From the occasional pimple during times of stress to the recurrent breakouts before menses, acne affects almost everyone at some time of their lives. While it most commonly develops during the pre- and early teen years, it can also arise in the 20’s and 30’s and persist for years to decades. There appears to be a hereditary tendency to acne particularly the more severe extensive nodular scarring forms. Factors initiating acne are still unclear – areas of research include hormonal effects, acne bacteria and inflammation.
Acne prevention includes avoidance of aggravating factors
Thick creams, certain types of occlusive clothing, and retained sweat or moisture under hats, pads, and helmets. Hair length and grooming products may contribute to acne at the back, neck, and side of the cheeks. While diet has not been conclusively shown to be a factor in aggravating acne, some patients may notice a worsening with certain foods. Currently we recommend dairy avoidance and low glycemic index diet for a minimum of 2-3 months.
There are many effective treatment options for acne including cleansers, topical gels and creams for mild acne, antibiotic or hormonal pills for moderate cases and Accutaneä for severe cases.
Our research in acne
- Developing new measures for evaluating acne severity
- A new photoscale for acne severity measurement
- Developing new measures for evaluating acne scarring
- Silicone facial models for teaching acne evaluations
- New treatments continue to be evaluated in research trials for acne (contact www.wcri.ca for more information).