Acne occurs when the pores become plugged. Blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and deeper lumps (cysts or nodules), occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders, and upper arms. Acne can cause stress, affect self-confidence, and when it is severe and untreated, may lead to permanent scarring. To avoid scarring, early acne treatment is important. Treatment takes time. Trial and error is the honest approach. SkinSpeaks has an arsenal of acne treatments because every skin reacts differently. If your acne has not improved after 6 to 8 weeks, we may need to change your treatment.
Prescription topical creams, gels or lotions with Vitamin A acid or Benzoyl Peroxide help unblock the pores and reduce bacteria. These products may cause some drying and peeling, but are highly effective.
Chemical peels rapidly exfoliate the skin, allowing dead skin cells to shed more effectively. By keeping dead skin cells and excess oil from clogging the hair follicle, pore blockages (comedones) and pimples can be drastically reduced. Because the outer layer of the skin peels off after the treatment, it may also help to reduce acne scarring.
People with blackheads and other non-inflammatory blemishes often find regular facials help reduce the amount of breakouts they experience. An acne facial is a deep-cleansing facial, which generally incorporates a combination of thorough steaming, deep cleansing, extractions to remove pore-clogging sebum, a healing mask and moisturizer. Salicylic and glycolic acids aimed at managing and thwarting acne flare-ups are often utilized. By extracting these impactions, the pores are cleared of excess oil and cellular debris. Blemishes are less likely to form. Best results are achieved and maintained if acne facials are performed regularly—every 4 to 6 weeks.
Kenalog (cortisone) injections can be done to get an acne flare up under control quickly. Kenalog injections are available in our clinics if you have an outbreak at a sincerely inappropriate time and need to have your skin at it’s best in a hurry.
Antibiotics, such as Tetracycline, Doxycyline, Minocycline, or Aldactone, may be taken orally. Medication is often prescribed for moderate or severe cases, especially when acne is seen on the back or chest. A dermatology provider at one of our clinics may prescribe if needed. Following a medical evaluation by a dermatology provider, an antibiotic may be prescribed if warranted.
The BLU-U is a unique blue light that kills the P. acnes bacteria in your skin. Treatments are simple – you sit with your face close to the light for a short time at a schedule set up by your doctor, approximately a 17-minute session about once or twice per week. The treatments may go on for five weeks or so. It’s safe, it’s not hot, it’s not painful. After some weeks, the blue light can help control your acne.
Photodynamic therapy is used to treat resistant acne as well as older acne scars, leaving skin smoother. An agent, Levulan, is applied to the skin, then activated with specific wavelengths of light.
The Levulan agent targets all acne glands, acne rosacea (redness), and benign bumps (AK’s or actinic keratosis) on the skin. This treatment decreases skin oiliness, and the appearance of pores is minimized. 3-4 treatments are recommended at 2-3 week intervals to obtain optimal results. Because PDT is a topical procedure, there are no systemic side effects. This treatment is available at our dermatology clinics only.
Isotretinoin (formerly known as Accutane) is used for severe acne that does not respond well to other treatments. Patients require education on the side effects of Isotretinoin. Monthly follow-up visits are necessary to monitor side effects. This drug can cause severe birth defects if taken during pregnancy. A dermatology provider at one of our clinics would prescribe Isotretinoin and perform monthly follow up exams.
When it comes to acne scars, Fraxel® DUAL treatment is our top choice. With multiple treatments, the Fraxel DUAL laser can reach deep into the dermis to stimulate collagen remodeling, while keeping surrounding tissue intact for maximum healing and minimal discomfort or downtime. Fraxel DUAL treatment provides more consistent, successful results than any other procedure for treating acne scars.
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