Acne is a common skin condition that affects millions of people around the world. People with this condition experience the appearance of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and other types of lesions on their skin.
In India, acne is a prevalent problem that affects a large number of people, especially young adults and adolescents. This can be a source of embarrassment and can have a negative impact on a person’s self-esteem and overall quality of life.
Clinics like The Esthetic Clinics and professional cosmetologists like Dr.Rinky Kapoor can assess the type of acne, provide the appropriate treatment, and help patients live happy, quality, acne-free life.
Prevalence of acne in India
Just as it is all around the world, acne is a common problem in India, affecting approximately 85% of adolescents and young adults. People who are most affected are those between the ages of 15 and 25, both males and females alike.
The numbers are also increasing, possibly because of changing dietary habits, lifestyle factors, and environmental conditions. Taking care of oneself has become crucial to minimize the risk of acne. Patients are urged to seek immediate professional help should there be a concern.
Treating acne is important not just for cosmetic reasons but to also prevent complications and reduce the risk of scarring. Acne can also have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, affecting their mental health and self-esteem.
Causes of Acne
Being a multifactorial condition several things can be a contributing factor to acne development. Some of the common causes of acne are:
Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes are a common cause of acne, especially in teens during puberty. This is the time when the body is going through significant hormonal changes, as the individual grows from being a child to an adult.
When an individual is going through hormonal fluctuations, it may cause the sebaceous glands to produce excess oil, which leads to clogged pores and acne. Hormonal changes can also occur during pregnancies, menstrual cycles, and some medical conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Genetics: Genetics is also a factor that commonly plays a role in the development of acne. Study shows that individuals coming from a family with a history of acne are more likely to develop acne themselves. Genetic factors can influence the size and activity of the sebaceous glands, which can contribute to the development of acne.
Diet and lifestyle factors: The choice of diet and lifestyle a person leads can contribute to acne development. Research shows that diets high in sugar, dairy, and processed foods can worsen acne symptoms. Other factors like poor sleep, poor hygiene, stress, and lack of exercise can also be contributing factors to the development of acne.
Environmental factors: Some environmental factors like pollution and humidity can contribute to the development of acne. High humidity levels may cause the skin to become more oily, leading to clogged pores and acne. Exposure to pollutants and toxins can also irritate the skin and contribute to the development of acne.
Other underlying health conditions: An individual’s health and medical history may be the cause of acne. A person who has underlying health conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, and autoimmune disorders is also prone to acne.
These conditions can affect hormone levels and immune function, which can lead to the development of acne. In some cases, what really contributes to acne is the medications used to treat these conditions.
Types of Acne
Acne can manifest in different forms. It is therefore important to understand the different types of acne in order to determine the appropriate treatment. Patients suffering from acne should also work with a professional cosmetologist like Dr. Rinky Kapoor who can help them identify the appropriate treatment for their specific type of acne.
Here are the three main types of acne:
- Non-inflammatory acne
When one has non-inflammatory acne, they experience whiteheads and blackheads on the skin. Whiteheads occur when a hair follicle becomes clogged with oil and dead skin cells, and the pore remains closed. Blackheads, on the other hand, occur when the pore is open, and the clogged material oxidizes and turns black.
As the name suggests, this type of acne does not involve inflammation and is generally considered less severe than inflammatory acne. However, it can still be a cosmetic concern that can lead to severe symptoms such as scarring, if left untreated.
Some treatment options for non-inflammatory acne typically include topical medications that contain retinoids, salicylic acid, or benzoyl peroxide. Other basic things such as regular exfoliation and keeping the skin clean and moisturized may also be a good remedy for non-inflammatory acne.
- Inflammatory acne
Contrary to non-inflammatory acne, inflammatory acne causes red, swollen, and sometimes painful bumps on the skin. It occurs when pores become clogged with excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria, to which the body’s immune system responds by inflammation.
It includes papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. Papules are small, red, and raised bumps that do not contain pus. Pustules are similar in appearance to papules, but they do contain pus. Nodules, on the other hand, are larger, and deeper, and they can be painful, while cysts are the most severe form of acne. They are large, painful, and filled with pus.
Various factors can lead to inflammatory acne. The factors include hormonal changes, genetics, and other lifestyle factors such as diet and stress. Treatment for inflammatory acne typically includes a combination of topical and oral medications. This includes antibiotics, retinoids, and anti-inflammatory agents.
In severe cases, isotretinoin (commonly known as Accutane) may also be prescribed. It is important to work with a dermatologist or cosmetologist to determine the best treatment plan for an individual’s specific case of inflammatory acne.
- Cystic acne
Cystic acne is the most severe form of acne. It occurs when the infection goes deep into the skin, causing large, painful, and inflamed cysts or nodules to develop beneath the surface of the skin. They can also be difficult to treat and can lead to scarring if not treated.
These nodules and cysts can be filled with pus and can persist for weeks or even months. Usually, this type of acne is most commonly found on the face, but it can also occur on the neck, chest, back, and shoulders.
The causes of cysts acne are the same as those of the other types of acne, including overproduction of oil, clogged pores, and bacteria. Treatment typically involves a combination of oral and topical medications. Hormonal therapy, such as birth control pills, may also be prescribed for women with cystic acne.
In severe cases, isotretinoin (commonly known as Accutane) may be prescribed. This medication can have serious side effects, and it is usually reserved for cases of cystic acne that have not responded to other treatments.
There are other subtypes of acne, such as acne conglobata, and acne fulminas. Acne conglobate is considered a severe and rare form of acne that can cause large abscesses and scarring, while acne fulminans, also a severe form of acne, is a sudden onset of acne that can cause fever, joint pain, and other systemic symptoms.
Conventional Treatments for Acne in India
There are several conventional treatments for acne in India, some of the common ones being:
Topical medications: These are often the first line of treatment for mild to moderate acne. Topical medications work by reducing oil production, unclogging pores, and reducing inflammation. Some of the common topical medications used in India are benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, retinoids, and antibiotics, most of which can be applied directly to the face.
Oral medications: These are used to treat moderate to severe acne and work by reducing inflammation and bacterial growth. Some common oral medications used include antibiotics, hormonal therapies, and isotretinoin. Isotretinoin is a powerful medication that is used to treat severe cystic. Since it can have significant side effects, it requires close monitoring.
Laser and light therapies: Laser and light therapies are a relatively new and promising treatment for acne in India. These therapies work by targeting the bacteria that cause acne and reducing inflammation. Some of the common laser and light therapies used include blue light therapy, photodynamic therapy, and pulsed-dye laser therapy.
Chemical peels: Chemical peels are another one of the popular Treatments for acne in Mumbai and most other parts of the world. They work by removing the outer layer of the skin to unclog pores and reduce inflammation. Some common chemical peels used are alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) peels, beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) peels, and trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels.
A professional cosmetologist like Dr. Rinky Kapoor of The Esthetic Clinic will explain to the patient both the benefits and side effects of these conventional treatments. It is also important for them to know that they may not work for everyone. The patient and the doctor should work closely together to determine the best treatment plan for individual needs.
Alternative Treatments for Acne in India
In addition to conventional treatments, there are other alternative treatments for acne popularly used in India. These treatments are often based on traditional healing systems, such as Ayurveda and homeopathy. This includes:
Herbal remedies: Herbal remedies are a popular alternative treatment for acne. These remedies use natural plant extracts and herbs, such as neem, turmeric, and aloe vera. They can be applied topically or taken orally and may have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties.
Ayurvedic treatments: Ayurveda is an ancient Indian healing system that focuses on balancing the body and mind to promote health and wellness. Ayurvedic treatments for acne may include herbal remedies, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications.
Some common Ayurvedic treatments include using neem and turmeric, practicing yoga and meditation, and following a balanced diet.
Homeopathic treatments: This is a system of medicine that uses highly diluted substances to stimulate the body’s natural healing process. Homeopathic treatments for acne can include topical creams and gels, and oral remedies. These treatments are often individualized based on the specific symptoms of the patient and can be effective in treating acne.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice. It involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate energy flow and promote healing. It can be used to treat acne by improving circulation, reducing inflammation, and balancing hormones.
These treatments may have proven to work for some patients to treat different types of acne. However, it is important that patients know that they are not scientifically and medically proven. They are not extensively studied and may not work for everyone.
Should a patient be using these alternative treatments, it is vital that they let their healthcare provider know, to minimize the risk of complications or worsening the acne.
Lifestyle Changes to Manage Acne
In addition to treatments, sometimes acne can be managed by making simple lifestyle changes, such as:
Diet modifications: Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help reduce inflammation and provide the body with the nutrients it needs to maintain healthy skin. Avoiding processed and high-sugar foods can also help to manage acne.
Stress reduction: Stress may cause hormonal changes, which in turn can trigger acne flare-ups. Practicing yoga or meditation, getting regular exercise, and taking time to relax and unwind are some ways to reduce stress.
Exercise and physical activity: Regular exercise can help reduce stress and improve circulation, which may help to manage acne. Patients are advised to participate in exercises they enjoy and beware of those that cause excessive sweating or friction on the skin, as they can irritate acne-prone skin.
Skincare routine: A proper skincare routine can help manage acne. Patients are urged to keep their skin clean and reduce oil production by using gentle cleansers, avoiding harsh scrubs and exfoliants, and using non-comedogenic moisturizers and sunscreens. They should avoid picking or squeezing pimples, as this can lead to scarring and further acne development.
While these can help, lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to manage severe acne. A dermatologist can develop a comprehensive treatment plan that patients can use alongside incorporating these changes for optimal results.
Precautions and Safety Measures
While acne treatments are effective, patients should know that there are some precautions and safety measures they ought to keep in mind. These include:
- Side effects of acne treatments
Different acne treatments can have different side effects for different patients. Some of the side effects are mild, while others are severe. These can include dryness, itching, redness, and peeling of the skin, and more serious side effects such as allergic reactions and skin discoloration.
- Precautions to be taken before and after treatments
Before starting any acne treatment, it is important for patients to inform their healthcare providers of any allergies, medical conditions, and medications they may be taking. Some acne treatments, such as oral medications or laser therapies may require special precautions before and after treatment. Patients getting these treatments may be asked to avoid sunlight or certain activities.
- When to seek medical attention
Sometimes acne is not taken seriously and most people think it will go away on their own after some time. Mild acne is often manageable with over-the-counter treatments and lifestyle changes.
However, it is important to seek medical attention if it becomes severe or persistent, painful, or starts to spread rapidly and widely. If patients experience any severe or unusual side effects from acne treatments, it is also important they seek immediate medical attention.
Acne Treatment Cost in India
Acne treatment cost in India can vary widely depending on a number of factors such as the severity of the acne, the type of treatment, the location and reputation of the dermatologist or clinic, and other associated services such as medications, consultations, and follow-up appointments.
Herbal and alternative treatments can also vary in cost depending on the specific treatment and its availability in different regions around India.
The Esthetic Clinics offer multiple acne treatments which are often customized based on an individual’s needs and the type of acne. Cost is an important factor when seeking acne treatment but other factors should also be considered.
Dr. Rinky Kapoor is a professional cosmetologist with the necessary experience and expertise. Patients should work with the doctor to determine the appropriate treatment, based on the severity and type of the acne, and their skin type and medical history.
Considering potential long-term costs of untreated acne, such as scarring, infection, and impacts on mental health and self-esteem is also important when weighing acne treatment cost.
Acne is a common and often frustrating condition that can have a significant impact on physical and mental health. However, thanks to the many effective treatments available in India, that can help alleviate this problem.
Following precautions and safety measures such as eating healthy, following the appropriate skin care routine regime, hydrating, exercising, and staying stress-free can also help manage acne and achieve healthy, clear skin.
It is important to remember that acne can have serious consequences if it is not treated. It can cause scarring, infection, and negative impacts on self-esteem and mental health.