Skin Care Generic Drugs F.A.Q.
What is acne vulgaris?
Acne is an inflammatory skin disease induced by the impairment of the sebaceous glands. The acne or severe pimples are occurring on the face, in the upper chest and back. It is a disorder that affects around 80% of adolescents and young adults as pimples are most frequently related to the hormonal changes or hormonal peaks in the growing body.
Severe acne not only causes psychological discomfort but also can leave visible scars on the place where they’d been.
What causes acne?
The precise causes for the disorder are still unclear. It is assumed that the major role is played by seborrhea, a disorder of the skin distinguished by an increased sebaceous excretion due to impaired nervous and endocrine regulation of the functions of the sebaceous glands. This disorder lowers the bactericidal effect of sebum and leads to activation of coccal flora. A crucial role in the mechanism of acne is assigned to the pathogen Propionibacterium acnes and its metabolic products.
Usually acne develops in young people under 25 years and it disappears by the age of 26-30.
The factors that can cause acne aggravation are menstruations, stress, heat, increased moisture, and genetic predisposition. It is also proven that cosmetics that contain lanolin and paraffin can induce it. They can also be a result of adverse reactions to a medication.
– The major provocative factor of acne is considered to be the alteration of the hormonal balance. Our skin is a hormone-dependent organ so it quite vividly reacts to any hormonal bursts and disturbances. This explains why acne usually occurs at certain periods of life, for instance, during puberty, in women before menstruation, as a manifestation of reproductive system dysfunctions, in hormonal disorders. Besides, it can be caused by the use of androgen or anabolic hormones. The use of oral birth control as well as their discontinuation can also cause acne occurrence.
– Digestive tract problems are a common cause of acne occurrence in people aged 30-40 years. Digestive disorders contribute to the poor nutrients absorption and excretion of waste which leads to vitamins deficiency and high levels of toxins in the body. The disorders in which acne can occur include constipation, bad intestinal flora, gastritis, irritated bowel syndrome, gallstones, and others. Besides, some foodstuffs themselves can contribute to acne development. They include pastry and sweats that contain a lot of fast carbohydrates. The body reacts to them with an excessive production of insulin and insulin-like growth factor. It causes enhanced sebum release which creates beneficial environment for bacteria development. The excessive fat and carbohydrates intake with a deficiency in fiber, proteins and vitamins may lead to imbalance of lipids (fats). Lipid imbalance is another common cause of acne.
– Lipids imbalance that can cause acne can be also caused by the changed function of the internal secretion glands such as pituitary gland, parathyroid gland, and adrenal cortex. The imbalance is related to the excessive release of sebum. And if the sebaceous glands are excessively active, the sebum does not have time to be distributed over the surface of the skin, and accumulates in the sebaceous gland. This creates ideal conditions for the reproduction of bacteria, which cause acne.
– Generic predisposition can also be a cause of acne.
– Demodicosis (acne mite).
– Use of formulations containing halogens (fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine), lithium and barbiturates.
How is acne treated?
Treatment of real acne and not occasional pimples requires a long-term therapy and patience. It is mainly focused on the elimination of seborrhea.
In severe acne, dermatologists prescribe antibiotics. Previously such methods as autohemotherapy (own blood transfusion), antistaphylococcal gamma globulin, vitamin A 100,000 per day for up to 2 months, estrogen (folliculin, diethylstilbestrol), topical use of 2—3% salicylic acid solution, UV irradiation, cryotherapy, diathermocoagulation of rash were used but their efficiency is not proven so it is common to use other therapy methods such as:
– Normalization of removal of dead skin cells; this can be made with the use of abrasive materials, scrub or chemically. Chemical exfoliants are acids. Currently, three subclasses of acids are used in cosmetology: alpha-hydroxy-, beta-hydroxy- and polyhydroxy acids;
– Destruction of P. acnes (propionibacteria acne). For this formulations containing benzoyl peroxide are used for non-severe acne. Benzoyl peroxide has keratolytic and bactericidal effects, killing P. acnes. Benzoyl peroxide does not cause bacterial resistance. But its frequent use causes skin drying, local irritation and redness. Triclosan is also used but it is less effective. Antibiotics are used topically and internally. The topical include erythromycin, clindamycin, stimycin, tetracycline antibiotics, and combined formulations. Orally used antibiotics include Macrolides (e.g. Azithromycin) or tetracyclines (oxytetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, limecycline), and trimethoprim;
– Anti-inflammatory therapy. It implies the topical use of alcohol solutions containing salicylic acid, antibiotics, resorcinol, benzoyl peroxide, and ointments with antibiotics. Retinoids are another group of medicines widely used. The most used retinoids include retinyl palmitate, retinol, retinaldehyde and tretinoin (retinoic acid or Retin-A by Jonson&Jonson). These formulations influence the life cycle of skin cells. They also have an antimicrobial effect and can be used along with antibiotics in a single formulation. Isotretinoin is used orally to treat severe and resistant forms of acne;
– Hormonal levels normalization. In women, hormonal therapy of acne is effective. Mostly are used combination drugs of estrogen and progestogen. Other option is spironolactone, especially in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Topically cortisone can be injected;
– Combined therapy;
Additional, less frequent treatment methods include:
– Light therapy. For this method special lamps with the generated waves of 405-420 nanometers are used. Porphyrin generates free radicals when irradiated by waves with a length of less than 420 nm. Also is actively used neodymium laser, which provides a local sterilization of inflammatory foci;
– Azelaic acid is appointed for mild cases of acne;
– Zinc is used as an oxide or in along with hyaluronic acid. Zinc inhibits the activity of sebaceous glands and reduces inflammation, reducing the phosphatase activity of neutrophils.
Besides the listed treatment methods, acne can be treated my mechanical impact, i.e. comedones or blackheads are removed and purulent acne is drained. Disincrustation is used which implies the removal of the acne fatty core with the help of vacuum or galvanization.
It is also important to lead a healthy lifestyle, i.e. minimize fats and fast carbs in your diet.
How is acne diagnosed?
First of all, if you believe that you have acne, you should go to a dermatologist, a doctor who treats skin disorders and diseases. The disease can be diagnosed after a visual analysis but to find out the reason of acne so that the treatment would be more effective, it is preferable to do hormonal blood tests, tests for skin infections, and disorders or the digestive tract.
What is vitiligo?
It is a discoloration disorder manifested in the vanishing of melanin in random areas of the skin. It develops, supposedly, due to the effect of medicinal and chemical substances, endocrine, and autoimmune factors, and after an inflammatory and necrotic process on the skin. Vitiligo susceptibility may be inherited.
Can vitiligo be cured?
To date, there are no methods for the cure of the disease. All medical measures are aimed at the prophylaxis of the new spots and minimization of the cosmetic defect.
The treatment can include:
– Antioxidants - drugs that fight free radicals;
– Immunomodulators - formulations that affect the immune system;
– Strictly dosed ultraviolet irradiation of the skin: PUVA therapy, laser exposure, the most gentle and effective is narrow-band ultraviolet 311 nm;
– Surgical therapy implies the artificially grown melanocyte cells planted at the foci of vitiligo;
Worth noting that it doesn’t matter what kind of therapy is used to return pigment to these or other foci of vitiligo, there are no guarantees against their repeated discoloration while maintaining the original reasons for the loss of pigment.
There are also ointments that help making the spots edges less noticeable but they do not return the pigmentation but rather bleach the surrounding skin.
For instance, one of such creams is Benoquin (Monobenzone) by MAC labs.