Most of us will have experienced the distress and embarrassment of an acne breakout during our teens and early 20s. Even though acne is something you eventually 'grow out of', for many people acne causes significant psychological suffering, especially if the acne leaves scars behind.
This articles explains the causes of acne, and looks at acne treatment options, including treatment with the eTwo SublativeTM Fractionated Radio Frequency (RF) Treatment System. The eTwo is proving to be a safe and effective treatment for acne with no long term side effects.
What is Acne?
Acne is the result of a blocked, infected hair follicle. The acne we are most familiar with is Acne Vulgaris, and is linked to adolescence because it is caused by the production of sex hormones at puberty.
Acne vulgaris affects the face and neck, chest and back, because these are the areas of the skin with highest number of sebaceous glands.
How Does Acne Form?
Acne forms in four stages:
- Increased hormone levels trigger increased sebum (oil) production by the sebaceous glands attached to the hair follicle (Figure). The excess sebum clogs the narrow shaft of the follicle, and forms a plug.
- The hair follicle swells as more sebum is produced under the plug. The growth rate of cells lining the hair follicle increases, and as they die they mix with the oil and form a bigger plug called a comedone.
- The plugged hair follicle becomes a target for bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P.acnes). The rapidly growing bacteria produce chemicals that irritate the cells lining the hair follicle, making them die quicker and create more debris to plug up the hair follicle.
- The body's immune system is activated to fight the bacteria. The immune response creates inflamed, sore and pus-filled acne lesions.
Treatment Options For Acne
Acne treatment options either kill the P.acnes, reduce the over production of follicle cells and reduce the inflammation. These options can work well, but have their limitations.
The P.acnes can become resistant to the antibiotics, and skin reactions commonly develop with prolonged treatment with benzoyl peroxide and retinoic acids. Isotretinoin (Roaccutane) has been effective in treating serious acne, but there is some evidence that it may lead to high levels of depression and even suicide, and should be used with caution under the guidance of a doctor or dermatologist.
A new treatment option for acne has become available, which has been proven in clinical trials to be highly effective and with a very low risk of complications. The eTwo SublativeTM RF Treatment System uses fractionated radiofrequency energy to penetrate deep into the skin and works into 2 ways. eTwo is also effective treatment for acne scars.
- The fractionated ablation zone vaporises the build up of keratinised cell debris that builds up in the follicle helping to unblock them.
- The thermal injury zone also affects the sebaceous glands and reduced sebum production.
Early treatment of acne reduces the risk of forming scars, but the current treatment options for acne are not ideal. The eTwo SublativeTM RF Treatment System is a safe, effective alternative to traditional acne treatments, and is clinically proven to treat the underlying causes of acne long term.