Dr. Shuba Dharmana, Clinical Dermatologist, shares a dermatological perspective about pimples – the skin anomalies which affects most teens and even adults.
The excess secretion of sebum (oil) in the skin glands and excessive multiplication of bacteria present on the skin start blocking the ducts of the glands, leading to the formation of blackheads and whiteheads. This is the early stage of pimples called the comedonal stage.
In the advanced stages, you will notice pimples along with comedones, some of which have a red appearance and cause irritation. These are inflammatory type of pimples which need to be treated with ointments or antibiotics. If left unchecked, larger bumps appear on the skin called cysts and nodules that cause deep scarring and pits.
People with pimples not only suffer from the unsightly bumps on the skin but are often left with post acne pigmentation and pitting. The Indian skin tones are quite prone to developing post inflammatory pigmentation. The melanin pigment is the one that is responsible for the distinct skin colour that Indians have. This melanin pigment is produced by cells known as melanocytes, which are located in the bottom layer of the skin’s epidermis. Excessive pigmentation is a result of excessive production of melanin. This excessive pigmentation could also occur due to illness, injury, inflammation or exposure to sunlight. Inflammation caused by pimples is the main reason which causes dark spots.
Pimples lead to an uneven skin tone and an irregular complexion. Moreover, active pimples and their sequelae like spots and pitting puts the patient at risk of psychological depression. Symptoms such as social withdrawal, depression, suicidal thoughts have all been reported and linked to these skin anomalies.
It is therefore important to understand the impact this ailment has on young adults and seek immediate treatment if there is any psychological bearing.
Studies have not shown any proven links between food and pimple breakouts, however, many patients have reported an aggravation of their pimples following the consumption of dairy products. In case you have also experience these symptoms, make sure to eliminate dairy products from your diet and replace them with healthier non-diary alternatives such as almond milk, coconut milk etc. This will not only help in reducing pimples but will also improve the health of your skin. You can also include fresh organic vegetables, fruits in your diet while reducing / eliminating processed foods and sugar to achieve healthy skin.
A proper skincare treatment begins with identifying the skin type. Only when the skin type has been identified, it is possible to recommend products which are suited for that particular skin type.
For oily skin, look for the word ‘Non–comedogenic’ on the product and avoid products with fragrance. Oil-free non-comedogenic foaming cleansers are suitable as a face wash. Use a good moisturizer that is non-comedogenic along with these cleansers.
A sunscreen is a must during daytime, but make sure to select the one which is non-comedogenic. Exfoliating the skin once a week with a mild scrub is recommended, but avoid the same in case of excessive pimples.
When it comes to treating pimple marks, most doctors prescribe the application of topical skin lightening creams. However, in terms of effectiveness, these creams have their limitations.
Some of the most commonly prescribed creams are Hydroquinone and Hydroquinone-like skin lightening agents. While the other types of creams used are azelac acid creams, kojic acid, mequinol, Vitamin B, Vitamin C etc. Hydroquinone agents have side effects and have to be limited in terms of its use and duration.
The search is on for skin lightening agents that are more effective and have less allergic reactions and side effects. The Indian Ayurvedic system offers some solutions in this area. Usage of creams with fragrance and chemicals can sensitize and irritate the already sensitive pimple prone skin. Bajaj Nomarks provides skin care products with Ayurvedic ingredients which are safe to use while dealing with pimple marks.