Acne is one of the most unfortunate skin conditions that plague people today. About 1 in 5 people is an acne sufferer which makes it one of the most common skin conditions today. It usually appears during teenage, and may remain well into your later years of life. Some people are lucky enough to see it vanish as they grow old, other’s are not so fortunate.
People who have acne suffer from depression, anxiety and guilt. They are sad about the nasty inflammations on their face, which are hard to disguise. At the same time they blame themselves for the condition. In reality, it is not their fault that they have acne. It is a common misconception that people have acne because of:
- Poor eating habits
- Poor hygiene
- Eating junkfood or specific foods high in sugar
- Lack of a proper skincare regimen
- Not washing their face enough times
- Wearing cosmetics
However none of the above stated reasons are backed by any scientific evidence, and are household myths. In reality, the only cause of acne is heredity. An individual has acne because they have inherited the acne gene from their parent, and it probably runs in their family.
Acne is caused by the excess production of sebum in the oil glands in the body. The excess oils clog pores in the skin and as oil and bacteria accumulates in the pores, it leads to inflammation
Since acne is such a common problem, the demand for anti-acne products is very high. As a result there are numerous products available today that claim to completely diminish acne off your face, beck, chest and back. All the products claim magical results within a few days.
In truth, none of them work. Consumers will buy the products out of desperation, only to be disappointed again and again and again.
Most acne sufferers have tried every over the counter product to fight acne be it facewash, cream, gel or orally ingested medicine only to see little or no results.
The fact that orally ingested medication also comes with very dangerous side effects is another barrier to their battle against acne.
Another problem faced by acne sufferers are the scars that it leaves behind. The scars can be of two types:
Superficial Acne Scars:
These scars are slightly raised above the surface of the skin and are dry in texture. As the name suggests they are superficial scar which are easier to treat than deeper scars.
Pitted Acne Scars:
These are deeper acne scars that are pitted into the skin and may have the appearance of holes or indentations.
In either case, scars are very unsightly and not at all visually appealing. Scarring can be traumatic for acne sufferers and those who have recovered from acne but are still left with scars. However thankfully, acne and acne scar treatments in Dubai are here to the rescue of those who have a perpetual battle with acne.
Treatments for Acne and Acne Scarring:
Microdermabrasion is one of the least invasive procedures in cosmetic treatments today. It is effective in dealing with minor acne as well as superficial acne scars. During the procedure the uppermost layer of dead skin cells, the stratum corneum is sloughed off by the use of a microderm machine. It applies tiny rough grains of diamonds, crystals and bristle tips on the skin surface to peel off the dead skin cells. The procedure is painless and is frequently called a ‘lunch time procedure’ as it may take only half an hour. The recovery time is also short. The results will be noticeable immediately, but optimal results can be seen after a few treatments. After the procedure the skin may be slightly red and photosensitive for a couple of hours. Thus it is important to wear sunscreen and avoid sun exposure after the treatment.
Chemical peels are another very popular procedure of acne and acne scar removal. Celebrities often get these peels to greatly improve the appearance of their skin. During the procedure a chemical solution is applied to the skin which causes is to blister and gradually peel off. The new skin that is uncovered is smoother with a more even skintone.
Chemical peels are great for improving the appearance of mild scarring and treat mild forms of acne such as comedonal acne or acne vulgaris. Individuals with fair skin and light hair are the best candidates for chemical peels. Darker skinned individuals are more likely to experience discolouration after the treatment. After the treatment photosensitivity of the skin increases, hence it is essential to wear sunscreen daily. Exposure to the sun should be avoided especially during the daylight hours. The results of this treatment are noticeable immediately after the first treatment. More treatments may be needed depending on the client’s own skin condition.
Dermabrasion is another very popular method of treating acne or acne scars. This method uses a wire brush or a diamond wheel with rough adges to remove the upper layers of the skin. The brush rotates rapidly scraping off and leveling the topmost layers of skin. This process wounds the skin causing it to bleed. As the wound heels new skin emerges and replaced the damaged skin that was removed during dermabrasion. The newly exposed skin is free from acne scarring.
Laser Skin Resurfacing:
The latest advances in laser technology have made it a great deal more effective and less invasive than the traditional ablative skin resurfacing lasers. This technique directs short, concentrated and pulsating beams of light at irregular areas of the skin, removing it layer by layer. The most commonly used lasers are the CO2 fractional laser and erbium laser. Both treatments work effectively for minimizing superficial and pitted acne scars
Fractional CO2 laser treatment:
Fractional CO2 laser uses small columns of fractionated energy to ablate damaged areas of the skin. Tiny wounds are created in the skin and the surrounding healthy skin helps to heal the injured areas, forming new collagen and elastic. By targeting deeper zones within the skin as opposed to the entire skin surface, fractional CO2 treatment is a one-time procedure performed under local anesthesia. It offers an improvement in acne scarring, wrinkles and discolouration by stimulating growth of collagen. The procedure will take about 1.5 hours, although the laser treatment itself is only 20 minutes long. The preparation time, and the post treatment time makes it lengthier. Before the treatment topical numbing is applied on the skin for it to work, and when the treatment is over you will have to stay for 20 minutes to cool down the skin through a cooling treatment.
Fractional laser can treat:
- Superficial lesions
- Skin texture
The fractional CO2 treatment can be performed on its own or in combination with other procedures such as eyelid lift, injectable fillers or facelift.
Erbium Laser Treatment:
Erbium lasers were among the first lasers used to treat acne scars. They are designed to remove superficial and moderately deep scars on the face, hands, neck or chest. There is minimal burning of surrounding tissue in this treatment as well as fewer side effects.
As the entire face is resurfaced in this procedure the recovery time is long taking from one to two weeks to fully recover from the treatment. Newer treatments that combine fractional laser methods have considerably reduced the recovery time. The new lasers treat only a fraction of the skin’s surface. Erbium lasers wavelength are attracted to the water in your skin. This attraction towards water causes controlled ablation of a very fine layer of skin that practically vaporizes it. By ablating the superifical layer of skin new collagen and skin is revived causing it to look more even textured.
Diode lasers are helpful in treating acne and acne scars and also have multi-application capabilities such as hair removal, leg veins and broken capillaries. Some of these lasers are the Nd:Yags. Sciton, SmoothBeam, Varlite, Gemini, Aura-I Lasery system, Aramis Ebrium Glass Acne treatment, Alma, Radiency, Luminis are all used to treat acne and acne scars.
Pulsed Dye lasers:
These are non-ablative lasers used to treat certain kinds of acne and acne scars and as they are so multifunctional they can ever be used to treat other skin conditions such as spider veins, birthmarks, red scars, fine lines, telangeictasia and broken capillaries.
A few of the pulse dye lasers are V-Beam, Alexandrite, Gentlase and Cool Pulse.
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light):
These are non-ablative and use a beam of high intensity light. They are not lasers but work in a similar way. IPL treatment can be used to treat acne alone or in combination with other cosmetic treatments. This technique is also used to treat brown spots, sun damaged skin, enlarged pores and skin tightening in combination with other laser or radiofrequency procedures. They are also useful in hair removal and treatment of superficial vascular changes of the skin.
Some IPL machines are EpiLight, PhotoDerm, Quantum and various others.
This relatively new laser treats a fraction of the skins surface at a time causing injuries at a microscopic level which promotes growth of collagen formation and cellular repair. It is used to treat acne and acne scars. As fraxel also works as an ablative laser it can also treat wrinkles and be used for skin resurfacing procedures. It has also been known to treat brown spots, melasma and other pigmentary changes in skin.
Some of the light therapy systems are FDA approved for treatment of mild to moderate inflammatory acne (pustules and red papules).
The lamp like device uses an intense wavelength, high intensity bluish light to eliminate bacteria that causes acne without damaging the surrounding tissue or skin. Exposing the skin to a low intensity blue light source is thought to destroy P acnes by activating miporphyrins that fight against bacteria. Porphyrins start a chemical reaction that produces peroxide that destroys bacteria. It is a painless procedure and is typically done througha number of sessions each lasting for 15 minutes. P. acnes multiply rapidly so ongoing treatment is necessary for optimal results. Side effects of blue light therapy include swelling and dryness in treated areas as well as pigment changes.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT):
Photodynamic therapy involves the application of special medicines to the skin followed by exposure to a light source to activate the medication. These substances are believed to make the cells sensitive to light. There are practically no risks involved and results are seen instantly after a single treatment. Photodynamic therapy is helpful in removing precancerous spots, acne, irregular pigmentation and fine lines. For the treatment of acne, preferential targeting of sebaceous glands and propionibacterium acnes the bacteria involved as a cause of acne are thought to be the primary mechanisms involved. Because P acnes has been shown to accumulate porphyrins naturally, blue or red light can alone have a direct therapeutic photodynamic effect on the bacteria.
How skin laser treatments performed?
At the time of consultation the surgeon will inform you on what to expect from the laser acne treatment. They will explain alternative treatments that are available, details of the procedure and its complications and limitations.
They may perform test patches to determine how the skin will respond to the laser. This is done as a safety measure. Once the client is ready for the treatment the area to be treated is cleaned and a topical anesthetic is applied to minimize pain.
During the procedure a slight stinging sensation is felt with each pulse of the laser. Many lasers come with a cooling device to decrease skin temperature providing an added mild anesthetic effect and minimizing the possibility of burns from the laser heat.
How long do the treatments take?
The time it takes acne and acne scar treatment in Dubai depends on the size of the area being treated, the laser being used and the technique. A small area can take only 5 minutes whereas a larger area may take 1 hour. Initially weekly or biweekly treatments are required for up to 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the kind of laser used to treat your specific case and severity of your condition.
The cosmetic surgeon will provide you with greater details on your individual treatment.
Can acne laser treatments be performed in combination with other treatments?
The latest research has shown that laser acne skin treatments can be combined with other topical treatments and procedures for very favourable results. Your surgeon prescribes these medications and their use may be phenomenal in the proper application of the acne laser treatment. It is important to understand the procedure being done beforehand to be prepared for what happens next.
Are the treatments painful?
Very mild discomfort can occur during the treatment usually in the form of a burning of stinging sensation and the level of discomfort varies from person to person. An anesthesia can be applied to the skin prior to the treatment to minimize pain.
After the procedure the treated area will be swollen or red as if there is mild sunburn. Your surgeon will prescribe a topical cream to soothe the skin. Sometimes the skin in the treated area becomes slightly crusty but this reaction will fade in a few days.
Overtime you will see a drastic improvement in the appearance of your skin thanks to the best acne and acne scar treatments in Dubai supervised by trained experts.