Acne is a skin condition that occurs due to the overproduction of oil by the oil glands of the skin. The oil that normally lubricates the skin gets trapped in blocked oil ducts and results in what we know as pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads on the surface of the skin. Sometimes it also includes deeper skin lesions that are called cysts.
The areas of the skin that are most susceptible to acne are those areas that contain the largest number of oil glands such as the face, chest, shoulders, and back.
Acne commonly occurs in people between their teenage years and their 20s. However, it is not restricted to this age. Older adults and children can also have acne.
There are many treatment options available to those who have acne. It takes time and patience, but nearly every case of acne can be controlled successfully. Most mild cases of acne can be treated effectively at home with good daily skin care, but in some cases it is best to combine those at home products with in-office treatments. Below is a list of the treatment options and skin care products that we offer.
Acne skin care treatment using Levulan Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) from Dusa Pharmaceuticals is the most recent advance in acne treatment. PDT is a 2-part process that involves the application of Levulan topical solution (5-amniolevulinic acid), a photosensitizing agent, which is then activated with Blue Light. This results in significant improvement in moderate to severe cystic acne, and can also be used to treat Actinic Keratoses (AK), sun damaged and oily skin.
PDT involves three mechanisms of action against acne. The Levulan treatment inactivates the bacteria that trigger acne and exfoliates the skin to unclog pores. The most exciting mechanism is that Levulan treatment shuts down the sebaceous glands in the skin. This is exciting because sebaceous glands are the root cause in the formation of acne, so the treatment has a long-lasting effect even on severe acne.
PDT can even work in patients who have not responded to Accutane. Accutane also targets the sebaceous glands but has fairly toxic side effects. PDT is a very safe alternative to Accutane treatment.
The Blue Light Treatment is not a laser. It emits safe, cool, visible, blue light to provide an effective solution for improvement of acne.
Typically, a series of three to four treatments is performed 3-4 weeks apart. At each treatment, the area will be scrubbed with acetone or a microdermabrasion will be done. This preps the skin and allows for better penetration of the Levulan. The Levulan is then applied to the treatment area and left on the skin for 30 minutes to three hours depending on the area to be treated. After the desired incubation time, the Levulan is removed with alcohol, and the treatment is performed with the Blue Light. Afterward, the area will be washed with soap and water to remove residual Levulan, and a sunblock is applied.
Patients who have seen the best results in reducing their acne and preventing future breakouts have had a series of 6 peels, spaced 3-6 weeks apart, and have combined the treatment with at-home skin care products.
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that is synthetically made. It is used in a variety of cosmetic applications, but its primary use is to treat acne. Salicylic acid peels are known to have superior exfoliating properties without causing the irritation associated with more aggressive peels. With salicylic acid peels, the skin cells will slough off, which will encourage the development of new skin cell growth from deep underneath the skin layers. This will stimulate developing acne to rise to the top of the skin surface faster, resulting in marked improvement in acne prone skin. Salicylic acid peels are a safe and effective way to also improve the look of sun-damaged and aging skin and are beneficial in reducing the appearance of mild acne scars.
Jessner’s Peel is particularly beneficial for clogged pores; thickened, aging skin; severe acne; and environmentally damaged skin. It is a combination of resorcinol and salicylic and lactic acids that penetrates more deeply into the epidermal layers of the skin. Because it tends to decrease oil production and open clogged sebaceous follicles, it can contribute significantly to the healing process of acne. Suitable for most skin types, Jessner’s peels can be used on the face, neck, hands and upper chest.
The Healthy Skin Formula is formulated with selected vitamins, minerals and botanicals to address skin health internally and promote a clear complexion.
A safe combination of vitamin A plus Betatene, a natural mixed carotenoid blend. Vitamin A reduces sebum production and the buildup of keratinocytes in the follicle.
The trace mineral zinc supports skin health and is involved in the proper metabolism of testosterone, the principle androgen involved in acne.
Chromium improves glucose tolerance and mitigates the effects of a high glycemic index (GI) diet. This type of diet, which emphasizes simple carbohydrates, promotes elevated insulin levels, which in turn affects androgen hormones and ultimately the normal shedding of skin cells.
Bromelain, an enzyme extracted from pineapple and selenium, a trace mineral, both have anti-inflammatory properties.
Burdock, Oregon Grape, dandelion and yellow dock contain herbal compounds known for their potent skin and blood cleansing properties, support detoxification.
Tretinoin is a prescription cream used for the topical treatment of mild-to-moderate acne. It is a derivative of vitamin A and belongs to a class of medications called retinoids. Tretinoin increases cell turnover. In patients with acne, new cells replace the cells of existing pimples, and the rapid turnover of cells prevents new pimples from forming. By a similar mechanism, Tretinoin can reduce some wrinkles, areas of darkened skin, and rough areas of skin. It should be used with a skin care and sunlight-avoidance program that includes moisturizer and daily use of an effective broad-spectrum sunscreen. There are two strengths available in our office: 0.05% and 0.1%.
This is a great addition to the topical skin care products and in-office treatments