Acne/acne scarring

Acne is one of the most common skin problems among people of any age – it affects at least 80% of the population at some point in their lives. Acne lesions come in many forms: plugged pores (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and deeper lesions referred to as cysts or nodules. Several factors contribute to the development of acne, including genetics, hormonal fluctuations, emotional stress, overactive oil glands, blocked pores and bacteria.

There are many ways to minimize the frequency and severity of break-outs. An appropriate skin care regimen is essential. In many cases this includes a regimen of appropriate light acne peels that help keep pores unclogged and your skin clear. Note that whatever you use, it’s essential to be gentle with your skin! You cannot scrub acne away – harsh scrubbing will only aggravate inflammation.

For mild cases of acne (a few blackheads and/or pimples), over-the-counter products containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are often sufficient. For more moderate to severe cases, a dermatologist can prescribe stronger topical and/or oral medications. For emergencies, DO NOT SQUEEZE! Instead, visit a dermatologist who can inject an anti-inflammatory solution that will dissolve large pimples in a day or two.

Advanced laser and light technology is rapidly changing the course of acne treatment and maintenance, helping to decrease reliance on oral medications. Often referred to as photodynamic therapy, this procedure represents one of the most important advances in the treatments of acne. It involves the application of a photosensitizing medication and a special light (from a laser or other light source) to shrink the oil glands and destroy bacteria.

Unfortunately, acne often leaves scars behind. There are several different kinds of acne scars and thus a variety of treatment options depending on the type of scar. A number of new techniques have been developed for the treatment of acne scars. Patients are encouraged to seek the advice of a Board-Certified Dermatologist to determine what treatments may be most appropriate for them.

For more information on Acne, see this excellent website: http://www.skincarephysicians.com

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