Fighting Acne With Modern Advancements In Dermatology
Although known as a teenage problem, more and more adults are now visiting dermatology centres to treat chronic persistent acne. The reason for this can be attributed to a change in diet and lifestyle over the past few decades. A new over-the-counter treatment in the USA (recently approved by the FDA) is making waves in the treatment of acne. It isn’t a cream or a drug but an electronic device – a tiny pimple, zapper’ called Zeno.
Old Vs New
Though isotretinoin still remains the golden standard to treat severe acne but due to the underlying pathology of hormonal imbalance, spironolactone has made a comeback into the prescriptions of dermatologists, once again. Being an agent that lowers the levels of testosterone, it is an ideal drug for women in their 20s-40s, diagnosed with an underlying hormonal issue. Acne predominantly occurs due to a hormonal shift (during puberty, menstruation, menopause etc.) which causes an overproduction of sebum (oil) and cells inside a follicle. This leads to the production of a biological traffic jam over which the bacteria thrive and lead to further inflammation of the glands and follicles below. Conventional treatments of acne target these mechanisms, the removal of blockages from the pores, action on persistent inflammation and antibacterial properties.
The most popular drugs used to treat acne earlier were benzoyl peroxide. antibiotics and retinoids (oral medication as well as creams). These were usually combined with salicylic or glycolic acid peels to give faster results. However, an ever growing resistance to antibiotics has led to most dermatologists turning to other options.
As mentioned earlier, the electronic device called Zeno, is a small instrument that resembles a tiny cell phone. It works on the principle of providing controlled heat directly to the acne lesion for two-three minutes, causing the bacteria to self-destruct. However. ¡t should be used for only mild acne, because it used in severe inflammatory lesions, this may cause widespread scarring and worsening of the problem.
Lasers use yellow light energy to destroy the acne causing bacteria and have proven to be very effective. In the past, blue light was used, but due to its lack of deep penetration, it didn’t have the desired effect on the acne lesions and was rather unsuccessful. The new yellow light lasers penetrate the skin much more and the recent clinical trials have been very promising.
PDT (Photo Dynamic Therapy)
This is a treatment is approved to clear out precancerous lesions and is currently showing good results in acne treatment as well.
New cold gel based TCA peels have shown to improve both acne lesions as well as the underlying scarring. A newer technology of suspending the peel in a cold gel with low pi-I enables the drug to be released gradually into the skin making the treatment more effective. In conclusion, even with the advent of new treatment modalities and resurgence of the old, acne treatment needs to be tailor-made to suit an individual. No one, treatment protocol is suitable for every tace and you need to visit and trust your dermatologist to ensure your skin remains pimple-free for the longest time possible.