Acne at any age is embarrassing, affecting social interaction and self esteem. Acne occurs when the skin’s sebaceous glands become overactive and plugged with cellular debris. A bacterium accumulates in the blocked gland resulting in pimples, cysts and inflammation.
The treatment for acne depends on the individual and done on a one-to-one basis with a doctor or dermatologist. At Skin Boutique Dr Yelenbaugen will develop your personalized acne treatment plan after a free consultation.
Some of the options may include:
- oral medications
- topical creams
- acne-fighting cosmetics
- proper skin care regimen
- chemical peels
Often, a combination of these treatments works best.
Our Palomar® StarLux Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) system could be used in a number of different skin rejuvenation treatments for boosting production of collagen and treating various skin conditions including acne.
What causes acne?
The causes of acne are linked to the changes that take place as young people mature from childhood to adolescence (puberty). The hormones that cause physical maturation also cause the sebaceous (oil) glands of the skin to produce more sebum (oil). The hormones with the greatest effect on sebaceous glands are androgens (male hormones), which are present in females as well as males.
Sebaceous glands and the hair shaft are found in a unit called a sebaceous follicle. During puberty, the cells of the skin that line the follicle begin to shed and stick together more rapidly. When the cells mix with the increased amount of sebum being produced it plugs the opening of the follicle. A natural skin bacteria called P. acne, begins to multiply rapidly in the clogged hair follicle producing inflammation. Sometimes, the wall of the follicle bursts, spreading inflammation to the surrounding skin. This is the process by which acne lesions from blackheads to pimples to nodules.
I never had acne as a teenager. Why am I now getting acne as an adult?
Usually, acne begins at puberty and is gone by the early 20s. In some cases, acne may persist into adulthood. Such types of acne include severe forms that affect the body as well as the face (which afflict males more than females) and acne associated with the menstrual cycle in women. In other cases, acne may not present itself until adulthood. Such acne is more likely to affect females than males due to sudden hormonal changes with age, birth control or pregnancy. Sometimes young women may wear cosmetics that are comedogenic – that is, they can set up conditions that cause comedones to form.
What role does diet play in acne?
Acne is not caused by food. While some people feel that their acne is aggravated by certain foods, particularly chocolate, colas, peanuts, shellfish and some fatty foods, there is no scientific evidence that suggests food causes or influences acne. Avoid any foods which seem to worsen your acne and, for your overall health, eat a balanced diet -but diet shouldn’t really matter if the acne is being appropriately treated.
Does the sun help acne?
Many feel that sunlight can reduce their acne lesions and go to great lengths to find sources of ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light in sunlight increases the risk of skin cancer and early aging of the skin. Therefore, sun is not a recommended technique of acne management, especially since there are many other proven forms of treatment for acne. Moreover, many acne treatments increase the skin’s sensitivity to ultraviolet light, making the risk of ultraviolet light exposure even worse.
Is it harmful to squeeze my blemishes?
Yes, acne lesions should not be picked or squeezed by the patient. Squeezing forces infected material deeper into the skin, causing additional inflammation and possible scarring.
Can anything be done about scarring caused by acne?
Individually prescribed treatments to prevent scarring is recommended. Chemical peels may be used in some patients, while dermabrasion or laser abrasion may benefit others. It is important that the acne be well controlled before any procedure is used to alleviate scarring.
How long before I see a visible result from using my acne medication?
Although results depend on the product prescribed by your doctor, most treatments are to be taken daily for 4 to 8 weeks in duration.
My topical treatment seems to work on the spots I treat, but I keep getting new acne blemishes. What should I do?
Topical acne medications are made to be used on all acne-prone areas, not just individual lesions. Part of the goal is to treat the skin before lesions can form. Patients are generally advised to treat all of the areas (forehead, cheeks, chin and nose) that tend to break.