Acne Treatment Specialist
Did you know your acne zit is actually on your face three to six weeks before you even see it?
Yes, It's true.
Your pores get clogged by skin cells and cannot excrete oil properly. This is the perfect recipe for propionibacterium acnes, P. acnes for short. Once started, the bacteria grows until it finally ruptures- causing the red raised "ouchy” you call a pimple. In fact, acne can rupture from either open or closed pores. The inflamed spots are filled with excess oil and bacteria.
What Is Acne?
Acne, also called pimples, is a common skin problem resulting from clogged hair follicles. Acne can occur at any age. However, it is most common during teenage years. Even if a person never had acne as a teenager, he/she can still get acne later in life. Acne can occur on the face, chest, shoulders and back. It ranges from a few pimples (mild) to severe cystic lesions with scarring (severe).
For skin of color patients, acne can result in a secondary condition called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Accordingly, PIH is often a chief complaint. PIH occurs when dark spots are left on the skin after the acne clears.
What causes acne?
Factors leading to acne include clogged pores, increased oil production, inflammation (redness and irritation), and bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). Oil and dead skin cells that fill the hair follicle cause clogged pores (comedones). Whereas whiteheads are deeper in the skin and closed, blackheads are near the surface of the skin and are open. Thus, the dark appearance of a blackhead is due to the dry nature of the comedones’ contents. Red acne bumps are caused by inflammation from particular bacteria under the skin and can be persistent and painful at times.
What Makes Acne Worse?
- Trauma: squeezing, scrubbing, or picking.
- Skincare products/hair products that contain oil.
- Allergies: environmental and food.
- Make-up and makeup brushes that aren’t clean.
- Hormonal changes: puberty; menstrual cycles.
- Friction on the skin: sportswear/helmets.
- Environmental: greasy workspaces like kitchens.
- Diet: avoid fatty, processed foods, dairy.
Does All Acne Scar?
No. Some patients with severe cystic acne may experience scarring. Hence why early treatment is recommended.
Acne treatment is different for each person. For this reason, patience is key because treatment plans may need to be adjusted for the first 4-6 weeks of therapy. Treatment goals include: clearing existing acne, establishing a maintenance plan, addressing any tone/pigment changes, providing guidance on any scarring issues. Since each case of acne is unique, treatment plans can vary from patient to patient.
Tips: No picking or squeezing acne lesions. Wear sunscreen especially if using a retinoid. Do not use astringents (witch hazel, alcohol, etc) that dry out the skin. Wash face with lukewarm water at least twice daily using only your fingertips.
Acne Treatment Options
Scheduling an appointment with our innovative, breakthrough acne treatment center is your first step on your path to a breakout free life. During your visit, your dermatologist will get to know you and your skin history. Next, your comprehensive treatment plan best suited for you. A variety of in-office and take-home care products are available to ensure long term success.
Acne can be embarrassing and affect day to day life.
Antibiotics can clear bacteria from the skin and reduce inflammation. In our practice, commonly used antibiotics are doxycycline or minocycline.
Used topically to exfoliate the skin and unclog pores, Retinoids are a type of vitamin A. Retinoids are used in initial treatment as well as maintenance treatment. At WFD, retinoids may include tretinoin, tazarotene or adapalene. In severe acne cases, a pill form (isotretinoin) may be appropriate.
Commonly Recommended WFD Products:
Acne Cleanser, Toner, Aloe Cort Moisturizer, Clay Mint Mask, Sunscreen.
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