Could you have ‘ticking time bomb’ acne?
Blemishes and spots can trouble up to 95% of young people to some degree*, but when the problem becomes more than an occasional hormonal break-out and begins to affect self-esteem then help is available.
What is Retentional acne?
Dr. Munir Somji, aka ask Dra, has coined the term ‘ticking time bomb acne’ for the more severe form of the skin condition known as retentional acne. Characterised by retentional (or blocked) lesions which may be small, but sometimes numerous and unpleasant, giving the skin a bumpy appearance.
What causes it?
A combination of factors can cause Retentional acne:
Genetics: important predisposing factor determines the number and size of sebaceous glands and activity.
Hormones: testosterone and DHT stimulate sebaceous gland growth and sebum production. Worsening in the premenstrual period, pregnancy and with some contraceptives.
Endocrine diseases: generally characterised by hyper-androgenism such as hirsutism, seborrhoea, alopecia, menstrual disorders, ovulatory dysfunction and PCOS.
Stress: Stimulates the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, leading to increase in levels of cortisol.
Diet: High glycaemic index and dairy foods increase insulin and IGF1 levels. This stimulates the production of androgens.
Tobacco: increased prevelance in the comedonal form – the sebaceous gland is sensitive to acetycholine which is stimulated by nicotine.
“All of the above contribute to sebaceous gland hyperactivity or sensitisation, and it can rear up unexpectedly,” Dr Munir reveals, hence the term ticking time bomb. “The areas most affected are usually the T-zone of the face, the back, upper chest, and areas with high amounts of pilosebaceous follicles which combine a hair and sebum-producing sebaceous gland.”
What can help?
Dr MediSpa says “medical-grade skin care and gentle medical exfoliants like azelaic acid to help reduce closed comedones. I also like to use erbium glass lasers and mild chemical peels (salicylic acid and pyruvic acid) in clinic, along with low pulse needled Radiofrequency.”
Dr Munir Somji aka DrMedispa can be contacted at drmedispa.com