Acne is one of the most common skin conditions and is often caused by dead skin cells, excessive oil production, and/or bacteria growth on the skin. Regardless of age, patients who suffer from acne will most often try anything to rid themselves of this embarrassing skin condition. Featured in a recent edition of Practical Dermatology, five new studies regarding the treatment of acne and acne scarring may be the answer for individuals whose acne may not respond to other treatments.
The first study mentioned addresses the different cultural and ethnic factors that affect the treatment of acne. For example, individuals with darker skin tones are more prone to hyperpigmentation from harsher acne treatment therapies. Along the same lines, certain cultural attitudes toward acne treatments and folk remedies passed down through families may contribute to the failure of certain dermatological treatments.
The second study looks into the use of CO2 Fractionated Lasers to safely address acne scarring in individuals with darker skin tones. The results of the research show that around 35% of patients who received non-ablative factional treatment and 37% of patients receiving ablative fractional treatments experienced a 50% improvement in the appearance of their skin including a reduction in the appearance of acne scars. Meanwhile, no adverse effects were experienced in the skin tone or texture of patients.
In another study, researchers found that a mixture containing 10% glycolic acid could be an effective treatment for mild acne. Glycolic acid is a chemical often used in chemical peels that works to slough the outer layers of skin and open the pores in the second layer of skin which loosens blackheads and debris clogging pores. The research on this chemical mixture shows that patients responded after 90 days of treatment, and some even noticed a benefit after 45 days.
The fourth study looks into the effects of radiofrequency to reduce the appearance of acne scars and skin texture irregularities post-acne. During the trial, patients received five RF treatments 30 days apart. Researchers observed a 72% improvement in the appearance of acne scars based on the acne scar scale. Patient skin texture and pigmentation improved over 60% each as well.
Finally, in a study conducted in Japan, researchers found that patients are more likely to adhere to an acne treatment plan as prescribed by a dermatologist when patients felt like they had a good understanding of acne as a skin condition and how to treat it. Factors like side effects and personal satisfaction with the treatment also had an impact on whether patients continued with treatment. These findings illustrate that improving patient education regarding acne and treatment may increase patient adherence to acne treatments.