Deep Skin Acne
Acne involves skin lesions, most of which are fairly superficial. Sometimes, though, acne can go deep below the skin. These blemishes are harder to treat than regular pimples, according to the Mayo Clinic. With the right skin care and perhaps a doctor's help, there are ways to fight deep acne and minimize the damage.
Acne causes pimples when excess skin oil blends with old skin cells and plugs pores either partially or completely. The American Academy of Dermatology explains that blackheads are pimples with an opening at the surface, while whiteheads are totally closed. Skin-dwelling bacteria called P. acnes sometimes get caught in the mix. The bacteria thrive on oil, so they multiply quickly and inflames the pimple. Sometimes the inflammation goes far below the surface of the skin and forms a large, red, painful cyst.
Deep skin acne is very noticeable, especially on the face. This often harms the self-esteem of the person who has it. The Academy of Dermatology advises that it often leaves scars, which can result in long-term embarrassment. Squeezing, scratching and even touching the cyst increases the risk of scarring.
Deep acne often resists over-the-counter treatments. The Mayo Clinic explains that it may require antibiotics to control the P. acnes bacteria that contribute to cyst formation. Very severe cases are sometimes treated with an oral medication called isotretinoin, but using this drug carries of the risks of depression and birth defects. The Food and Drug Administration requires special monitoring of people who take this drug.
People with well-controlled acne are less likely to develop deep lesions. The Mayo Clinic recommends regular treatment with store-bought products containing either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Affected skin should be washed no more than twice daily with mild soap or cleanser. Acne sufferers should shower after exercise or doing anything else that causes sweating. This flushes away bacteria that could otherwise get trapped in pores and lead to deep pimples and cysts.
Certain treatments can minimize scarring from deep skin acne, according to the Mayo Clinic. Some doctors inject fat or collagen around scars to make them less noticeable. The treatment must be repeated periodically, because the effect wears off. Severe scars can be removed with dermabrasion. The Mayo Clinic explains that this treatment uses a spinning wire brush to wear away the top layer of the skin. Some doctors use laser beams to destroy the scarred layer of skin, allowing new, unblemished skin to emerge.
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