Acne is the most common skin disorder in the world. In Bahrain, almost 85% of the people had acne at some point in their lives, most often on the face, chest and back.
Generally, acne starts at puberty, however it is not restricted to teenagers. Adults in their 20s, 30s and even their 40s can develop acne. By mid-teens, more than 40% of adolescents have acne or acne scarring, which requires treatment by a dermatologist.
Medically speaking, acne is caused by four factors: Overproduction of oil by enlarged oil glands in the skin, blockage of the hair follicles that release oil, genetic predisposition and growth of a type of bacteria called P. acnes.
According to Dr. Husain Mahdi, Consultant Dermatologist at Royal Bahrain Hospital, to prevent scars and other complications, do not pop, squeeze or pick at acne. “Gently wash the affected areas no more than twice a day with mild soap and warm water.” advises Dr. Mahdi, “Vigorous washing may irritate your skin and make acne flare."
Dr. Mahdi also recommends the use of non-comedogenic oil free cosmetics and sunscreens, and avoiding alcohol-based astringents, which “strip your skin of natural moisture”.
“Use medication as directed by your doctor and allow enough time for acne products to take effect, which might be few weeks to months” adds Dr. Mahdi. “Occasionally, the doctor may need to add more medications depending on the severity of your acne. Seeing a professional is the best way to get rid of acne and acne scars.”
Treatments patients will encounter start from local antibiotics, systematic antibiotics to isotreteinoin, which is a Vitamin A derivative used for severe cases to prevent scarring. Please note that all of the previous treatments should be taken under supervision of a dermatologist.
Dr. Mahdi asks all patients to remain hopeful. “Scientific researchers are still trying to discover new acne therapies and changes in existing treatment options for optimum therapy and to prevent scarring. Many share your problem, and better treatments come out every day.”
Dr. Husain Ali Mahdi [BSc, MD, CABD] is a Consultant Dermatologist at Royal Bahrain Hospital’s Royal Aesthetic Center. To book your appointment, call 17246939 or visit www.royalbahrainhospital.com