At Innovative Dermatology, we specialize in the diagnosis, management and treatment of acne and utilize all available modern acne treatments to help cure or control your acne. With your input, we will design an individualized acne treatment program tailored just for you, based upon your skin type and acne characteristics.
What causes Acne? Acne is a very common skin problem that shows up as outbreaks of bumps often referred to as pimples or zits. This usually appears on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Acne can be a source of emotional distress, and severe cases can lead to permanent acne scars. Anyone can have acne, but teenagers are most prone because of the surging adolescent hormone levels. Women may get acne when their hormone levels change during pregnancy, just before a menstrual cycle or when starting birth control pills.
It begins when the pores in the skin become clogged and can no longer drain sebum (an oil made by the sebaceous glands that protects and moisturizes the skin.) The sebum build-up causes the surrounding hair follicle to swell. The plugged pores form blackheads and whiteheads, pimples and deeper lumps (cysts or nodules).
Prevention: Control of acne is an ongoing process. For ongoing acne skin care and prevention of acne, follow a few simple guidelines:
- Clean skin gently—Use a mild skin cleanser twice a day, and pat skin dry. Harsh cleansers and astringents can actually worsen acne.
- Do not pop, squeeze, or pick at acne lesions, as this can promote inflammation and infection. Keep hands away from your face and other acne-prone parts of the skin.
- Limit sun exposure—Tanning only masks acne at best. At worst, sun exposure can lead to skin damage, especially if you are using an acne treatment that makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight and UV rays (this includes tanning booths).
- Choose cosmetics with care—As mentioned above, choose non-greasy skin products, and look for words like “non-comedogenic,” “oil-free,” and “water-based.” Some facial products contain active acne-fighting ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, to help keep mild acne at bay.
- Be patient with your treatment—Find out how much time it should take for your acne treatment to work (generally 6-8 weeks) and then stick with it. Stopping treatment early may prevent you from seeing good results or even cause a relapse of symptoms. Your skin may look worse before it begins to improve. You may need to try more than one type of treatment.
Treatment options include:
- Topical medications (cleaners and leave-on medications or products)
- Oral medications [usually, antibiotics or isotretinoin (Accutane)]
- Intra-lesional injections for acne cysts / nodules
- Chemical peels laser and light-based therapies (blue light, infra-red light, PDT among others)
Almost all cases of acne can be effectively treated. The goal of acne treatment is to heal existing lesions, stop new lesions from forming, and prevent acne scars. Medications vary, depending on the type of acne you have. Mild acne may respond well to a topical retinoid alone. Moderate acne may respond better to a combination of a topical retinoid with an antibiotic or other medication. Severe acne with scarring may need treatment with isotretinoin, the active ingredient of Accutane.
Untreated acne can quickly and insidiously lead to permanent, undesired scars. Early diagnosis and treatment are paramount.
Call us today! 610-789- SKIN(7546) to schedule a personalized consultation.