Acne is something that is a source of embarrassment to the one who suffers from it. Well, all is not lost in this modern age where research in science helps to cure and control a number of diseases and the same goes for acne.
Let’s take a look at how lasers are used to treat acne. It helps in treating the scars caused by acne. Doctors are also trying to experiment with lasers to see if they can control acne. So they try to burn away the hair follicle sac, or the gland which produces sebum or they try and form oxygen in the bacteria because this kills them. All this is still in an experimental stage so it is not sure if laser treatment could cause any other kind of harm to the skin or not.
There are other methods of physical treatment that are being carried out by the dermatologists and the cosmetologists. For example, one of the ways of treating acne is the drainage system. This should be done exclusively by the doctors as trying experiments on yourself can scar the skin badly and on a permanent basis. The serious form of acne can cause cysts that are painful under the skin. The doctors inject cortisone to flatten the cysts in a couple of days. If they are small, the cortisone injections may suffice but if the cysts are large, surgery is recommended by the doctors in a clean and sterile condition. This also helps in diminishing the chances of scarring.
Another method doctors often use is the extraction of black and white heads called comedones. Since this is also a painful process, doctors initially apply an anesthetic cream before prying out the comedones with a pen like instrument. Later an antibiotic is applied on the open pores to avoid further infection.
Many a times, one sees teenagers trying to break open their pimples in front of mirrors with their finger nails. This can be dangerous as it not only spreads the bacteria to surrounding areas causing the acne to spread but also leaves permanent marks. This pimple popping by finger nails must be totally avoided.
Light therapy is another temporary method used to destroy the bacteria causing acne. This can be used for open surfaces or to reach the areas not easily accessible but it is said to be temporary as it does not destroy the production and collection of dead skin cells called sebum.
Mild acne can be treated through ointments or scrubs containing salicylic acid or glycolic acid which may be available at medical or general stores. This method is also called exfoliation where the top layer of the skin is removed chemically or by rubbing hard. Chemical peeling should generally be done by the doctor or in a skin clinic using the two acids mentioned above. The treatment with glycolic acid can be once a fortnight to a month for a duration of six months under medical supervision whereas salicylic acid, being milder can be used on a daily basis though ointments and lotions that are available in shops. In this treatment the microscopic layer of the skin is destroyed and once the pores open up, the dead cells are removed. A similar effect can be achieved by a liquid scrub or a slightly coarse cloth.
In conclusion, acne can be treated physically by ointments, oral and external antibiotics, chemical peels, drainage, exfoliation, comedo extraction, light therapy and laser therapy.
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