Acne is a skin condition that affects 80% of people between the ages of 12 and 25. The condition ranges in severity from a few small whiteheads to painful cystic pimples.
Dealing with acne can be frustrating and disheartening. It can decrease your confidence and negatively affect your body image. Thankfully, there are many different ways to cure acne and restore confidence in your skin.
This article links different causes of acne with various treatment plans that are readily available. Read on to learn about acne and begin healing your skin.
What Causes Acne?
Acne occurs when a hair follicle becomes plugged with oil, dirt, or dead skin cells. Every hair follicle is connected to a sebaceous gland which secretes sebum, an oily substance that keeps the skin soft. When there is too much sebum in your hair follicle, it mixes with dead skin cells and plugs the follicle. This plug traps bacteria in the skin, resulting in inflammation that forms pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads.
The most common causes of acne are hormonal fluctuations and lifestyle factors. Hormonal fluctuations occur during puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and when taking steroids or other hormone-impacting medications. Lifestyle factors include stress, diet, and certain cosmetic products.
What Is the Best Treatment for Acne?
Because there are so many different causes of acne, it makes sense that there are as many (if not more) ways to treat and cure acne. You can treat acne from the inside out with medication, or by using topical treatments.
Topical Acne Products
Most topical acne-clearing products contain active ingredients that fight against acne-curing bacteria, unclog your pores, or reduce inflammation. The most common active ingredients are benzoyl peroxide, adapalene, salicylic acid, azelaic acid, and alpha hydroxy acids.
Benzoyl peroxide works by killing the bacteria that cause acne. It also dries out the skin to remove excess oil and remove dead skin cells that are trapped in the pores.
Potential side effects when using benzoyl include dry skin, irritation, burning, scaling, and stinging. This product also makes your skin more sensitive to the sun’s harmful UV rays. It’s important to moisturize and apply SPF when using this product.
Adapalene is a retinoid, which is a type of compound derived from vitamin A. This ingredient unclogs pores to help prevent future breakouts.
It’s important to never apply this product to broken skin, sunburn, or active eczema flair-ups. You may feel a slight stinging when applying this product, but it should settle fairly quickly. You can use a noncomedogenic moisturizer to alleviate these symptoms.
Salicylic acid works by unclogging your cores to prevent new acne breakouts. You can find this ingredient in leave-on and wash-off products.
Potential side effects include stinging, skin discoloration, and mild skin irritation.
Azelaic acid has mild antibacterial properties that help prevent plugs in the pores. This product can also help reduce and remove any dark spots caused by previous acne breakouts.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Alpha hydroxy acids are the synthetic equivalent of the acids found in sugary fruits, sugar cane, and milk. Common alpha hydroxy acids are glycolic acid and lactic acid. These acids treat acne by reducing inflammation and removing dead skin cells from the hair follicles. They also increase skin cell turnover which can improve acne scars.
Doctors and dermatologists will prescribe acne medication for severe acne or if topical methods have failed. These medications work by decreasing the production of sebum in various ways.
Oral contraceptives are used to treat acne by regulating androgen levels. Androgens are a type of hormone that stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce sebum. Birth control stops the overproduction of sebum.
Anti-androgens are a type of hormone medication that blocks androgen receptors. This prevents the stimulation of the sebaceous gland and decreases the body’s production of sebum.
Formerly called Accutane, isotretinoin was developed to treat severe or stubborn acne and severe cystic acne. Isotretinoin is made from vitamin A and works by decreasing the size of the oil glands, resulting in lower sebum production. This dries out any active acne and helps prevent future acne from developing.
Antibiotics are used to cure moderate to severe inflammatory acne by killing the bacteria trapped in the hair follicle. Most doctors will only prescribe antibiotics if topical methods have not eased the acne symptoms. After the severe acne has cleared, doctors may recommend the patient uses topical products to keep the skin clear.
What Is the Best Way to Remove Acne Scarring?
Often, acne leaves behind scars, hyperpigmentation, and indentation. Acne scarring can be as frustrating to deal with as active acne breakouts. At Laser Spot, we offer several services that can help you restore your skin and regain confidence. These include skin discoloration treatment and skin resurfacing.
Skin Discoloration Treatment
Skin discoloration treatment utilizes a special peel that targets the specific cause of discoloration. We apply the peel to your facial skin and focus the product on areas of discoloration. We then remove the peel and instruct you on the correct aftercare measures to protect your skin.
A skin resurfacing treatment assists with uneven skin texture caused by things like acne scarring or enlarged pores. A fractional laser delivers microbeams of light into the lower layer of your skin which stimulates healing in that area of the face. The result is new, healthy skin and reduced skin texture.
Find Skin Confidence With Laser Spot
By now you should know that the best treatment for acne differs from person to person. Your skin is entirely unique, so your acne treatment plan will be entirely unique too!
At Laser Spot, we believe in treating each patient individually. There is no treatment or technique that will work for everyone. If you’re interested in curing acne or reducing acne scarring, we’re the place you want to be.
Contact us if you have any questions or if you’d like to schedule an appointment and begin your journey toward skin confidence today!