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Preview: What is Acne: Description, Causes, Symptoms, Risk factors, Treatment

What is Acne: Description, Causes, Symptoms, Risk factors, Treatment


Two Different Peels Both Effective in Treating Acne


Chemical peels using either alpha-hydroxy acid or beta-hydroxy acid are both highly effective in treating mild to moderately severe facial acne, researchers at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine have found – the first study to compare the two different types of acid peels as therapies for the skin disorder. Peels using beta-hydroxy acid (or BHA) had slightly fewer side effects and results that lasted a bit longer than did peels using alpha-hydroxy acid (or AHA), the study found. But overall, both types of treatments were similarly effective in reducing lesions caused by acne vulgaris, the medical term for common facial acne, which affects some 85 percent of all people 12 to 24 years old. “This is good news for the millions of Americans who suffer from mild to moderately severe facial acne,” said Dee Anna Glaser, M.D., vice chair and professor of dermatology at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine. “This provides more options for patients and doctors to chose from when it comes to tailoring a treatment program for each individual.”

Laser useful for severe facial acne


Laser treatment can reduce inflammatory facial acne lesions with few side effects, new research shows. Moreover, it appears to work even with the darkest skin types. The findings, which appear in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, are based on a study of 22 patients, with light to dark skin types, who underwent three treatments with the laser - specifically a1450-nanometer diode laser - at 3 to 4 week intervals. The subjects received treatment at high or low doses on the left or the right side of the face, the report indicates.

After pills, gels keep acne at bay


People with severe acne who achieve clearer skin with a combination of an oral antibiotic and anti-acne gels applied to the skin are often able to maintain their clearer complexion by using gels alone, according to two studies in the Archives of Dermatology. “This approach is especially attractive in an environment with rising concerns ... regarding long-term antibiotic use,” note the authors of one report. For some people, acne may be so severe that a doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics and a gel containing retinoids derived from vitamin A that is applied directly to the skin. But because acne can return, “maintenance” therapy is often needed, and keeping patients on long-term oral antibiotics is not ideal.

Low-dose isotretinoin effective for moderate acne


Low doses of isotretinoin (brand name, Roaccutane or Accutane) are effective for treating moderate acne, according to a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. “The efficacy of isotretinoin at (regular doses) in the treatment of acne is well established and considered safe, although sometimes not easily tolerated because of its cutaneous side effects,” Dr. Marcelo H. Grunwald, of Soroka University, Beer-Sheva, Israel, and colleagues write. The researchers tested a lower dose, to see if it worked while reducing side effects, in a study of 638 patients with moderate acne. The participants were divided into two age groups - 495 who were 12 to 20 years of age, and 122 who were 21 to 35 years of age - and were treated with 20 milligrams of isotretinoin daily for six months.

Differin safe, effective combo therapy for acne


Differin (adapalene gel 0.1%) used in combination with either topical or oral antibiotics is safe and effective for the treatment of moderate to moderately severe acne. Results of a phase IV multicenter trial were presented in San Francisco at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. The 12-week study of the topical retinoid gel involved 1,979 patients and more than 400 practicing dermatologists. The dermatologists were given free rein to add other retinoids, benzalkonium chloride and topical or oral antibiotics as needed to patients with hard-to-control acne.

Acne drug limits burdensome, doctors say


A plan to prevent birth defects from a widely used acne drug is placing heavy burdens on doctors, patients and pharmacists and should be halted until flaws can be fixed, doctors said on Friday. The restrictions on Roche AG’s Accutane or generic versions are so cumbersome and time-consuming they may send patients to the Internet, where medicines may be counterfeit and there are no safeguards to prevent pregnancy, critics said. Accutane is the only drug approved for severe scarring acne that does not respond to other therapies. The drug can cause serious birth defects or miscarriages, and several attempts have been made since its 1982 approval to prevent pregnancies among women taking the drug.

Iodine intake may play a part in teen-age acne


Dermatologists seem to agree that something in milk and dairy products may be linked to teen-age acne. But is it hormones and “bioactive molecules,” as a study in the journal of the American Academy of Dermatology suggested, or is there something else? University at Buffalo dermatologist Harvey Arbesman, M.D., says there could be something else: Iodine.

Teen acne tied to better heart health in men


The activity of male hormones, androgens, can give rise to acne during adolescence, but may also protect against Coronary heart disease in adulthood, UK researchers report. However, androgens also appear to be associated with an increased risk of dying from Prostate cancer, the study in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests.

Home and over-the-counter treatment


Here are general tips to prevent your acne from getting worse   Wash the face twice a day with a gentle soap. Washing your face more often than that may irritate and dry your skin. Avoid hot water. Using hot water can make your acne worse.   Do not use facial scrubs, astringents and masks unless your doctor has recommended them, because these generally irritate the skin and aggravate acne.   Do not squeeze, pick, scratch or rub your skin. Squeezing pimples often leads to infections, worse acne and scars.   Avoid extreme stress � if necessary, seek counselling and follow a stress management programme. Stress cannot cause acne, but may aggrevate it.

Acne: Skincare in your forties


The big four-oh can be an emotional milestone, but it’s also an important time for your skin. You’ll notice that your skin tone is a little duller and your pores look bigger. This is also the decade that you can expect to see the signs of sun damage: freckles, age blotches, age spots and discoloration. You may need to see a dermatologist for advice on how to mask these marks. Other bad habits such as smoking and squinting could also conspire to make you look older than you are.