ITC Dermafique and Dr Aparna Santhanam demystify acne

Our skin is subjected to multiple aggressors each day – extreme weather, pollution and imbalanced diets and our own genetic predispositions – all of which adversely affect its health. Over time, these factors manifest on the skin in the form of excess sebum, clogged pores and an onslaught of bacteria that ultimately leads to acne; a common skin issue that is a cause for concern not only for teenagers but adults as well.

Acne vulgaris, is an inflammatory skin condition, which manifests itself as open and closed comedones (white heads and black heads), pustules, papules and in severe cases as cysts and nodules. Recent advancements in our understanding of the pathogenesis of acne suggest the following event cascade: Inflammation, Follicular hyper-keratinisation, Sebum Production, Bacterial (Cutibacterium acnes /Propionibacterium acnes) colonisation and Cutibacterium acnes / Propionibacterium acnes biofilm formation. The role of a good cleanser is important in acne management as cleansers promote compliance to treatment and also help remove oil and dirt, dead skin cells and bacteria and help pore opening making the skin receptive to treatment.

Just like there are various skin types, acne morphology is also not singular. There is often a misunderstanding that the different types of acne (comedonal, hormonal, and inflammatory) are completely different from each other, but that may not necessarily be true. While there are different factors that lead to the actual pimple, whatever the cause, the final manifestation is simple – a clogged pore resulting in inflammation. This over-simplification is important in terms of supportive care of acne, such as the use of cleansers and moisturizers although individual variants may call for differences in medicated prescriptions.

Dr Aparna Santhanam, Skin Expert, ITC Dermafique, says, “A face cleanser that provides for sebum removal, efficacy against inflammation as well as efficacy against bacteria is great for acne prone skin. In order to fight acne, I recommend using a mild yet effective face cleanser designed with non-comedogenic ingredients that not only cleans the pores of excess sebum but also disrupts the bio film formed by acne-causing bacteria so that it helps reduce the re-occurrence of breakouts.”

She also says, “Acne is a common skin condition that is caused by inflammation of the skin glands and hair follicles. Major factors that cause acne are overproduction of sebum in response to hormones and other factors on our skin, infection from bacteria, clogged pores from old sebum, dirt, and debris of dead skin cells. All teens experience some form of acne during their later teenage years. However, acne can sometimes continue after adolescence and can continue during hormonal changes later in life as well, which causes adult acne. The following products and habits can make acne worse – Using oil-based cosmetics, suntan oil, rubbing your skin too hard or picking at your acne along with having a stress induced environment.”

Acne is a common issue triggered not only by external stimuli but also internal factors such as hormonal changes. A few easy guidelines to keep in mind while battling acne and prevent its recurrence are:

• One must use warm water and a mild cleanser to wash the face; its best to avoid any harsh products.
• While removing oil is one step, fighting acne causing bacteria is essential to break the cycle and prevent fresh appearance of acne. Dermafique Acne Avert Cleansing Mousse has a three-way action that disrupts the bacterial bio film*, cleanses pores^ and clears out excess sebum^ which helps reduce the re-occurrence of breakouts. It is designed using non-comedogenic ingredients and does not contain oils, parabens or silicones and thus is compatible with oily, acne-prone skin. It removes excess Sebum^ and provides action against acne causing bacteria*, reducing the chances of fresh acne.
• Make good diet and lifestyle choices that help you regulate oil production and reduce risk of inflammation. This will in turn lower the chances of getting a clogged pore and its further inflammation to full blown acne.
• Phones are a hotbed of germs and have been suggested as causes of acne aggravation. A regular germ protection wipe will help keep the surface clean.
• Basic tenets of good skin care routine are the true building blocks to good skin; follow a good skincare routine, always take off the makeup before sleeping and do not share makeup tools
• Lastly, do not let acne dominate your emotions! It does not define you nor does it speak to who you are. Healthy attitudes promote faster healing, so be confident and happy even as you seek help. Do visit a dermatologist for additional help when needed.

*Basis Lab study
^Basis consumer study done by MS Clinical Research (P) in October 2018.