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Breakouts
Breakouts

Breakouts can be in the form of pimples or acne. Pimples are an inflammatory form of acne that is characterised by excess sebum (oil) production, blocked pores, inflammation of surrounding tissue and bacterial activity.

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Book a dermatology consultation

Book a dermatology consultation with one of our Doctors or Dermatology Associates.

or call 0800 SKIN DR (754 637)
About

Pore blockage occurs when excess cells inside the follicle are unable to shed properly. These cells then remain in the follicle, mixing with sebum and filling up the pore. This mix of debris, and skin bacteria can irritate the follicular lining causing redness and inflammation. The inflamed follicle expands to accommodate the material trapped within it, becoming a raised red “bump.” This results in one of two kinds of pimple – red bumps without pus (papules) and those containing pus (pustules).

Treatment

Treating breakouts involves 4 steps:

  • Unclogging pores
  • Controlling oil flow
  • Treating acne bacteria (Propionibacterium Acnes)
  • Calming irritation

The most effective topical ingredients for unclogging pores are alpha and beta hydroxy acids and Vitamin A (retinaldehyde). These help normalise the exfoliation process inside pores, helping to prevent blockage of the follicle that can cause blackheads and pimples.

Topical application of Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) helps to reduce excess oil flow. Vitamin B3 also calms skin, accelerating healing time.

The acne causing bacteria, (Propionibacterium Acnes) can be effectively controlled with a topical drug called benzoyl peroxide. It can be used up to twice daily in areas prone to breakout to prevent breakouts from occurring. Topical antibiotics and oral antibiotics can also be used to reduce the population of P. acnes. Zinc oxide-based preparations can be used as a calming concealer to reducing irritation and accelerate healing time.

Isotretinoin is an oral medication which is used in moderate and severe acne. It is an oral form of Vitamin A and although extremely effective, can have some severe side effects. It is only prescribed under close supervision.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) can also be a suitable treatment for some forms of acne.

Your consulting Dermatologist will be able to review your particular presentation of acne and advise the best course of treatment for you.

 

Blackheads

Blackheads belong to the family of skin conditions called comedones. Comedones occur when follicles become congested with dead cellular material, oil, and other debris. Normal follicles can shed this material that accumulates inside, leaving them clean and clear. But in skin prone to blackheads, this shedding process is impaired, causing a buildup of material inside the follicle.

In the case of blackheads, the accumulated debris forms a hardened, dark plug, which eventually becomes visible on the surface of the skin. The black ‘head’ is actually an accumulation of keratinocyte and sebum debris and the dark colour is due to oxidation of melanin (skin pigment). Blackheads are particularly common on the nose, forehead and chin, and any area with an abundance of oil glands.

Treatment: Blackheads can be removed through a minor procedure called  ‘extraction’. Once removed, the best way to prevent comedones from reoccurring is to clean the affected area twice daily and to use a combination of ingredients that unclog pores and reduce oil flow. Topical Vitamin B3 (niacinamide), Vitamin A (retinaldehyde) and alpha and beta hydroxy acids are best for this purpose. As well as avoiding the use of heavy moisturisers in areas that are prone to comedone formation.

 

Why Skin Institute?

Since being established in 1994, Skin Institute has been at the forefront of dermatological care in New Zealand. From the beginning, we have demonstrated expertise in the areas of clinical dermatology, veins, cosmetic medicine and surgery, and skin cancer. Today, we are a multi-disciplinary specialist centre, with clinics across the country – and teams of highly qualified medical and nursing staff at each one.


Book a Consultation
Book a dermatology consultation

Book a dermatology consultation with one of our Doctors or Dermatology Associates.