Acne TreatmentRegardless of the age when it occurs, acne can be an embarrassing problem to deal with. Although this condition can occur at any time in life, it is most commonly associated with the teen years. Acne can develop not only on the face, but also on the back, neck, arms, legs, or shoulders, and may be mild, moderate, or severe. Our patients receive personalized care based on the type of acne they have, as treatments vary for each.
Treating acne is a personal endeavor at the Center for Dermatology and Cosmetic Laser Surgery. By developing a comprehensive treatment plan, we inhibit bacterial activity on the skin and decrease the risk of acne scarring.
What causes acne?Acne is a skin condition that may be triggered by a number of factors, such as:
- Genetic makeup
- Makeup and hair products
What acne looks like?Every person is different, and may experience acne in a unique fashion. Most commonly, we see acne as:
- Whiteheads - which are closed, clogged pores
- Blackheads - which are open and have a dark surface
- Papules - small pink bumps that may feel tender when touched
- Pustules - red at the surface of skin, and filled with fluid
- Nodules - large, painful bumps that form deep under the surface of skin
- Cysts - which pose a risk of scarring. These lesions are deep and filled with fluid
Treating acneAcne is a condition that is approached carefully, based on severity.
Mild acne treatment may begin with topical solutions and creams and regular face washing. Typically, washing the face with an anti-bacterial soap two to three times each day, and applying a benzyl peroxide medication will clear blemishes within six to eight weeks. Following this protocol is important to stopping bacterial activity and avoiding worsening of symptoms.
Exfoliating the skin is also beneficial, as it removes dead skin cells before they can become lodged in the pores. Exfoliation may be gently done with the use of a salicylic acid product. Scrubbing the skin to slough off dead skin cells should be avoided so that further irritation does not occur.
Moderate to severe acne is best addressed with a multi-faceted plan that treats the multiple causes of acne. We have a full arsenal of treatment options for highly personalized care, including:
- Topical prescription medication: The application of topical lotions and creams can reduce existing inflammation and inhibit the growth of bacteria on the skin. Various topical solutions may be prescribed. Some medications include substances such as benzyl peroxide, clindamycin, retinoic acid, and sulfur. Topical medication may produce mild redness, burning, stinging, or peeling, side effects that will decrease over time. By using prescribed topical medication, visible results are typically experienced after four to eight weeks.
- Oral prescription medication: Like topical solutions, oral antibiotics seek to decrease inflammation and limit bacterial growth. The difference is that an oral antibiotic will act systemically rather than locally on the skin. This form of treatment can be very effective at accomplishing this goal, but does not have an impact on the amount of oil naturally secreted in the skin, nor the abnormal behavior within skin cells that lead to clogged pores. At the Center for Dermatology, we believe that oral medications should be used only for as long as the benefits outweigh the risks.
Photodynamic therapy is a newer, markedly effective treatment for acne, which avoids the use of oral medications. The Center for Dermatology has extensive experience with photodynamic therapy as it used for other skin conditions besides acne. It involves the use of blue light to activate a special solution applied to the area of acne. The interaction between the blue light and solution targets sebaceous acne causing glands and associated bacteria. The result is a marked improvement in acne and decreased chance for scarring.
As acne is completely unique to your skin, we offer other adjunctive treatments for personalized care, including:
- Hormone therapy
- Medical microdermabrasion
- Medical chemical peel
- Acne surgery (extractions of blackheads and whiteheads)
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I had a very good experience with Dr. Selkin and the medical staff. Dr. Selkin was very personable and knowledgeable about my condition. I would definitely recommend him for dermatology needs.
~Sandy M. Read More