Q. I have acne, acne scars and enlarged pores. I tried alternative medicine
treatments but have not found results. I’ve cut down drastically on oily and sugary foods and have included a lot of veggies in my diet. Yet there has not been much change. A doctor suggested that I undergo laser treatment.
What is your opinion?
A. Though you haven’t mentioned your age, I assume you are perhaps in your late teens or early 20s. Your issues need to be addressed individually through different treatment/ management strategies. For instance, acne in general
can be treated with various treatment options, ranging from topical creams, gels,
lotions, solutions and cleansing masks as a first-line treatment.
As a second-line of acne treatment, oral antibiotics can be prescribed before
moving on to other therapies depending on the severity of the condition. Acne in general is diagnosed only on clinical examination.
However, in severe, resistant and longstanding cases, particularly in female patients, certain investigations could be worth performing to rule out underlying, associated Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOs). In these cases, an
endocrinological consultation is highly recommended.
Acne scars are treated based on their clinical assessment, whether they are
hypertrophic (papulonodular scars) or atrophic (ice-picked scars) in nature. Common treatment options include various acid peels as well as use of lasers.
However, if the laser treatment is not done by a well qualified dermatologist, side effects could be severe.
The problem of your large pores is a sister issue related to your acne, and indicates the presence of hyperactive oil (sebaceous) glands in dermal
layer of your skin. With improvement of acne, particularly through the oil controlling treatments, these large pores also get simultaneously improved to
a greater extent. In few cases of incomplete success, topical gentle facial peels or few microdermabrasion treatment sessions can help.
Dr Ikramullah Al Nasir is a Dubai-based dermatologist.