Acne is typically a localized skin infection of the face. The infection can lead to redness, inflammation and sometimes scarring.
Acne is thought to occur because the oil in the skin, called sebum
The bacteria of acne needs the "food" from the sebum of the skin. Increased sebum occurs from a variety of factors, including adolescent hormonal changes, diet, genetic factors and many other sources. One way of treating acne is to dry out the oil glands of the skin and, hence, cut off the food supply to the bacteria. Methods for doing so include the use of Retinoids and Retinols, some LASER procedures, chemical peels, Accutane and the use of Botulinum Toxin in the skin.
Treating the infective component of acne often involves killing the bacteria. The use of topical antibiotic agents, as well as oral ones, can be effective in treatment. Blue light therapy can specifically target acne in the skin. Some chemical peels also work at changing the landscape of the skin and target acne, as well.
The cycle of acne often persists when oil is released and bacteria reemerges, creating a potentially frustrating cycle of infection. Often, the key step in treating acne is to treat both the bacteria and the oil supply.
Both whiteheads and blackheads, scientifically called comedones, are caused by blocked pores as a result of sebaceous build up.
When the whitehead remains trapped under the surface of the skin, it remains white, which is also known as closed comedone.
Blackheads reach the surface of the skin and are sometimes called open comedones. The air causes the blackheads to turn dark and oxidize. It is important to note that blackheads are not dirt and that treatment often involves treating the sebum as well as working with pores of the face.
Snail serum has been on the marked for the last few years. This includes release of some products including Tensage. The slime has more recently been found in cosmetic products in Asia and Europe. The snail slime secretes proteins like collagen, glycolic acid and hyaluronic acid which can help rejuvenate the face. In some spas, snails are actually placed on clients faces to directly apply these helpful proteins. It would take some compelling data for most patients to allow snails to crawl on their faces.
Used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, Gotu Kola is an herb used to treat skin conditions such as leprosy and psoriasis and also has the power to heal wounds and improve mental clarity. In China, legend has it that a Chinese herbalist lived for more than 200 years with the help of Gotu Kola, giving its nickname “the fountain of life.” This healing herb has been used to treat many things, but today in the States and Europe, Gotu Kola is commonly used to treat varicose veins and is also put in ointments to treat psoriasis as well as help heal wounds.
Rapid recovery from a surgical procedure is one of our goals. While gentle technique and diligent post procedure adherence to instructions play a large role, there is always some variability in patients who are "quick healers" versus those who take a longer time to heal. A recent study in Science Translational Medicine found that in patients who healed faster after hip procedures, found that the activity in monocytes within the first day after surgery would help determine how quickly patients would recover. These monocytes are a type of white blood cell and are an important type of immune cell. The authors concluded that pre-operative interventions such as exercise and diet modification as well as immune-modulating medications may be the next step in improving recovery.
So how does this study translate to our patients? A healthy lifestyle which includes exercise and a healthy, balanced diet may help you recover from procedures faster as they have been found to be critical for the overall immune health of a person. For example, a recent British study found that 2 1/2 hours of vigorous exercise per week lowered your chance of getting the flu by 10% by boosting your immune system. While taking immune-modulating medications may seem extreme and have its own potential risks, herbal supplements may offer another option. Just be careful to make sure your herbal supplements are not blood thinners as this will increase your risk for bruising.