pores. There is colonization of bacteria called Propionibacterium acne which causes inflammation and acne formation.
Dermatologists usually recommend acne treatment to prevent acne scars, and early treatment is key. Depending on the level of acne, your doctor may suggest an over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription drug, creams or even pills that must be taken in. But for more severe cases, there are stronger acne treatment methods which target acne scarring including strong creams, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser resurfacing and rejuvenation among others.
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Gentle cleansing: It is essential to gently clean your skin. Scrubbing the skin will not prevent acne. It can even make the problem worse.
Don’t pop pimples: Squeezing, pinching, or picking pimples often causes dark spots which are harder to get rid of.
Be careful when shaving: Carefully shave as in-grown hair can cause inflammation, redness, swelling and sometimes scarring.
Stay out of the sun: many acne medicines can make people more likely to be susceptible to sunburn.
Choose your makeup carefully: All makeup should be oil-free. In the label, look for the word “non-comedogenic”, which means that the makeup will not clog your pores.
Shampoo your hair regularly: If your hair is oily, you may want to shampoo daily.
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Ultimately, by following the above steps and acne treatment options, you can do your best to ward off acne. In a hot and dusty environment, looking after your skin is more important than ever, and with just a few simple changes, your skin should be glowing.
About the Author
Dr. Uttam Kumar is a Specialist Dermatologist at Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi. His areas of interest include dermatosurgery, lasers, cosmetic dermatology, pediatric dermatology, psoriasis, urticaria and drug reactions, pigmentary disorders, hair disorders, and nail disorders.