Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in the U.S. Over 90% of teenage boys and 80% of adolescent girls experience acne at some time while growing up. While acne often clears by early adulthood, 1 in 5 people, mostly women, will continue to be affected.
Complications from acne can cause:
- Change in skin color – post inflammatory hyper pigmentation
- Scars – dreaded complication of acne (tiny little pits to deep large disfiguring pockmarks).
- Psychological impact (long lasting) Can either range from simple emotional upset to damage to self esteem, personality, social life or even severe depression. Ask any teenager what a single zit feels like at prom time.
- Constant discomfort with pain, pussy drainage & itching
Consequently, treatment is important for the skin and for mental health.
CAUSES OF ACNE (ETIOLOGY):
- Increased sebum (oil) production by the skin oil glands.
- Excessive cell production of the skin lining.
- Proliferation of P. Acnes (a bacterium found on everyone’s skin flourishes in the excess oil)
- The normal follicular duct becomes obstructed by excess sebum & cell build up & then get infected with the P.Acnes bacteria.
Factors that can trigger acne
- Hormonal changes related to menstrual periods/pregnancy/BCP/emotional stress
- Greasy/oily cosmetics
- Certain drugs (steroids/testosterone/estrogen/dilantin )
- High levels of humidity and sweating
- Foods, only excessive dairy products may aggravate acne
- Chocolates and nuts do not cause or aggravate acne
TYPES OF ACNE:
- Comedonal Acne – Whiteheads and blackheads are close to the surface and associated with minimal inflammation.
- Popular pustular – Pimples (red bumps) occur if the blockage is a little deeper in the skin. A pus-filled pimple can form if the process is deeper still, with more inflammation.
- Nodular-cystic – firm painful nodules and cysts deep in the skin indicating intense inflammation
There are a variety of treatments which are often effective. It is vital that treatment should be tailored to your specific acne condition and skin type. What worked for your friend may or may not be a good choice for you. Must have a comprehensive approach – not one size fits all.
Over The Counter drugs DO NOT WORK – may work partially and temporary only at best.
The best available treatment options range in combination from – topicals, antibiotics, chemical peels & lasers. Lasers that are helpful are IPL with Levulan treatment, Blu light with Levulan treatment & the Smooth beam laser. The CO2 Fraxel laser is used extensively for acne scarring. No overnight cures exist, but a regimented persistent routine can combat your acne problem.
Accutane (isotretinoin) – this is the only medication approved to treat severe resistant nodular cystic acne, the most severe form of acne. However it’s many severe side effects limits its use.
In summary: It will take 3-6 months to get good control with topical, oral antibiotics, face washes and peels, and laser treatments. Intralesional steroids can be used to treat big cysts quickly. Can also use steroid injections for a few blemishes a couple of days prior to an event.
IT’S ALL ABOUT COMPLIANCE
To get rid of your acne & regain a more youthful look, please contact the acne experts at this clinic for a consultation.