Few of us escape without some experience with acne. Whether it’s just a passing meeting or a full-blown relationship, acne is not a pleasant encounter for anyone.
The term “acne” actually covers a variety of skin conditions from red scaly skin to blackheads to pinheads to pimples.
The skin structures of hair follicles and their accompanying sebaceous glands are what are involved, and that’s why most acne breakouts are seen on the face, chest and back, places where these structures are the most dense. However, cystic acne will also show up in the armpits, groin, and on the buttocks – places where sweat commonly collects in the hair follicles.
Many of you are probably most familiar with acne as a condition of adolescence. This is because during puberty the increase of testosterone (yes, for both boys and girls) exacerbates the situation. However, many adults also suffer from acne well into their 30’s and 40’s. And due to hormonal changes pregnancy can also cause an acne flair-up.
Unfortunately, if you experience a severe bout of acne, scarring can result – both physically and emotionally.
So whether you’re a teen, a pregnant woman, or a 40-something businessman, the following information on acne treatments might just be what you’ve been looking for. As a dermatologist I’m happy to let you know that today there are some truly remarkable acne treatments available from your medical specialist.
1. ELOS Blue Light Acne Laser. This laser treatment specifically targets and destroys acne bacteria, in addition to shrinking oil glands and thus decreasing oil production. The best results are seen when the treatment is performed once every 2 weeks for 10 weeks total. Treatment is comfortable and you're able to resume normal activity immediately after treatment.
2. PDT for Acne. Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a unique and highly effective treatment for moderate to severe acne. There are 3 steps to this treatment: 1) Gentle microdermabrasion 2) Application of the light-absorbing agent Levulan. 3) ELOS blue light acne laser. The best results of PDT are seen with 2 or 3 treatments performed once every 4-6 weeks.
3. Chemical Peels. The best peel for a mild acne treatment is the gentle glycolic acid Vivite "peel with no peel.” This brightens and exfoliates your skin plus gives it a beautiful glow with no downtime. Chemical peels are great to give your skin a quick fix before special events.
4. Cortisone Shots. This is ideal for the cystic acne that rears its ugly head during menstrual periods and times of stress. One quick and easy injection to the pimple and within hours it is smaller and flatter and by the next day the pimple can be completely gone. No downtime and no hassle.
5. Extraction. This is performed to unclog pores and smooth bumpy skin caused by whiteheads and blackheads. Regular extractions are important in breaking the cycle of acne and improving the appearance of your skin.
As you can see there are many choices available for treating acne. Acne no longer has to cause physical discomfort or emotional pain. Talk with your dermatologist today to find out what treatment is best for you.
Dr. Tess Mauricio, “America's Favorite Dermatologist,” is an author, renowned international speaker, physician educator and nationally known media personality. This San Diego dermatologist is the Founder of Scripps Ranch Dermatology & Cosmetic center in San Diego and Dr. Tess Dermatology in La Jolla, California.