Acne is a common skin condition that affects almost everyone, especially during puberty. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than 5.1 million people sought medical treatment for acne in 2013. The loss in productivity attributed to acne was nearly (US) $400 million.
Acne will mostly occur when greasy secretions from the skin’s sebaceous glands clog the hair follicle openings. The clogs are more likely to take the form of a blackhead if the openings are large or whiteheads if the openings are small.
Blackheads have the shape of small, flat spots with a dark center while whiteheads are tiny and flesh-colored. Acne mostly affects people between the age of 10 and 13 years, but it also occurs in adults.
People with oily skin are also at a higher risk of getting acne than people with normal skin.
Types of Acne
Early Acne: An acne lesion starts when dead skin cells and sticky skin cells accumulate in the pore instead of flowing onto the outer part of the skin. Another cause is when there is an increase in sebum production.
In early acne, there are no visible changes on the outside, but changes are observable in the cells around the pore. Sebum production also increases the growth of the p. Acnes bacteria as it uses sebum as its growth nutrient. Though the increase in numbers, the bacteria do not cause infection at this stage.
White Heads: Whiteheads start appearing when sebum and dead skin cells build up and become thick and compact. The lesion formed by a white head is raised and has a white appearance with a narrow or closed opening. The sebaceous excretions in whiteheads can sometimes accumulate and result in inflammations in the cells around the pore.
Whiteheads can also be infected or not depending on whether the P. acnes bacteria has infected the skin cells surrounding the pore.
Black Heads: In the same way as whiteheads, blackheads appear when the sebum and dead skin cells build up and stick at the opening of the pore. The difference is that the opening of a blackhead pore stays open unlike in white head where the pore is closed.
Inflammation will also develop around the pore as the waste materials build up around the pore. Blackheads may be infected or not.
Pimples: Pimples form as a result of the spread of P. acnes bacteria on the skin. The spread of the bacteria will mostly happen when the swollen skin around the pore ruptures, leading to the leak of sebaceous materials around the skin. The pore rapture occurs when the sebum produced by sebaceous glands and sloughed skin cells increase and put pressure on the cells around the pore.
What is a Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is a way of returning normality to the skin through the use of a controlled wound.
Chemical peels work by removing the top layers of the skin, which later results in collagen remodeling hence improving the appearance of the skin. Apart from acne, chemical peels also help in sun-damaged skin, wrinkles, and skin pigmentation problems.
The cosmetics market boasts of a wide variety of chemical peels each suited for a specific skin problem.They can be performed at home or by a trained professional. Chemical peels can vary in strength with deep peels showing better results than shallow and medium ones.
Do Chemical Peels Work for Acne?
Chemical peels heal acne by causing a controlled injury to the skin cell’s surface. The wounds caused by the peels exfoliate the skin through shedding off the dead skin and excess oil easily. The reduction in dead skin cells and excess oils unclog the hair follicle and reduce the pimples on the skin.
The main advantage of using chemical peels is that they penetrate the skin to a deeper level than physical exfoliation. The peels will produce new skin with better texture and reduced acne scars.
“As a rule of thumb, the deeper the peel, the more side effects, potential complications and the longer the recovery process.’‘ says Dr Gavin Chan of the Victorian Cosmetic Institute. And they’re not just for women. Briana, manager of men’s grooming salon Face of Man says “Acne is a common problem for both males and females. Men can be equally, if not more, self-conscious about their appearance. This is why we offer a range of peels and skin treatments for the modern man.”
“Whilst you can do chemical peels yourself at home, in my opinion, chemical peels are best performed by a skilled skin therapist.”
With the use of chemical peels, one can turn acne from a chronic condition to a thing of the past. Chemical peels will most likely work for all acne complications, but one should choose with the help of a skin professional.
The right chemical peel for you is determined by the degree of skin damage, the improvement amount required, and the colour of your skin.
A deeper peel has better results, but the user should accept a longer recovery time and a higher probability of complications.