Grown Women With Acne?
Todd Minars, M.D. Dermatology
Not a day passes in my office when I don’t hear a “thirty-something” woman distressingly ask, “Why am I having acne at this age? I am not a teenager.” It is a misconception that acne only affects women during their teens. Fortunately, there are many options for treatment, but they all fall into one of four categories: 1) creams, 2) pills, 3) peels and 4) laser. “Cream” really includes everything that you put on your skin: make-up and moisturizers must be oil-free or say “non-comedogenic” on the packaging. Washes should contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or glycolic acid. But the most important creams for acne are the retinoids: Retin-A, Differin, or Tazorac. Retinoids are the only creams that address the cause of acne: sticky skin cells in the opening of the hair follicles that don’t shed correctly.
Pills for acne start with antibiotics and end with Accutane. But in women there are other choices, including birth control pills and a “hormone-blocking” pill called Aldactone.
There is even a prescription vitamin for acne. Other treatments, available at your dermatologist’s office, are peels and lasers. There are two types of Peels. 1) Chemical peels – such as salicylic acid peels; and 2) Physical peels – such as microdermabrasion. Both have the same goal – exfoliating skin: especially those sticky skin cells that block the hair follicles and cause your acne. The choice between salicylic acid and microdermabrasion depends on your skin type. Acne surgery (extractions) and cortisone injections are also available at your dermatologist’s office. A cortisoneinjection is the only treatment that is going to make that big red “underground” zit go away in 24 hours instead of three weeks.
And finally, the newest treatment for acne is the SmoothBeam Laser that has recently been FDA approved for the treatment of acne. With this laser, the patient is treated once every two weeks for four treatments. The laser targets and selectively shrinks the sebaceous (oil) glands, which play a prominent role in the cause of acne.
For more information, call Dr. Todd Minars at 954-987-7512.