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Cambridge Medical

What is back acne?

People prone to acne breakouts can have them not only show up on their faces but also spread to their neck, chest, and back. Acne can affect any part of the body with oil-secreting glands or hair follicles, which includes your back. Back acne is also treated a bit differently, so products that can control your face acne may not work as well for those on your back as the skin thickness is vastly different and penetration of topical medication is affected. If left unchecked, back acne can worsen and can leave multiple, dark acne scars aka PIH (Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation) and can affect your confidence and self-esteem.

What causes back acne?

Moreover, there are also other causes as to why you're having back acne. Some of these include:

  • Genetics - Some families have a genetic tendency to overproduce the amount of sebum and dead skin cells that can heavily contribute to the formation of acne.
  • Medications - Some medicines like antidepressants have a side effect that can physically manifest in the form of acne. Other medications include steroid usage, thyroid medication etc.
  • Hormones - Notably, the most known cause of acne, the hormonal changes during puberty can riddle your back with acne. The hormonal changes that occur during menstruation and pregnancy can also cause acne breakouts. PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is also a common cause.
  • Food - There is very low-grade evidence that certain individuals are intolerant to the dairy protein molecule, Whey protein or Casein. Whey protein is also found in protein bars and bodybuilding supplements and powder.
  • Humidity and Friction - Frequent sweating and the friction from your clothing can clog the hair follicles in your back resulting in the breaking down that would, later on, form as an acne lesion.
  • Stress - Stress causes your adrenal glands to release corticosteroids that help you push through difficult times when you do not get enough sleep. Steroids can get converted to androgens causing acne.

Types of Acne

Comedones - these are hair follicles that have become clogged with oil, dead skin, and bacteria that can make the skin look raised and cause bumps. They are further classified into types depending on the pores are clogged on the skin surface:

  • Whiteheads – comedones that are closed on the skin surface which results from the clogged cellular debris preventing the hair follicle from opening. The clog is not exposed to the air and has a whitish appearance, hence its name.
  • Blackheads – these are comedones that open at the skin surface and appear black due to exposure to air and light.
  • Papules – these are clogged pores that are inflamed and appear red or pink. They are raised and bumpy on the skin surface and can have a noticeable red border around the inflammation. They are usually tender and painful when touched and appear bigger than whiteheads and blackheads.
  • Pustules – similar to papules, pustules are also inflamed clogged pores that appear red or pink. They occur when papules become enlarged and pus develops at the tips.
  • Cystic acne - when the mixture of blockage particles (sebum, bacteria, dead skin cells) severely damage the blocked pores, it results into a cyst, or a large, red, and inflamed skin lesion that grows deep in the skin layer. They appear as big, tender, swollen lumps that are very painful and contain pus.
  • Nodules – similar to cysts, nodules are also bigger and deep-rooted in the skin. However, while cysts are large tender lumps, nodules are more solid and firm to the touch.

How is back acne treatment is done at Cambridge Medical?

The signs and causes of the facial and back acne are generally the same and yet their treatment is slightly different from each other because our back has larger pores than facial pores. Facial acne is already challenging to treat, which is why it can be difficult to treat back acne as well.

Here in Cambridge Medical Group, our doctor and specialists offer an efficient and proven treatment for your back acne with the NeoGen™ Plasma Skin Regeneration (Neogen PSR).

What is NeoGen PSR?

NeoGen PSR is an FDA-approved skin rejuvenating treatment with a revolutionary nitrogen plasma technology that enhances collagen and elastin production through controlled rapid heating over treated areas to produce a rejuvenated and revitalized appearance. Japanese Dermatologists have found that Plasma exposure affects the bacteria colonising the skin as well as the inflammatory processes involved in acne.

How does NeoGen PSR work?

The sound of the name may seem familiar to you and you may mistakenly associate it as a laser skin treatment but it is actually not one. Instead of using laser energy, NeoGen PSR works through the conversion of nitrogen gas to plasma energy, where it steams up the nitrogen gas until it converts to this fourth state of matter. Unlike some other acne treatments which remove the top layer of the skin, NeoGen PSR is a non-ablative treatment. This means that it can regenerate the skin through resurfacing and the stimulation of collagen by emitting the plasma energy in controlled pulses, heating up the skin without affecting any of your other surrounding skin tissues.

Benefits of the NeoGen PSR

One of the most notable things that a patient would ask before undergoing a certain treatment is whether it's safe. In regards to NeoGen PSR, this treatment is entirely safe to use. Unlike other skin resurfacing treatments that have a limit to where you could apply it, NeoGen PSR can even be applied around the eye area which is often thought to be very tricky.

Some of its benefits are as follows:

  • Reduces surface scarring appearance in acne scars, older surgical scars, and stretch marks.
  • Accommodates multiple indications concurrently, such as acne, wrinkles, melasma, psoriasis, etc.
  • Targets undesirable pigmenting of sunspots, age spots, and melasma.
  • Clinically proven to be safe and effective with minimal downtime

Is there any downtime?

The Neogen PSR has very minimal downtime. Right after the treatment, you may notice some dryness and flaking on your skin. These happen rarely and are usually a result of the intensity of the treatment. These side effects may also be accompanied by a pinkish or reddish colour on your skin, which will disappear within the next day.

How long does the treatment take?

Depending on the treatment area and your skin condition, the total time of the treatment may vary. In many cases, it would usually take only 10-20 minutes. Patients may also be recommended to undergo multiple sessions depending on the severity of the back acne and how the skin responds to the treatment.

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