Are You Ready for Smooth, Healthy Skin?
Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. About 95% of adolescent boys and 85% of adolescent girls experience acne. While acne often clears up naturally by the time a person is in their twenties, 1 in 5 people, mostly women, continue to be affected into adulthood. No matter your age, acne often causes social and physical discomfort, scarring, and sometimes depression.
The exact cause is not fully understood, however, research has revealed several key, contributing factors including excess oil, clogging of pores, and bacteria. When we hit adolescence, our hormones naturally begin to fluctuate and the body begins to increase production of an oil called sebum. Excess sebum tends to clog pores and drive up levels of P. acnes, a bacterium found on everyone’s skin. When the bacteria and oil mix, they cause inflammation.
Other factors that can trigger acne include genetics, hormones, menstruation and emotional stress.
Acne has commonly been attributed to diet. The association between acne and diet was evaluated in a recent literature review of 27 studies. Observational studies, including two large controlled prospective trials, reported that cow’s milk intact increased acne prevalence and severity. Prospective studies, including randomized controlled trials, also demonstrated a positive association between a high-glycemic-load diet, hormonal mediators and acne risk. However, studies have been inconclusive regarding the association between acne and other foods.
A variety of acne treatment options are available – from benzoyl peroxide to laser options and the Dusa® Blu-U® system. Although no overnight cures exist, a disciplined skin care routine can combat your acne problem. Because your body and skin are unique to you, creating a tailored treatment which addresses your specific needs is vital.
- TOPICAL TREATMENTS — Common topical agents used include benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, retinoids and salicylic acid. These may be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments.
- ORAL ANTIBIOTICS — Oral antibiotics are commonly used in managing moderate to severe acne. Oral antibiotics used include tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, erythromycin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. An oral antibiotic may be used in combination with topical medication.
- CORTISONE INJECTIONS — An injection of cortisone can dramatically speed the healing of an acne cyst or nodule.
- BLU-U® BLUE LIGHT THERAPY — The Blu-U is a unique blue light that kills the P. acnes bacteria in your skin. Blu-U is not hot to the touch and is not painful. Treatment requires one or two 15-minute sessions each week for approximately five weeks.
- ACCUTANE — This is the only medication approved to treat severe, resistant, nodular, cystic acne, the most severe form of acne. This treatment requires regular monitoring by your dermatologist and side effects have been reported with its use. Generally, this treatment serves as a last resort.
- OTHER TREATMENTS — Various treatments shown to be useful in managing your complexion include chemical peels and laser treatments, such as the Gen Technique, for acne. However, these methods are most effective when used in conjunction with a comprehensive treatment program.
Are There Different Types of Acne?
There are three main types of acne: comedos (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples and pustules, and cysts or nodules. The type of acne you have depends on the amount of inflammation which develops and whether it is close to the skin’s surface or embedded deeper into the skin.
Blackheads and whiteheads are close to the surface and associated with minimal inflammation. 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. A painful cyst or nodule occurs when the blockage is very deep with intense inflammation.
If you’re suffering from acne or acne scarring, call us today at (512) 402-6694 to set up your consultation and discuss which treatment options are right for you.