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Genital Acne & Scar Treatment
Acne is indeed not limited to just the face. Agonizingly, acne can also involve the genital region, the buttocks and the inner thighs.
In areas where the skin often rubs together, swollen, painful and often pus-filled bumps can cause pain and leave hardened skin and darkened scars when they heal. Sometimes these bumps can form tunnels and tracts under the skin. They can also leave open pores at the surface of the skin that appear like large blackheads.
At times, patients may be unable to walk or sit without pain. We’ve given this condition several names – Acne Inversa and Hiradenitis suppurativa(HS).
It is believed that this type of genital acne is related to related blockages in the hair follicles of the skin. Hormones like testosterone and nicotine from smoking can cause plugging of these hair follicles, cutting oxygen supply to them.
Some people are more susceptible than others purely because of genetic susceptibility, repetitive pressure friction or shearing particularly in the fold of the genital skin, smoking, diet, and obesity. Hormonal factors that increase testosterone levels in the body, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may also be a contributing factor.
Did you know that oral contraceptives containing androgenic progestins (hormones that increase bodily testosterone), the Depo progesterone injection, or hormonal IUDs may precipitate or worsen genital acne? Look after your genital skin like you would your face.
Oral clindamycin antibiotics has a broad range of bacterial coverage and is probably one of the better antibiotics to use to treat long standing infections of the skin.
Liquid form of steroids commonly known as triamcinolone is injected in very small quantities directly into the inflamed pus filled lesion. The sterois work rapidly to quell the active inflammation within the painful nodule gradually reducing its severity.
For nodules that are painful, inflamed and very taut, they can be incised to release the contents that way instant reducing the built up pressure and easing off on the pain one might be experiencing from the painful acne nodules.
The thought behind acne of the genitals is blockages and build up of oils, bacteria and inflammation within hair follicles. In this case, laser hair removal can be helpful to permanently reduce the quantity of hair follicle.
Also pixel CO2 fractional lasers have been used successfully to treat scars from chronic acne over the genitals, buttocks, and inner thighs regions.
We often use TCA (trichloroacetic acid peels) and salicylic acid peels to treat genital acne. Salicylic acid is pretty much an aspirin pill and it penetrates into oil rich areas of the skin reducing acne this way. During this process, the top layers of the skin are stimulated to peel, rejuvenating the skin beneath.
Supplementation with Zinc and Vitamin D can help fight acne by boosting the immune system and decreasing oil production in the skin (therefore lowering the chances of bacterial growth and clogged pores).
In cases where there is an overdrive of testosterone levels in the body, acne in the intimate areas can be a problem. Testosterone increases oil production within the skin. Reducing these male hormones can successfully control acne flares. Drugs commonly used are spironolactone.