Acne is a common skin problem and can have a significant impact on one’s quality of life. Hence, prompt and apt treatment is necessary.
The 4 main factors responsible for acne are
- Excessive oil production (seborrhea)
- Overgrowth of bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes)
- Altered keratinization of the ductal epithelium
The various predisposing factors for acne are
• Consumption of foods with high glycaemicindex (potatoes, white rice, Frenchfries,sweets, chips, cornflakes, watermelon etc)
• Excessive consumptions of dairy products such as low fat/skim milk, cheese etc.
• A diet which has low glycaemicindex, more fiber, more zinc, selenium, chromium is helpful in acne.
• Stress leads to aggravation of acne while acne itself can lead to distress.
• Smoking is one of the major culprits in acne flares these days.
• Seasonal changes also play an important role. Prolonged exposure to sunlight, high humidity conditions , excessive sweating are responsible for flare of acne during the summer season.
• Application of products such as makeups, moisturisers etc. with comedogenic ingredients such as coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil , linseed oil, oleic acid, beeswax, cocoa butter, isopropyl myristate , stearyl alcohol, lanolin, butyl stearate etc .
• Facials can trigger acne in predisposed individuals .
• Exposure to oil vapors during cooking
• Waxing, threading, shaving may cause follicular irritation.
• Certain medicines such as steroids, multivitamins (vitamin B12), oral contraceptive pills can trigger acneiform eruptions.
In certain predisposed individuals, acne if not treated early can lead to extensive scarring (which may be atrophic or hypertrophic).
A holistic approach works best in the management of acne with topical, systemic and procedural therapies.