Acne is usually a result of overactivity in the sebaceous glands. Comedones form when dead skin cells block off the skin pores, trapping the sebum within the pores. Growth of Propionibacterium acnes (a bacterium) can lead to acne, and in more severe cases lead to pustule and cyst formations.
There are 4 different grades of acne, which all require different levels of treatment:
Grade 1 – Mildest form of acne. Minor pimples appear occasionally, and in small numbers. Blackheads and milia will be found, but there is no inflammation. This is commonly seen in early adolescence, especially on the nose and/or forehead. Many adults also experience grade I acne, as blackheads on the nose and forehead.
Grade 2 – Moderate form of acne. There will be blackheads and milia, in greater numbers and the formation of more papules and pustules. They will appear with greater frequency, and general breakout activity will be more obvious. Slight inflammation of the skin is now visible.
In teens, you may see the acne progress from the nose and forehead to other areas of the face and may start to affect the chest and shoulders, with occasional breakouts on the back. Adult women may find greater breakout activity in the cheeks, chin, and jaw line area, especially just before and during the menstrual cycle.
Grade 3 – Severe form of acne. The main difference between Grade 2 and grade 3 acne is the amount of inflammation present. The skin is now obviously reddened and inflamed. Papules and pustules have developed in greater numbers, and nodules will be present.
This grade of acne usually involves other body areas in addition to the face, such as the neck, chest, shoulders, and/or upper back. The chance of scarring becomes higher as the infection spreads and becomes deeper.
Grade 4 – The most serious form of acne, commonly known as cystic acne. The skin will display numerous papules, pustules, and nodules, in addition to cysts. There is a pronounced amount of inflammation and breakouts are severe. Cystic acne is very painful.
Acne of this severity usually extends beyond the face, and may affect the entire back, chest, shoulders, and upper arms. The infection is deep and widespread. Nearly all cystic acne sufferers develop scarring.
From grade 1 to 4, inadequate management of acne might result in progression to a more severe grade even or scarring, which becomes increasingly difficult to treat.
La Clinic understands that this condition is both uncomfortable and often embarrassing, impeding a patient’s confidence. Over the years, we have developed a effective protocol in treatment of acne and patients can decide to opt for the full program or choose certain options of treatment upon consulting with our doctors.