What Is Acne?
Many people think that acne is just pimples. But a person who has acne can have any of these blemishes:
- Pustules (what many people call pimples)
Where Can Acne Appear?
Acne can appear on the back, chest, neck, shoulders, upper arms and buttocks.
What Causes Acne?
Acne appears when a pore in our skin clogs. This clog begins with dead skin cells. Normally, dead skin cells rise to surface of the pore, and the body sheds the cells. When the body starts to make lots of sebum, oil that keeps our skin from drying out, the dead skin cells can stick together inside the pore. Instead of rising to the surface, the cells become trapped inside the pore.
Sometimes bacteria that live on our skin, p. acnes, also get inside the clogged pore. Inside the pore, the bacteria have a perfect environment for multiplying very quickly. With loads of bacteria inside, the pore becomes inflamed (red and swollen). If the inflammation goes deep into the skin, an acne cyst or nodule appears.
Treatments For Acne
The treatment depends on the severity of your acne, your medical history, allergies, skin type and skin sensitivity. Often, combining treatments are more effective at targeting the different processes of acne to give a better outcome.
Topical Acne Creams
Prescription Acne creams containing a combination of a retinoid and benzoyl peroxide have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-comedomal properties to provide a multi-prong approach to acne.
Antibiotics like doxycycline are a mainstay of treatment for inflammatory acne, and work by reducing bacterial load and inflammation. Antibiotics have proven to be safe and effective in many studies to treat acne. A course of treatment may last at least 3 months.
Oral Isotretinoin (eg Acnotin, Roaccutane) is a form Vitamin A medication that works extremely well in acne and is currently the most effective treatment for severe acne.
It reduces oil secretion by 90% within 6 weeks of treatment, reduces whiteheads and blackheads by 90% within 3 months and has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Drug Free Alternatives to Treating Acne
Medical facial that combines gentle acids and aqueous microdermabrasion to cleanse, exfoliate and hydrate skin to reduce acne.
Medical grade chemical peels are used to reduce oil production, exfoliate skin and reduce comedone production.
Reduces acne by killing P. acne bacteria, which causes acne.