Acne, Acne Scar & Congestion
It is estimated 85% of Australians’ aged 15-24 years old suffer from acne. It is one of the most common skin concerns treated by skin specialists. Acne occurs due to an overproduction of sebum in the oil glands. Sebum usually travels through pores and onto the surface of the skin to lubricate the skin and hair, and to protect them from drying out. This condition is more evident during hormonally-active periods in a person’s life cycle such as puberty and pregnancy when hormone levels increase in the body. The skin then responds by producing more sebum through its oil glands. The build-up of sebum and an accumulation of thickened skin in pore openings causes blockages, and the excess sebum becomes trapped in pores. This combined with lack of oxygen within the pores, creates a favourable environment for the accelerated growth of a bacteria (called P. acnes), which leads to the formation of pimples.
Acne is classified into 4 grades
- Papule: Small, slightly raised lesion
- Pustule: Characterised by whiteheads
- Nodule: Blind pimple, often hard and firm to the touch
- Cyst: A cyst extends deep within the dermis, often distending the follicle to cause a rupture spilling its content into the surrounding dermis.
A cyst will often (though not always) result in atrophic post-acne scarring
- The pimple ruptures and its content is released into the dermis
- The surrounding dermis fails to produce adequate collagen leaving a dermal depression
- This causes the “brownish/purple” acne scars (these scars usually resolve within 2 to 12 months)
Most people who have suffered moderate to severe acne will have some degree of post- acne scarring. This may include:
- Small atrophic (pitted) scars
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
- “Ice pick” scars (deep enlarged pores)