Acne is caused by chronic inflammation of the sebaceous gland in hair follicles. Each hair follicle contains multiple sebaceous glands.
The sebaceous gland produces sebum, an oily substance that travels up along the hair and exits on to the skins surface.
In acne, the sebaceous gland produces too much oily sebum, which blocks openings to the oil producing glands, which in turn causes blackheads. Propionibacterium Acnes then causes inflammation in the glands.
These factors come together to produce the characteristic red spots with a central yellow elevation that is seen in acne.
In some persons, the spots or elements can develop into much larger cysts as seen in the condition called cystic acne or nodular acne. Cystic acne can leave permanent scarring of the skin.
Acne is mot often found on the face, the scalp, neck, chest, back, upper arms and shoulders.
Treatment for acne
There a number of treatment options in case of acne.
Usually the treatment for active acne would be different medicines taken over several weeks or months. Medicines may include topical treatment or oral medicines and tablets. Depending on your conditions and the medicine used we may need to monitor your liver function and take regular blood tests.
Benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid
After cleaning the skin with warm water and a mild soap, such as Dove, Cetaphil, Brevoxyl, Triax (benzoyl peroxide) or Propa (Salicylic Acid) is applied
Moderate to severe acne or cystic acne
There are many treatment options available for moderate to severe acne. Chances are, that you’ll ultimately be able to get rid of acne, in most cases. However, there is no quick fix to acne and you need to accept that this is a lengthy process. On the other hand, chances are that you’ll be very happy with the results, at the end of the treatment.
Azelaic acid or prescription antibiotic gels or creams may be required.
In some patients oral antibiotics such as Dalacin or Tetracyclin may be required.
Birth control pills may be used in cases of acne in women as there can be a hormonal aspect to acne in some cases.
Isotretinoin is effective against acne and 85% of the patients usually have a good response to the treatment. This NOT a medicine that you buy online, get from a friend because he/she had a good response or a medicine that you use without seeing a doctor.
Once the medicine is initiated, it’s vital that you follow-up with the doctor during the course and amongst other precautions, it’s important that pregnancy is ruled out, before the medication starts. It’s advisable to avoid pregnancy, if Isotretinoin treatment is the treatment of choice.
If Isotretinoin is used, then you are strongly advised to follow the instructions and precautions that comes with treatment. Protocol should naturally always be followed, but here it’s important that you do not skip the follow-up plan, instructed by the doctor.
Usually, the course takes some 4-5 months and you’ll be monitored by your doctor during the course of Isotretinoin treatment.
What to do next?
There are many options for treating acne and it can sometimes be hard to understand the differences between the various treatments, pros and cons. Naturally, there will be many questions and uncertainties. It’s also vital, that your expectations match what can realistically be expected from various procedures.
Again, one word of caution, although most medicines are available without a prescription in Pakistan, we’d strongly advise you against using Isotretinoin, without consulting a doctor and a follow-up. We recommend contacting us on 03211554554 to set up a consultation.