Acne, also known as acne vulgaris, is a common skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. It primarily affects areas of the skin that have a high number of oil glands, such as the face, chest, upper back, and shoulders.
Acne can range in severity from mild to severe and can manifest in various forms:
- Comedones: These are non-inflammatory acne lesions and can be either open (blackheads) or closed (whiteheads). They occur when the hair follicle is clogged with sebum (skin oil) and dead skin cells.
- Papules: These are small, red, raised bumps that occur when the walls of the hair follicles break down.
- Pustules: Pustules are similar to papules but contain pus, which is a mixture of white blood cells, dead skin cells, and bacteria.
- Nodules: Nodules are larger, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin. They develop when the clogged follicle wall ruptures, leading to the inflammation of surrounding tissue.
- Cysts: Cysts are painful, pus-filled lumps beneath the skin’s surface. They can be quite large and often leave scars when they heal.
The primary causes of acne are excess oil production, the accumulation of dead skin cells, bacterial activity (especially Propionibacterium acnes), and inflammation. Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and the use of certain medications, can also contribute to the development of acne.
While acne is common during adolescence, it can affect people of all ages. Effective acne treatment approaches include over-the-counter topical creams, gels, and cleansers containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and alpha hydroxy acids. In more severe cases, you may require oral medications, such as antibiotics, hormonal treatments, or isotretinoin. It’s important to note that the right treatment approach can vary depending on the individual’s skin type, the severity of acne, and other factors.
The Clifford Clinic uses AGNES Acne to treat active acne. AGNES (which stands for “Aesthetic, General & Natural Electromechanical System”) is a medical device used for various skin treatments, including the treatment of active acne. It’s a minimally invasive procedure that combines radiofrequency (RF) energy with microneedling to target and treat the underlying causes of acne, such as excess oil production and inflammation.
Process of AGNES Acne treatment
Before undergoing the AGNES acne treatment, you are required to undergo a consultation with our doctor. They will assess your skin condition, discuss your acne concerns, and determine whether AGNES is an appropriate treatment option for you.
On the day of the procedure, your skin will be cleaned, and a topical numbing cream will be applied to minimize any discomfort during the treatment. The AGNES device combines two key technologies: radiofrequency (RF) energy and microneedling. Microneedles are used to create tiny channels in the skin’s surface, allowing the RF energy to penetrate deeper into the skin.
The procedure begins with the microneedling component. The microneedles create controlled micro-injuries in the skin, stimulating collagen production and promoting skin rejuvenation. During the procedure, the RF energy is delivered through the microneedles into the deeper layers of the skin. The RF energy heats the targeted areas, including the sebaceous glands responsible for oil production. This controlled heat helps to shrink and modulate the function of the sebaceous glands, reducing excess oil production.
After the procedure, you may experience some redness, swelling, and mild discomfort, similar to what you might experience after a microneedling session. Your healthcare provider will provide instructions on how to care for your skin and manage any temporary side effects.
Over the following weeks and months, you may notice an improvement in your acne as the treatment targets oil production and inflammation. Multiple treatment sessions might be recommended for optimal results. Individual experiences can vary, and results may take some time to become fully apparent.
Acne can have emotional and psychological impacts, as it may affect self-esteem and confidence. If you’re struggling with acne, do give us a call at 6532 2400 to schedule an appointment for us so that we can develop a personalized treatment plan to manage and improve your skin condition.