Dr. Pagidas: Modern, effective anti-acne therapies

“Before I move on to the topic, first I want to briefly introduce us and the way in which we work. Our idea has always been and will always be to focus on new, innovative methods in skincare – only if they have a proven clinical and aesthetic result. Therefore, our team participates at every opportunitu in international congresses and symposia which aim to both expand knowledge about methods known so far, and introduce doctors to the latest trends in skin care.”

Importance of dermatological ​prophylactic​ ​examination. Are more frequent visits desirable for acneic skin?

Once there is an established predisposition to developing, or already diagnosed​ ​acne,​ the need for regular follow-up and monitoring by a dermatologist of how the treatment is progressing is of particular importance. Consultation with a dermatologist who will assess the severity of the disease is of particular importance for the treatment. The stage at which the skin problem is diagnosed matters. The earlier measures are taken, the better the results after the treatment and the more gentle it will be for the patient. That is why we recommend preventive dermatological examinations.

In the autumn, most of us usually complain of acne inflammation. What are the factors for the appearance of this disease?

Our skin is the first organ that encounters external conditions and it suffers the most from climate change . Many skin diseases worsen with the onset of the autumn-winter period, including acne. Lowering temperatures, high humidity and strong wind may worsen the condition of any skin type, not only in cases where it suffers from acne.

The daily use of a face cream with a photoprotection factor is recommended, as well as the application of moisturizing creams which provide protection, hydration and comfort for the skin. But we must note that there is no one-size-fits-all cosmetics and it is very important what products our patients use.

What modern therapies would you recommend for effective treatment?

At the clinic, we have the latest generation of technology at our disposal. Our lasers are one of the best in the field, and this is of great importance in any medical treatment. Equally important is the doctor’s attention and attitude towards the patient, explaining what the problem is and building mutual trust. Most skin conditions and diseases have a solution, therefore the patient must be calm, they must trust the doctor, and together – doctor and patient – they should make a decision on how to proceed with the relevant treatment.   

Not infrequently, visible scars remain in patients with acneic skin. What are the recommended dermatological procedures?

To almost every patient with​ ​acne scars​ ​laser resurfacing may be recommended, of course, after a consultation with a dermatologist. This procedure can be compared with moderate to deep peeling of the skin. Laser skin rejuvenation – also known as Laser Genesis, for its part, is a suitable​ treatment method ​for the active phases of the disease, as it prevents possible severe consequences.

Is it true that the best treatment for acne scars is their prevention? What should be the adequate and timely medical therapy?

As I mentioned before, if the idea of a preventive examination once a year becomes widespread, the possibility of the development of serious skin problems, like acne, will be minimal. Every patient should start paying attention to their skin, because sometimes something that appears to the patient as a mild rash and a temporary condition may be a symptom of a more serious problem. Regarding the adequate and timely reaction, our team always advises patients to avoid the trend of reading forums and all sorts of discussions on self-treatment of acne on the Internet, and in the presence of any problem, it is best to seek the opinion of a specialist . Thus, the risk of complications will be reduced.

Does the modern way of life affect our skin?

The fast pace of life, irregular and unhealthy eating, lack of physical activity, stress, smoking, free radicals and many more affect our skin. Those are reasons for the appearance of a number of skin diseases. Of particular importance for improving even the very structure of the skin is leading a healthy lifestyle, physical activity and, last but not least, the individual approach to the skin. It is important to know that cleaning the face, moisturizing it and using appropriate cosmetics reduces the formation of the so-called blackheads and pimples. This is exactly why I emphasize the idea of an annual visit to a dermatologist who will monitor the condition of your skin and recommend individual care according to its needs, and thus the risk of complications will be minimized.

To what extent does diet influence the development of acne?

A full and balanced diet is recommended, because nything in the extreme affects us badly. An aggressive diet and intense physical activity can have a negative impact on the integrity and structure of the skin. My advice is that young girls and boys should inform themselves well before starting a drastic diet or heavy training. We should always try to find the balance, which in this case is expressed in adequate care according to our age and the condition of the skin.

Is hygiene important in the course of acne therapy?

When we talk about acne treatment, hygiene is one of the most important things. For adequate treatment of the problem, the dermatologist recommends special washing lotions with active ingredients that simultaneously clean deeply and hydrate the skin while washing. I recommend to my patients quality medical cosmetics developed especially for acneic skin, which contains the necessary elements according to the condition of the patient’s skin.

Does the sun improve or worsen the condition of acneic skin?

Prolonged exposure to the sun is not recommended, especially if the skin is prone to acne, because it may cause additional skin changes, dehydration, etc. In this situation, your skin will try to “deal” with dehydration and it begins to stimulate additional greasing, which will only intensify the inflammatory processes.

Also, excessive exposure to sunlight may cause inflammation and pigmentation.  Therefore, the daily use of medical cosmetics with a high sun protection factor is mandatory. These products not only protect us, but also prevent future inflammations and the appearance of pimples. Most often, these medical products are marked as hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic.

Does the use of makeup negatively affect the condition of oily skin?

Problem skin needs more special care. Using the wrong cosmetic product can worsen the condition of the skin, especially when acne is present. Still, applying make-up is not prohibited, as long as it is adapted to problematic and oily skin. It is good to choose lighter and non-comedogenic textures to prevent further skin inflammation.

Are there risks and side effects associated with effective therapies?

Effective acne therapies usually require a recovery period and are associated with a greater risk of side effects. The most common ones with local application of the prescribed medication affect the skin and manifest as redness, burning, increased peeling in the treated areas, pronounced dryness and photosensitivity. In most cases, these unpleasant effects are overcome by changing the concentration of the active substance in the product used, addition to the therapy of moisturizing creams and the use of a cream with sun protection. Any such change or new prescription is, of course, made only after a doctor’s appointment. It is the responsibility of the treating doctor to balance the positive and negative side effects of the prescribed therapy.

What are the most common mistakes made by patients with acne?

It is important that patients do not rely on information from internet forums, because sometimes the information there can be wrong, misleading and inconsistent with the individual needs of the skin. Also, they shouldn’t blindly trust their friends who use a given product or procedure. In general, the most important thing is not to read materials on the Internet and not to start self-medication, because the problem is individual. They should always consult the relevant specialist. The treatment of acne depends on the type of skin, the severity of the disease, and its timely detection. It (the treatment) is not universal and its duration is also not the same in all cases. It is important that the patient trusts their dermatologist, strictly follows their instructions, does not apply additional treatments and does not stop using the ones prescribed. Only then can we talk about adequate treatment, which, let’s not forget, is a two-sided process.

Is it permissible to apply peeling on acneic skin?

In the presence of acne, the combination of procedures is absolutely necessary. In the modern world of medicine, there are specially developed chemical peels for acneic skin. The combined peeling with salicylic and mandelic acid is very suitable. With its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, salicylic acid destroys many bacteria that cause the so-called pustules on the face (purulent pimples).  In combination with mandelic acid, which has a great depth of penetration, a cleansing and antibacterial effect, the results are visible and satisfying.