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How Natalie cleared her adult acne
Natalie tried many acne products without success. Find out how a board-certified dermatologist helped Natalie see clear skin before her wedding.
JAK inhibitors: A newer type of medication
JAK inhibitors are helping patients with alopecia areata, eczema/atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and vitiligo. Here’s what you need to know.
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A dermatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in treating the skin, hair, and nails. Dermatologists care for people of all ages.
Eczema scars: Causes, treatment, and prevention
Eczema can sometimes cause temporary changes in pigmentation, which people may refer to as scars. They often resolve in a few weeks, but managing eczema can also help avoid them.
Without prompt treatment, eczema can also cause skin thickening. Patches can leave skin changes that persist for longer, although they often fade as a person ages. Applying topical creams from the start can help prevent this.
Eczema is the term for a group of common conditions that cause the skin to become inflamed or irritated. It affects about 31.6 million people in the United States. The symptoms can vary among individuals, but they often include itchy, dry skin with swollen, weeping, and crusty patches.
Some people might also notice pigmentation changes, or dyspigmentation, in the skin once eczema has settled down. This symptom may resemble an eczema scar, but the skin will regain its usual appearance in time.
Learning more about what causes the skin to erupt and itch can help people treat eczema and prevent it from getting worse.
Changes in pigmentation are generally the result of damage to the skin.
In the case of eczema, this condition can cause such severe itching that people scratch their skin until it bleeds, putting them at risk of infection. All of this damage to the skin can contribute to dyspigmentation as eczema heals.
The intolerable itching is often due to flare-ups, during which symptoms worsen. Many different environmental factors can cause flare-ups, but common triggers include:
- dust mites
- cold weather
- animal dander from household pets
- rough or wool clothing, plus clothes made from polyester or nylon
- household cleaners
- laundry detergent
- chlorine in swimming pools
- sun exposure
The chronic itching may become so severe that it causes other problems, such as:
- loss of sleep
- the “itch-scratch-itch cycle,” where itching leads to scratching, which leads to itching, and so on
Damage to the skin, possibly resulting in pigmentation changes, can be the end result of this cycle.
People can minimize the extent of pigmentation changes by refraining from scratching the skin during an eczema flare-up. Although dyspigmentation occurs as part of the flare-up, scratching can make it worse.
The best way to avoid changes in pigmentation is to take steps to manage eczema and prevent flare-ups.
People may be able to do this by:
- taking short baths or showers in lukewarm, but never hot, water
- using fragrance-free or hypoallergenic skin care and bathing products
- testing any new skin products on a small area of skin before applying them more extensively
- moisturizing the skin regularly and frequently
- avoiding extreme temperatures
- wearing loose fitting clothing
- using hypoallergenic, or fragrance- and dye-free, detergent to wash clothes
- washing new clothes before wearing them
- choosing clothes made from cotton and other natural breathable fabrics and avoiding wearing wool next to the skin
People can also try to identify any other personal triggers of eczema flare-ups and avoid these where possible.
Although there is no cure for eczema, seeking treatment can help people find relief and learn how to manage their symptoms more effectively.
It is advisable to see a doctor for evaluation if the following symptoms develop in children or adults:
- itchy and painful skin
- skin rash
- bleeding or oozing skin
- pus-filled bumps on the skin
- skin infections
- numerous deep lines in the palm
- mental health issues
Anyone who finds that dyspigmentation due to eczema is affecting their quality of life should consider seeing a dermatologist.
Dermatologists can help people improve the appearance of their skin and limit the impact of future eczema flare-ups.
Eczema refers to a group of common skin conditions that cause uncomfortable symptoms, including itching. Some people may notice temporary changes in pigmentation in the affected areas of skin, which may resemble scarring.
There is no cure for eczema, but effective management can help keep the symptoms under control. Treatment typically involves identifying and avoiding triggers for eczema flare-ups, following a healing skin care routine, and using medication according to a doctor’s instructions.
Following a treatment plan can help reduce the damage to the skin, lowering the chance of dyspigmentation.
Comedones: symptoms, diagnosis and treatment
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The constant process of skin renewal can cause blockage of the sebaceous glands and follicles. Getting into microscopic holes, excess sebum and dead cells of the exfoliated epidermis lead to the appearance of black dots or pimples. Experts have united them by the name “comedones”. The situation is aggravated by the lack of proper skin care, being in unfavorable sanitary conditions, as well as the intensive production of sebum, the excess of which clogs the ducts and hair follicles.
The vast majority of cases of comedone formation are noted on oily skin of the face: on the nose, on the forehead and cheeks. According to most medical specialists, such a pathology is a true indication of hormonal disorders, hidden dermatological problems and malfunctions in the functioning of the liver and digestive tract. Therefore, patients who experience discomfort from their appearance are advised not to focus on a cosmetic problem, but to undergo a comprehensive examination to identify possible diseases of the internal organs.
The opinion about the appearance of comedones only in adolescents and young people is not entirely true. Up to 85% of patients under 25 years of age face them, after which the production of sebum decreases, and the conditions for blockage of the glands disappear by themselves. Also, women often suffer from the disease during pregnancy and at the beginning of the menopause, when the body has a significant hormonal load. The intensive development of the disease can be caused by unsanitary working or living conditions, lack of proper skin care, neglect of hygiene rules and other reasons due to which the adverse effect on the skin of the face acquires such unpleasant consequences. Refusal to treat comedones can cause the formation of scars and age spots at the site of the rash, which can only be eliminated by plastic surgery methods.
Causes of comedones
A black dot or raised white spot on the surface of the skin is excess sebum that is stuck in the sebaceous duct or inside the follicle. The resulting plug disrupts the functioning of the glands and forms a closed environment, ideal for the reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms. Their vital activity “enriches” the cork with toxins, which causes a local inflammatory process and its subsequent spread to healthy areas of the skin.
Among the reasons causing the appearance of multiple comedones on the face, in the ears or back, experts call:
- hyperactivity of the sebaceous glands;
- use of inferior cosmetics;
- lack of proper facial care, as a result of which excess fat and epidermal cells remain on the skin;
- refusal to remove traces of cosmetics before going to bed;
- living or working in an environment characterized by the presence of dust and small particles of dirt in the air;
- unbalanced diet, dominated by fatty, smoked and spicy dishes, sweets and flour products;
- deficiency of trace elements and vitamins.
A comprehensive examination of the body of a patient complaining of open and closed comedones often reveals hidden pathologies of the following nature:
- diseases of the liver and gastrointestinal tract;
- hypothyroidism, gonadal dysfunction, other hormonal disorders;
- genetic predisposition of the skin to inflammation;
- the intensity of the production of certain hormones, their imbalance in the body;
- uncontrolled intake of hormonal drugs;
- frequent stress, sleep disturbances, insomnia.
Complete removal of an external skin defect is possible only if the internal causes listed above are eliminated.
Varieties and features
The skin is sensitive to the lack of care and failures in the body. Among the symptoms-precursors of the appearance of subcutaneous comedones, most patients note:
- a sharp increase in the level of oily skin;
- density and roughness of the skin;
- changing the natural color of the skin to an unattractive pale gray-green hue;
- dense nodules, indicating blockage of the sebaceous glands and hair follicles.
Allocate open and closed comedones, which differ in appearance. Black dots on the surface of the cheeks, nose and chin, the so-called T-zone, are an open form of the disease. Noticeable white sebaceous plugs under the skin are a closed type of pathology. Often they develop against the background of latent inflammatory processes due to skin lesions with a fungal infection, staphylococcus aureus, or pathogenic bacteria. The lack of proper treatment causes the appearance of purulent acne at the site of plugs, which leave behind scars and scars.
The area of localization of closed white comedones on the face is the forehead, nose and chin, as well as the décolleté and upper back. The appearance of formations on the body is often associated with the wearing of synthetic underwear and clothing that does not allow air to pass through and causes the skin to secrete sweat. Trying to deal with comedones by squeezing in unsanitary conditions only exacerbates the problem. Pustular infection spreads to adjacent healthy areas of the skin, and the disease progresses rapidly. And in place of the extruded formations, a serous crust and an inconspicuous scar remain, indicating damage to the skin.
Open comedones, or black dots, acquire an unpleasant appearance due to contamination of the sebaceous plug with dust or residues of cosmetics. Under the influence of air, the contents of the sebaceous duct oxidize and darken, which makes it visible on the surface of the skin. Removal of such comedones does not bring the expected effect. The empty duct of the gland soon becomes clogged with fat, and the disease again makes itself felt with an unpleasant cosmetic effect.
When to see a doctor
Experts recommend not postponing a visit to the doctor if symptoms of inflammation and blockage of the sebaceous glands appear. You should not put up with an unpleasant cosmetic effect or try to cope with it with home methods, at the risk of intensifying the pathological process. Moreover, at the disposal of modern medicine there are many effective methods of combating the disease, depending on the type and general condition of the skin.
For an experienced dermatologist, an external examination of the patient’s skin is enough to immediately make the correct diagnosis. To clarify the mechanism of the development of the disease and the presence of pathologies of internal organs, specialized methods of laboratory research allow: a blood test for hormonal balance and internal infections, tomography of the gastrointestinal tract and liver. It is possible to prescribe additional measures as part of a standard examination if the patient has a history of serious diseases of the internal organs.
To cope with the appearance of a limited number of acne and comedones of any type, you can use careful skin care. With intense shedding, a consultation with a dermatologist is required. He will select a remedy for comedones and a suitable list of procedures to free the ducts (the so-called extraction) and reduce the amount of sebum production.
In most cases, the following treatments are used:
- mechanical cleaning of the face – carried out after thorough cleaning and warming up the skin with the force of the fingers, Uno spoon or Vidal needle. After cleaning, the skin is treated with alcohol. If the contents of the duct are completely removed, the risk of infection is reduced to zero, and there are no signs of hyperemia and inflammation on the face. During the day, it is strictly forbidden to use cosmetics so that its particles do not clog the open duct;
- enzymatic peeling with exotic fruit extracts. Loosening the keratinized layer of the skin allows comedones to come out naturally or during throwing – a cleaning procedure with soft brushes. Peeling is contraindicated in the presence of abscesses, exposure to which can cause skin infection;
- deincrustation – a hardware technique for removing comedones under the influence of a weak discharge of electric current. This method is used relatively rarely due to multiple contraindications;
- peels – chemical, acid, film or roll, the effect of which softens the skin and frees the ducts from pollution. At the same time, the substances contained in the peeling preparation relieve the inflammatory process and soothe the skin;
- ultrasonic facial cleansing – treatment with ultrasonic waves, the “blow” of which gently “knocks out” the plugs. At the same time, the procedure has a pronounced cosmetic effect – it removes wrinkles, refreshes the complexion, tightens the skin;
- vacuum cleaning of the skin – gentle removal of plugs from the ducts, leaving no noticeable marks. The procedure is contraindicated in patients with rosacea, because. there is a risk of injury to small vessels.
Please note: popping comedones and using dubious home remedies can worsen skin conditions. It is also not recommended to independently select drugs in a pharmacy, focusing on commercials and advice from friends. Treatment should be prescribed only by an experienced specialist who has studied the results of diagnostic studies.
How to make an appointment with a dermatologist at JSC “Medicina” (clinic of Academician Roitberg) in Moscow
You can make an appointment with the specialists of JSC “Medicine” (clinic of academician Roitberg) on the website – an interactive form allows you to choose a doctor by specialization or search for an employee of any department by name and surname. The schedule of each doctor contains information about visiting days and hours available for patient visits.
The clinic administrators are ready to accept an application for an appointment or call a doctor at home by phone +7 (495) 775-73-60.
Convenient location on the territory of the central administrative district of Moscow (CAO) – 2nd Tverskoy-Yamskoy lane, building 10 – allows you to quickly get to the clinic from the metro stations Mayakovskaya, Novoslobodskaya, Tverskaya, Chekhovskaya and Belorusskaya .
Back acne scars: get rid of bacteria. Life
Acne is a common skin condition that can occur anywhere on the body, including the back. Pimples on the back are usually caused by a buildup of excess fat, sweat, and dead skin cells. Acne can occur at any age for a variety of reasons, including daily habits, genetics, medications, hormones, sweat, stress, etc.
Most people develop acne during adolescence, while for some people it goes away on its own. Appropriate treatments can help cure back acne and minimize flare-ups. Left untreated, back acne can lead to dark spots and permanent scarring. In this article, we will talk in detail about acne on the back and how to get rid of them.
What is back acne
Back acne outbreaks are called back acne (Bacne). These lesions occur when pores or hair follicles on the skin become blocked by oil, sebum, sweat, dead cells, and bacterial growth. As a result, red bumps and purulent formations (pimples) may appear.
Like the face, the back is also more susceptible to breakouts due to the large number of sebaceous and sweat glands. Squeezing, scratching or picking can lead to scarring and worsening acne. Acne scars don’t have to be permanent, and some home remedies and medical treatments can help clear them up.
Types of back acne scars
Back acne can cause serious physical complications, including scarring and skin discoloration, such as darkening. In nodular or cystic acne, the scars may be pitted or raised and thick. The best way to get rid of skin breakouts is to prevent them by starting an effective acne treatment early on.
Treatment options may vary depending on the type of acne scars:
• Atrophic: they look like small depressions in the skin. This happens during the healing process when the skin does not produce enough fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are cells that contribute to the wound healing process and collagen synthesis.
• Hypertrophic: these scars are raised and look like a keloid. It does not spread to surrounding tissues and spontaneously regresses. It is rarely painful.
• Keloid: they are similar to hypertrophic scars, but much thicker than the original lesion. They occur in the dermis and adjacent subcutaneous tissues that are darker than the surrounding skin. Keloid scars can sometimes be itchy or painful.
There are many ways to get rid of acne scars. For mild to moderate back acne, over-the-counter products can effectively control breakouts. Benzoyl peroxide foam cleanser can be an effective treatment for mild to moderate acne. It kills bacteria on the skin and is most effective when used daily. There are various ways to fight acne and reduce scars.
There are a variety of over-the-counter topical creams available to help manage acne and reduce the appearance of scars. Some of the home treatments include:
This ingredient is often found in acne skin care products. Salicylic acid helps clear out dead cells and other debris that leads to breakouts from the skin pores. It reduces swelling and redness in the area, which in turn can minimize the appearance of scarring.
Salicylic acid can be used for all types of scars. Adding it to your daily routine can help with breakouts. People with sensitive skin should test products containing salicylic acid before using them. The test can be performed on a small area of the skin, as this may cause irritation or dryness.
Some topical retinoids are believed to have the potential to reduce acne, block inflammation and promote cell regeneration. Retinoids not only help get rid of acne scars, but also lighten hyperpigmented acne scars.
Individuals using retinoids to treat acne or scars should use sunscreen when outdoors as this may cause skin sensitivity to the sun.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)
This treatment helps to remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores. AHAs treat acne and reduce the appearance of acne scars. AHAs help reduce discoloration due to scarring by exfoliating the outer layer of skin.
It acts as a gentle exfoliator to purify dead skin cells. It helps reduce the appearance of scars and smoothes the overall texture of the skin. It also helps to lighten dark scars. Many foods, such as diluted apple cider vinegar, contain lactic acid. This is a more natural and economical treatment.
Many natural remedies also help with acne scars, although the science behind them is unclear. Some of the home remedies that people use:
• Coconut oil.
• Shea butter.
• Aloe vera gel.
• Raw honey.
• Baking soda.
• Lemon juice.
Medications / oral medications
A dermatologist or healthcare professional may prescribe an oral medication if a person has a severe case of acne, including cysts and nodules. Oral treatments may include:
• Antimicrobials, which kill the bacteria that cause acne and reduce inflammation. Doctors sometimes prescribe these medicines along with topical creams. The prescribed drug must be taken for at least 2-6 months in order to notice visible changes.
Hormone replacement therapy and birth control pills that affect hormones can reduce sebum, but they usually take 3-4 months to show visible effects.
• Isotretinoin (Accutane) is a powerful medicine that can help its users up to 2 years after treatment. This medicine has potential side effects such as depression, suicidal ideation, congenital disorders, joint pain, etc. It is not recommended for pregnant women and those planning a pregnancy. Blood tests are needed before prescribing isotretinoin and for monitoring purposes while taking this drug.
Several in-office medical treatments are available to treat acne scars on the back. Depending on the person’s skin type and the degree of scarring, a dermatologist will recommend different treatments. Certain treatments have been clinically proven to reduce acne scarring.
A skin care expert or dermatologist will recommend a suitable chemical peel after assessing a person’s skin type, severity of acne, and scarring. Strong chemical peels containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and hydroxy acids can treat back acne scars.
A chemical peel is applied to the back, which penetrates the cells. Some of these agents remain on the skin and another product is applied to neutralize other agents. One application can improve the appearance of a scar by up to 90%.
Chemical peels can be used on all types of acne scars and often on deeper scars.
Microneedling is an increasingly popular treatment for back acne scars. With this non-invasive treatment, skin color, texture, and acne scars can be improved. Virtually no downtime.
Microneedling, also called collagen induction therapy, uses tiny needles inserted into the skin around scars. It stimulates the body to produce more collagen and elastin. The new collagen production smoothes the skin, tightening it and reducing the appearance of scars.
Laser treatment can be effective in treating acne and acne scars without the use of chemicals or scrubs. It exfoliates the topmost layer of the skin, exposing younger skin cells, thereby reducing the appearance of scarring.
Light therapy or photodynamic therapy can be used to reduce the inflammation of active acne. Vascular lasers and broadband light treatments such as pulsed dye laser or intense pulsed light can be used to improve post-inflammatory pigmentation. Non-ablative and ablative resurfacing lasers help treat acne scars.
For rare hypertrophic or keloid scars, vascular or resurfacing lasers are combined with intralesional cortisone injections or topical cortisone to improve the appearance of the scar.
Corticosteroid injections may be used for hypertrophic or keloid scars to treat raised acne scar tissue. This treatment consists of a series of injections. Injections are given every few weeks, and the results are monitored.
Soft tissue fillers are sometimes recommended to reduce the appearance of scars. It works best with atrophic scars.
Commercial dermal fillers such as hyaluronic acid (HA), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) are used. A filler consisting of a collagen-based product is usually chosen and an allergy test is required prior to the procedure. The results of dermal fillers are temporary and usually last 6 to 18 months.
Post-Treatment Skin Care
Skin care is very important during and after acne scar treatment. Once acne is under control, you should try to treat acne scars. Otherwise, new acne spots will appear immediately after treatment, requiring further treatment.
It is also important to avoid sun exposure as it can cause new acne breakouts and worsen discoloration. It is important to consistently use gentle exfoliators and cleansers, oil-free moisturizers, and sunscreen to keep your skin clear and prevent new breakouts or irritation.
Acne can be caused by a variety of causes including genetics, nutrition, stress, skin care products, medications, etc. Breakouts can lead to potential acne scars and the goal is to prevent or reduce the occurrence of acne.