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skin care in patients with acne

Acne is a chronic inflammatory disease of the sebaceous (oil) glands and hair follicles of the skin characterised by the eruption of comedones (whiteheads and blackheads), pustules, papulopustules (pimples) and cysts. Several factors play a role in its development, and a certain genetic predisposition also plays a role in this disorder.

The following factors are involved in the development of acne:

  • increased and abnormal sebum (oil gland) production
  • excessive development and retention of cells in the hair follicle
  • abundant bacterial colonisation

There are several topical (creams, lotions with certain pharmaceutical ingredients) and systemic (pills, tablets) approaches in the treatment of acne, and apart from mild acne, this disorder requires medical/ dermatological treatment.
Additionally, the skin cleansing and skin care regimen can affect the course of acne considerably.

Skin cleansing
The daily use of acidic soap-free cleansing products containing surfactants such as cocamidopropyl betaine or lauryl glycosid is recommended. Soaps should NOT be used, as they release comedogenic (black- and whiteheads-causing) fatty acids on the skin surface.
Additionally, cleansing products with mechanically abrasing particles ("peelings") may be used once or twice a week.

Skin care
Skin care products for acne should not contain comedogenic (black- and whiteheads-causing) ingredients.
The following substances may be comedogenic: peanut, coconut, olive, corn and sesame oils, cocoa butter, stearinic acid, tars, cetyl alcohol and polyethylene glycol 300.
Light oil in water-emulsions (mixture with more water than oil/ lipids) or hydrogels are recommended. The employed products should be labeled "non-comedogenic". Added ingredients such as salicylic acid or lactic acid influence the course of the disease favourably because of their antibacterial and keratolytic effect.
Water in oil-emulsions and lipid-enriched creams should be avoided, as they aggravate acne.

UV protection
Sunscreens labeled "non-comedogenic" should be used.



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