Acne Treatment: When bad skin happens to Teens and Adults
There is not a “one size fits all” acne treatment approach, we recommend a visit with a specialist for people suffering from serious acne, for those of us with the more common (and simply annoying) acne, there are less-invasive treatments that can be very effective.
It’s not even a pretty word.
Few of us emerge from our teen years unscathed. Then we discover that acne hitched a ride into early adulthood -- and beyond. We are excited about new acne treatments that makes evicting this unwelcome guest not only possible, but budget-friendly, without a lengthy appointment or using strong prescription medications. Even better? This chemical peel is non-invasive and pain-free.
Pimples, Acne, and Zits, Oh, My.
Dermatologists explain that pimples and blackheads form when a pore collapses on itself and blocks oil (sebum) from getting to the skin’s surface. However, why one pore becomes a pimple and its neighbor does not, remains a bit of a mystery. Many factors contribute, at least in part, to our bumpy friends.
What really causes pimples?
First, let's talk diet. Thankfully, my mom’s theory that chocolate and potato chips served as the root cause of teenage acne has not been proven. However, what we eat does play a role. Research remains ongoing, but currently links foods that raise insulin levels (sweets, carbohydrates) to acne breakouts.
Too much sugar. Check. Now, consider what we don't get enough of vitamins and antioxidants. Studies show people with acne tend to have fewer antioxidants in their skin, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. It makes sense. Acne is an inflammatory process. Hence pimples are red and swollen.
Antioxidants help calm inflammation. Before you reach for a supplement. There is not enough evidence to suggest oral supplements boost antioxidants in the skin (and toxicity from oral supplements can be a problem). That's where topical antioxidants, like green tea & vitamin C, come to the rescue. These acne treatment creams help treat pesky pimples.
Next to enter the pimple picture? Our “har-mones” (as my mom calls them). Though researchers cannot pinpoint exactly how hormonal fluctuations correlate with acne. This why in patients with problem acne, we always recommend a consultation with an endocrinologist (hormone specialist).
And, bonus! Let's not forget genetics. If your parents had acne, it’s likely that you will too (thanks, mom and dad!).
So, what we eat, what don't eat, raging (or flailing) hormones, and genetics. Now, simply worrying about acne can affect acne. Stress plays another villain in the good skin wars. Physical and emotional stress affect just about every system in our bodies, including our hormones and immune systems.
Putting the brakes on breakouts.
As always, a healthy lifestyle remains one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. A healthy diet, plenty of water, good hygiene habits, adequate rest and stress reduction all go a long way in acne treatment or pimple prevention.
Specific acne treatments seem to be more numerous than the theories about acne itself. Most over-the-counter treatments (salicylic acid, sulfur, etc.) provide little benefit. However, Benzoyl peroxide can be helpful when used in conjunction with other regimens. Light therapy, heat therapy, and home remedies remain viable options, however, not usually very beneficial. Prescriptions for antibiotics or Accutane (isotretinoin) are certainly effective, but antibiotics bring other side effects from discoloring teeth to killing good gut bacteria. Accutane remains very closely regulated. This powerful medication cannot be used in females without birth control due to severe risks to the fetus.
Acne treatment at our MediSpa
Two acne treatments, effective for men and women of any age, and for treatment on various areas of the body are laser treatments and chemical peels.
At Snake River Aesthetics & MediSpa, we currently offer the Vi Purify peel, a medical grade peel developed specifically for acne treatment. We have seen amazing results, usually within about 5 days, with this painless, 20-minute treatment in our office.
For this procedure, the face is cleansed, then the peel applied in a few layers and allowed to dry. We send home an after-care kit which includes towelettes, sunscreen (especially important after a peel), and a “calming” cream. We plan to offer laser treatment very soon. We are researching the best laser tools available and will purchase one soon.
With back-to-school season upon us, why not help your teen (or yourself) get a fresh start to a new year? Give us a call! An acne treatment with our team will offer lasting effects for your skin.