Acne Vulgaris (Acne) is a skin disease of the pilosebaceous units, which consist of a sebaceous gland (oil glands), that are connected to hair follicles. The sebaceous glands produce an oily substance called sebum that empties onto the skin surface through a pore (opening of a hair follicle). Skin cells surrounding the follicle, the oily sebum, or a hair may clog the narrow follicle and produce a plug, which is an early sign of acne. Bacteria that lives within the follicle can feed off of the sebum and cause inflammation and pimples.
Acne can be persistent, often leading to mounting frustration. With the new school year around the corner, you are probably more than ready for clear skin. Working through the various treatment options can be overwhelming and what worked for your friend may not work for you. It is important to understand the different options and then consult with a healthcare professional to determine what treatment best fits your needs.
Mild acne often responds to topical medications (including retinoids, topical antibiotics, and others). These treatments help unclog pores, reduce oil production, and eradicate the bacteria that causes acne. Additionally, microdermabrasion and chemical peels performed by a licensed professional can help remove old dead skin cells, unclog pores, fade pigmentation, and allow new acne-free skin to glow.
Moderate to severe acne generally requires the addition of oral medications for optimal control. Oral antibiotics, hormonal medications, or Accutane may be used. These medications may cause side effects so it’s best to speak to your health care professional to determine which treatment option best fits your skin care goals. Pimples usually heal with no sequela, but many times leave a red/reddish-brown blemish or a scar. It is important to treat your acne aggressively and early to minimize the risk for scarring!.
At Aura Dermatology, we offer a state-of-the-art laser called Aerolase Neo to treat your acne if you prefer not to take oral antibiotics. This laser treatment can treat active acne as well as pigmentation with acne scars. Additionally, we offer microneedling to help with acne scars. In terms of expectations, it is important to know that regardless of the treatment option, it usually takes up to 12 weeks to see improvement; don’t give up on your medication in two weeks!
The frustration is real, but you cannot scrub away your acne! We recommend using a mild cleanser such as Cetaphil, Dove, Aura Skin antioxidant or EltaMD cleansers as recommended. Avoid alcohol-based cleansers (toners and astringents) as it will irritate the affected area. Use SPF daily as your acne meds can make you sun sensitive!
At Aura Dermatology, we will propose a personalized treatment plan that works for you! Our visit will include not only prescribing acne medications but also giving you a skin care regimen to help promote skin health and well-being. Additionally, we offer aesthetic services including microdermabrasion and chemical peels, microneedling for acne scarring, and Aerolase Neo laser that drastically improves acne lesions, redness/pigmentation and provides skin rejuvenation.