Thursday, 7 June 2012

Successful Treatments for Acne & Acne Scarring

Acne (Vulgaris) is a chronic, but common, inflammatory condition of the pilosebaceous duct.  The over production of sebum clogs the follicles causing infection, the blockage traps oil in the follicle where the bacteria (Propiobacterium Acnes) will thrive on the anaerobic conditions.
Acne affects the areas of skin with the largest population of sebaceous follicles; which include the face, shoulders chest and back. 
Acne is the actually the most common skin disorder, and whilst it usually appears in adolescence, adults can get it too.  The four basic mechanisms contributing to acne are hormones, increased sebum production, changes inside hair follicles, and bacteria.  When the body's immune system tries to destroy the bacteria, inflammation results.
About 70% of infected people go into spontaneous remission after 4 to 5 years but about 30% continue into adult life.  However, acne scarring can occur throughout this time.

Acne can be treated using laser and pulsed light, which help to destroy the bacteria, reduce redness and scarring and initiate skin healing response.  This treatment is highly effective, even on individuals who have had limited/no response to oral antibiotics, topical creams, micro-dermabrasion, chemical peels and laser resurfacing.

Exposure to yellow light has been clinically proven to result in an improvement of active acne.  Light treatments directed against acne are comparable to the effects of oral antibiotics, but offer a faster solution and fewer long term side effects!  By targeting the chromophores (a light absorbing part of the bacteria), and sparing injury to the epidermis, light based treatments are more promising in terms of being capable of inducing longer term remissions as well as reducing the scarring caused by acne, even if the scars have been present for many years.

 It has been long proven that acne can improve in condition on exposure to sun light alone (partly due to the drying out of the skin), but we also know that short wavelengths of light (yellow – blue) have strong anti-bacterial properties, and longer wavelengths of light (orange – red) have noted anti-inflammatory properties.  A combination of these wavelengths can have an even better effect than a single wavelength of light alone.

Light based therapy has proven to be a safe and effective model for the treatment of mild to severely inflamed acne by providing oxygen into the skin, the application eliminates any bacteria – results = Great skin!