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Practically everyone develops pimples at a certain point. Having one or two on your skin is not so much of a threat, but when breakouts become chronic and frequent, the condition is called acne. Acne is a disease that affects the oil glands, which your pores connect with through a canal called follicle. To put it simply: breakouts occur when dead skin cells, sebum (oil), and hair form a clump that clogs the follicle, and this clump consequently gets infected by bacteria, causing it to swell.

Acne occurs not only on the face but also on other parts of the body such as the neck, chest, shoulders, and the back. It also comes in many forms, with the less prominent types being the white heads and black heads. When they appear as small pinkish bumps, they are called papules. The presence of pus on top creates pustules. The larger and painful types, deeply embedded in the skin, are nobules and cysts. Cysts, being filled with pus, are likely to leave scars, which can be prevented using intense pulsed light (IPL) technology.

A lot of factors are believed to worsen acne. These include changes in hormonal levels, pollution and high humidity, or pressure from items like backpacks and tight collars, to name a few. Squeezing or picking at pimples can aggravate the infection, too. Interestingly, although many believe certain foods can cause acne, scientists have not been able to determine a substantial connection between acne and diet.

Acne is dreaded in the sense that it can result to permanent scarring. If breakouts reach a deeper skin level, they damage the skin and tissue beneath it. As it clears, the body tries to fix the damage by producing a substance that will support the skin: collagen. Too much of this collagen results to raised acne scar, while too little creates depressions as the skin heals.

Treating acne is particularly important if one:

  • develops acne at a younger age (preteens) because of higher susceptibility to future severe breakouts;
  • has inflammatory acne such as cysts and nodules;
  • has a blood relative with acne scars.

Certain OTC drugs are used to treat acne but a more promising solution is Intense Pulsed Light. This therapeutic technique uses specific wavelengths of light that targets the bacteria as well as the inflamed glands that cause the breakouts. It’s one of the safest acne treatments available, with no known side effects, and is proven to be extremely helpful for people with mild to moderate inflammatory acne. Sessions can last between 20-30 minutes, and the number of visits varies depending on the severity of acne. Certified Intense Pulsed Light in Tijuana is offered by dermatology spas like Baja Medi Spa.

(Source: Acne scars: Who gets and causes, American Academy of Dermatology)

(Source: What Is Acne?

Fast Facts: An Easy-to-Read Series of Publications for the Public, NIAMS.NIH.Gov)

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