In the majority of cases acne is caused by an imbalance of male and female sex hormones. Whilst in the past acne was considered to be a disorder of puberty, for some years now we have been seeing increasing cases of acne in women well past their fourth decade. This may be related to the fact that in our environment, and especially in water, there are increased concentrations of hormones and hormone-like substances as a result of insecticides and the use of hormone-like medicines. Softeners in plastics have structures similar to hormones too. Acne is perceived as a serious limitation by those affected and the level of suffering is often great. Young people in particular with moderate and severe acne frequently withdraw from their environment and show signs of depressive disorders. With severe forms of acne, the perceived reduction in quality of life is often greater than that of serious heart disease.
Depending on the type of acne, there are a multitude of treatment options available to us. Creams that act on cornifications and the top layers of skin using natural ingredients are useful, as are the traditional benzoyl peroxide, or in particular cases antibiotics. For anti-inflammatory treatment, to refine the skin and prevent or at least reduce possible scarring, medicinal peels with natural ingredients can also be used. Fruit acid peels, for example, have an anti-microbial and comedolytic effect (dissolution of sebum plugs) and bring about a gentle surface peeling of the skin.
For women, to support topical treatment, hormone preparations can also be used that simultaneously reduce the level of male sex hormones. Particularly severe, nodular forms of acne can be healed by taking vitamin A acid. Here, over the course of the approximately six month-long treatment, the acne nodules break down, scars are smoothed and the inflamed sebaceous glands shrink back to their normal size. If, despite it being treated, or if treatment began too late, there should be some residual acne scarring, it is possible, after the inflammation has healed, to smooth the scars using a CO2 laser.
In many cases, late acne occurs in a minor form, sometimes only sporadically. In addition to medicinal treatment there are cosmetic applications that can improve the appearance of breakouts. To optimise the treatment results, medicinal substances are combined with medicinal cosmetic therapies. Peels with fruit acids or deep-acting substances (green peel) renew and refine the inflamed skin. Furthermore, cosmetics and skin care that are suitable for the patient’s skin type are of great importance, especially in cases where patches of acne appear next to dry areas of the skin. In this respect an individual dermatological consultation is vital.