Acne Vulgaris – pimples and “zits” – almost everyone has experienced this skin disease in one form or another. The exact cause of acne is complex and only partially understood. But one could oversimplify and say that acne is caused by sticky skin cells in the opening of the hair follicles. The material produced by sebaceous glands is part of the reason that the cells are sticky. The cells form “plugs” in the opening of the hair follicle, and this is called a comedone (a “white-head” or “black-head”). Some of the comedones “explode” and turn into big red “papules” and “pustules”.
The acne treatments for acne can be divided into “home therapy” and “office treatments”.
HOME REMEDIES FOR ACNE
This is the regimen that our doctor has prescribed for you. It may consist of acne creams, washes, pills or all three. There is no shortage of effective acne treatments. Treating acne requires patience (you must think in terms of months, not days or weeks). But with time, your skin will clear. For really stubborn acne we use Accutane. This drug also requires a little extra effort (monthly blood tests etc…), but the results are dramatic and consistent (it literally “wipes out” acne every time we use it).
IN-OFFICE ACNE TREATMENTS
Peels (dissolve the “plugs”). There are two types of peels:
1) Chemical peels – such as salicylic acid peels
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 and in some people they can even be used together, for a greater effect.
The “Acne Tune-Up” Facial (remove the “plugs”)
Your medicines will prevent new comedones, but eventually, some of these plugs will need to be mechanically removed one by one. This can only be achieved by our estheticians. The “tune-up” includes steaming the skin, using acid peels and/or microdermabrasion to soften the plugs blocking your hair follicles, careful extractions to remove the plugs, and soothing masks to decrease redness.
Cortisone Injections (shrink the deep “pimples”, prevent scarring)
A cortisone injection is the only treatment that is going to make that big red “underground” zit go away in 24 hours instead of three weeks. If you have an “emergency zit”, and need an injection, please call the office and we will get you in that day for a quick visit.
Lasers for Acne
There are several laser options for acne treatment. View the list for more information.
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