|We know Acne is caused by a multitude of different things, so how can we effectively treat until we understand the processes the body and cells have gone through to end in the "topical result" of acne. It is so important to conduct a full and very thorough Skin Analysis Consultation before starting to treat any skin concern. Going through all aspects such as diet, lifestyle, medical history, skin care history and current products being used. This gives you a starting point to understand what their life is like - is it stressful? Is it active? Do they eat regularly and well? Are there any medical or hormonal issues that might be a contributing factor? And are their current skin care product appropriate or are they one of the causes to the problem.
What are the causes of Acne? Well as mentioned their are a multitude of causes these include Hormonal Mediated Acne (this can be in teenagers and adults of all ages), stress, poor diet, incorrect product usage and essential fatty acid deficiency. Once you have found the cause or root issue you can make a plan to treat effectively.
Hormonal Medicated Acne - Caused by an imbalance of hormones. In teenagers this is caused by an increase in hormones, particularly in boys as there are large surges of testosterone. With females throughout our lives we have many hormone fluctuations be it menstruation, pregnancy, breast feeding, or menopause. Also stress plays a big part in hormonal changes. Conditions such as POC and Endometriosis can cause outbreaks of Acne. If the root problem is hormonal then you need to correct the imbalance first, otherwise you will not succeed in treating the concern.
Poor Diet - A diet consisting of high sugar and high saturated fat will contribute to this issue. It will have an impact on the lymphatic system, meaning waste is not excreted efficiently. A diet low in "Good Oils" mainly Omega 3 will lead to an Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency.
Incorrect Product Usage Leading to EFAD - Many skin care products contain ingredients that do more damage than good. The most important thing is to protect the skin barrier function at all times. Ingredients such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and other chemical detergent agents strip the skins natural protection layer, leading to an impaired acid mantle.
What happens when we have an impaired acid mantle or essential fatty acid deficiency? Propionibacterium (the "P" bacteria) that causes acne lives off EFA's. If there is not sufficient essential fatty acids on the skin surface the "P" bacteria will travel to the pilosebaceous duct to find it. This will cause an infection, leading to a spot on the surface.
How do we treat it? If it is caused by an EFAD then it is essential that your repair the barrier function immediately, this is done with internal and topical Omega 3. If it's hormonal, suggest your client have their hormone levels checked, either with saliva or blood tests. Recommend the correct products for their skin, avoid SLS's, emulsifiers, fragrances and cheap fillers. Instead work with ingredients that are anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. For example BHA's like Alpha-Lipohydroxy Acid are slow penetrating so you don't get any surface reaction, with the advantage of being both anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. Advise your clients about a balanced diet, sever acne suffers would do well sticking with an alkaline diet. Start slow, remember this is an inflamed, reactive skin and look at all aspects - acne is not a quick 1 answer issue.
Article supplied by Rachel Robertson
Creator and Director - Prologic Skin Care
Phone: 0275 647021
For information on Prologic visit: www.prologicskincare.co.nz