Many people in Bangkok seek treatment for acne vulgaris, one of the most frustrating experiences that we're sure everybody is familiar with. Acne, as it is commonly known, typically appears during puberty when oil glands are stimulated by estrogen, a male hormone found in both men and women. While oil is a natural substance that lubricates and protects our skin, an overproduction of oil can lead to a breakout. One of the many reasons people get acne is that our skin sometimes produces too much oil, which causes pores underneath the skin to become clogged. Built-up oil can quickly become a good source of food for bacteria that resides on our skin. Generally, this bacteria doesn’t cause any problems, except when an overproduction of oil allows them to grow and cause acne. There are various treatments available to help resolve acne, including extraction and laser procedures. The type of treatment that works best will depend on the type and severity of your acne.
- Blackheads (open comedones): Blackheads occur when a pore is clogged by a combination of sebum and dead skin cells. The top of the pore stays open, despite the rest of it being clogged. This results in the characteristic black color seen on the surface.
- Whiteheads (closed comedones): Whiteheads also form when a pore gets clogged by sebum and dead skin cells. But unlike with blackheads, the top of the pore closes up. It looks like a small bump protruding from the skin. Whiteheads are more difficult to treat because pores are already closed.
Pimples that are red and swollen are referred to as inflammatory acne. Although sebum and dead skin cells contribute to inflammatory acne, bacteria can also play a role in clogging up pores. Bacteria can cause an infection deep beneath the skin’s surface. This may result in painful acne spots that are hard to get rid of.
- Papules: Papules occur when the walls surrounding your pores break down from severe inflammation. This results in hard, clogged pores that are tender to the touch. The skin around these pores is usually pink.
- Pustules: Pustules can also form when the walls around your pores break down. Unlike papules, pustules are filled with pus. These bumps come out from the skin and are usually red in color. They often have yellow or white heads on top.
- Nodules: Nodules occur when clogged, swollen pores endure further irritation and grow larger. Unlike pustules and papules, nodules are deeper underneath the skin. Because nodules are so deep within the skin, you can’t typically treat them at home. Prescription medication is necessary to help clear these up.
- Cysts: Cysts can develop when pores are clogged by a combination of bacteria, sebum, and dead skin cells. The clogs occur deep within the skin and are further below the surface than nodules. These large red or white bumps are often painful to the touch. Cysts are the largest form of acne, and their formation usually results from a severe infection. This type of acne is also the most likely to scar.
Anyone can get acne, but the severity depends on a variety of internal and external factors. Since acne is so common, many people are not sure when they should seek treatment at a clinic. The best answer we can give is when your acne is uncontrollable or causes mental distress that disrupts personal activities. If you experience extreme acne, it may be time to seek professional acne extraction or laser treatment services. Bangkok residents can visit Nirunda Clinic for a variety of acne treatments provided by Board-Certified dermatologists:
- Medicine and topical cream prescribed by our dermatologist.
- Acne injections – this approach uses cortisone to make inflammatory pimples and cysts flatten out faster.
- Laser treatments – ISOLAZ and Lux-V lasers are considered one of the safest and most effective ways to cure acne.
- Chemical peels – this is an optional treatment that helps boost the end result of other treatments, so dermatologists usually recommend it paired with other treatments.
- Blue light therapy – this helps reduce the appearance of inflamed acne by killing the bacteria causing the irritation.