Acne is one of the most common and distressing skin problems. However, several different treatment options are available.
Causes of Acne
Acne is an infection in the pores of the skin. The skin has hundreds of thousands of pores, which are loaded with sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are small glands located at the bottom of the pores. They secrete oil, which helps keep the skin healthy. The problem occurs when the pore becomes clogged. This can happen because of dead skin, too much oil, or a variety of other problems. When the pore becomes clogged, the sebaceous glands still produce oil. The problem is that the oil has nowhere to go. Therefore the pore becomes filled with oil, which is a perfect medium for the acne vulgaris bacteria to grow. Acne vulgaris is a bacteria which is found in all people, but can only grow if it is cut off from an air supply. When the pores are clogged, and cut off from air, the acne vulgaris bacteria begin to multiply. This creates the redness, swelling, and white pus that is common in acne.
Of course that’s not all, when the acne vulgaris bacteria begins to multiply, your body attempts to kill the infection. It does this through inflammation, the same as any other type of infection. The good news about inflammation is that it is very good at killing harmful bacteria. The bad news is that it is also damaging for your skin. After the acne infection is cleared, swelling and redness remain, and in severe cases, scarring as well. This can be disfiguring and difficult to treat.
Treatments and Prevention for Acne
The treatment of acne has three parts. The first step is to prevent acne in the first place. Once acne arises, the second step is to control it. The third step is to erase the damage that has been done, including redness, scarring, and other disfiguring blemishes.
Prevention of Acne
If you routinely exfoliate, using glycolic acids, and a good exfoliation tool such as a Clarisonic, the dead skin cells will be stripped away from your skin. This reduces the opportunity for dead skin cells to accumulate and clog your pores. In addition, regular exfoliation will make your skin appear younger, healthier, and more luminous, so there’s no reason not to do it!
Retin-A is one of the most powerful exfoliating tools that we have. Retin-A increases the skin cell turnover, which results in increased shedding of dead skin, and excellent exfoliation. This is the reason why Retin-A is so commonly prescribed to people with acneic skin. It’s a wonderful product and has wonderful results. The downside of Retin-A is that it often leaves the skin red and flaky for a period of time while your skin adjusts to it. This period of adjustment can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, however, once it is done, it is done for good.
A salicylic peel removes oil and debris attached to the skin’s surface. It penetrates the sebum filled follicles and cleans out the clogged pores. It also helps by treating the bacteria that cause acne.
Products to Control Oil
The second step in prevention of acne is to control the oiliness of the skin. There are many excellent products that reduce the amount of oil in the skin. A consultation with our clinical aestheticians can help you choose the products which are right for you.
Genesis Laser treatments stimulate collagen regrowth, promoting a more vibrant and even skin tone. The laser treatment minimizes the appearance of pores and smooth out fine lines while also killing the acne vulgaris bacteria. Therefore, regular treatment with the laser Genesis will not only result in younger, smoother, and more luminous skin, but will also reduce the number of breakouts that you have to endure.
Treatment of Acne
Once the acne redness, bumps, and infection have arisen, prevention is no longer enough. At this point you need to treat the acne. At Restōr, we offer several medical grade facials which are clinically proven and formulated to help resolve the acne breakout. Another treatment option is the antibiotic doxycycline. Doxyclycline works by killing the acne vulgaris bacteria and is useful if products and cleansing facials do not work. Come in for a skin consultation to discuss your treatment options.
Healing the Damage
While acne blemishes can be very frustrating, by far the worst effect of acne is the scarring, redness, and disfigurement that is left behind. The good news is that we can now treat acne scarring and the discolorations that acne leaves behind with Laser resurfacing. We have two separate lasers which can be utilized for this purpose. The first is the Genesis Laser, which through a series of six treatments, performed two weeks apart and without any downtime, substantially decreases the appearance of acne scarring. The other option is the Pearl resurfacing laser. This laser, with just one or two treatments, each involving 3 to 5 days of downtime, can completely resurface the skin, removing acne scars. Both laser treatments will leave you with younger, smoother, and more even skin. Come into Restōr for a consultation with Dr. Waples to find out which type of laser is best for you.