HEALITE II: ACNE VULGARIS, AND HOW TO TREAT IT
HEALITE II FOR ACNE
Acne is a universal problem, with almost 100% incidence in adolescents, and even a 50% chance of a breakout in over-25s. With a combination of two wavelengths, HEALITE offers hope for acne sufferers with noninvasive and pain-free phototherapy to banish all the symptoms of inflammatory acne, and thus help prevent acne scarring.
THE ACNE STORY
There is a little bacterium existing in our epidermis, called Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes for short. P. acnes lives quite happily in hair follicles, all the t1me, every day, in all of us. It exists as a commensal bacterium, which means it lives in harmony with skin, helping to control sebum by eating the fatty acid in sebum, and helping to maintain the skin barrier function of the outer layer of the epidermis, the horny layer or stratum corneum.
At the top left is an artist’s impression of P. acnes in its normal state, with an actual microscopic view at the bottom right.
But, one day, a little plug of thick, oily sebum and dead skin cells somehow forms, and blocks the pore at the hair follicle. Now the sebum created by the sebaceous gland has nowhere to go, and builds up behind the plug, gradually filling the follicle all the way down to the sebaceous gland. This is called the comedonal stage of acne, also known as a ‘blackhead’
P. acnes is an opportunistic little bacterium, and this situation presents it with an ideal chance to start swiftly to breed and multiply in this enclosed, warm, moist and dark environment. As it does so, the waste products and digestive enzymes which it produces as its growing numbers happy feast on the increasingly abundant supply of sebum, build up and start to attack the follicle wall, causing some inflammation. This in turn calls in some of P. acnes’ more harmful bacterial friends such as Staphylococus epidermis, and infection starts to develop in the sebum, in the follicle and down into the sebaceous glands.
This is the colonisation and infective stage of acne.
Finally, the sebaceous glands rupture, and infection spreads into the dermis creating a large pustular lesion which is inflamed, raised and tender to the touch, filled with infected sebum. The P. acnes population has dramatically grown as seen from both the artist’s impression and the actual microphotography. The problem is that the reaction has become cyclic, i.e., the P. acnes population grows as the infection increases, and the infection grows as the P. acnes population increases. This is why successful and lasting treatment of inflammatory acne in its severe stages presents such a problem.
However, all is not lost. HEALITE can provide a solution to this vicious circle.