What is acne?
Often misunderstood, acne really comes down to the sebaceous glands, which are located at the base of the hair follicles. These glands are tasked with producing the oils that keep our skin and hair lubricated and moist. Problems occur when the sebaceous glands clog. This traps oil beneath the skin and the skin reacts with various signs of inflammation: occluded pores (whiteheads and blackheads), red bumps (pimples), pustules, or cysts.
What causes acne?
Acne has an interesting combination of mystery and misinformation surrounding it. Why some people have severe acne, while others don’t isn’t fully understood. Acne develops from a combination of factors. In teens, hormones are the cause, particularly the rise in the male sex hormone androgen. Androgen levels rise in both sexes during puberty, and this causes the sebaceous glands to produce more oil than normal. If the oil cannot be dispersed quickly enough, the glands can clog. Now the p.acnes bacteria that are common in the hair follicles (where the sebaceous glands are located) start to multiply. This causes inflammation of the follicle resulting in a breakout. Different people have different sensitivity to this inflammation. In one teen such inflammation may lead to a pimple or two while in others it may trigger a full breakout.
Genetics also play a role. In some, their skin simply reacts more aggressively to the inflammation of the p.acnes bacteria. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can trigger acne outbreaks, even if you got off easy as a teenager. Certain cosmetics and medications cause breakouts for some people. Friction and heat from sports helmets can cause what is known as acne mechanica.
In adults, full breakouts are very rare because adult hormones don’t fluctuate to the degree of teenagers. Pregnancy, birth control pills, and other hormonal changes can lead to limited breakouts. In adults, it’s usually a single hair follicle clogging and creating an isolated pimple or two.
How do we treat Acne?
For years doctors have been treating acne vulgaris with oral antibiotics. This never really managed the problem, but was cheap through insurance and caused lots of rashes and GI side effects. At Smooth Solutions we treat the source, killing acne on contact with Omnilux Blue LED LIGHT. To manage the inflammation we use Omnilux Red LED light 48 hours later, for a total of 8 light treatments over 1 month. With that, we employ chemical peels and microdermabrasion to get rid of dead epithelial cells and keep skin pores open and clean. A home maintenance system is used with a company called Dreamworks. After acne is out of the inflamed, acute phase we employ microneedling with PRP ( platelet-rich plasma )and occasionally Pearl laser to soften and get rid of scarring. For severe cases, we might throw in Minocycline as an antibiotic. The program is about 6 weeks long.
Smooth Solutions Medical Aesthetics offers clearCONCEPT™, highly effective treatment to address the problems of acne and acne scarring:
- clearCONCEPT™: The clearCONCEPT acne treatment process, developed by the leading dermatologists of the MedSurge Acne Centers, combines the latest proven acne treatments and technology, physician-only cosmeceuticals, and best practices to deliver superior clinical outcomes—without relying on prescription drugs. Additionally, we feature “concierge” service, ensuring you get the care you need when you need it.
Does my diet or personal hygiene cause acne?
One of the great wives’ tales out there surrounds diet and acne. Eating chocolate, French fries, chips, and the like do not cause acne. Food has nothing to do with the p. acnes bacteria that are multiplying like rabbits in clogged hair follicles. Research has shown no connection between food and acne.
There is another misconception about personal hygiene causing acne. Also, no cause and effect relationship there. It was long thought that aggressive scrubbing of the skin would open pores and improve acne. Actually, the opposite is true. Scrubbing and using harsh treatments irritates the skin and can make acne worse.
Are there risks factors for developing acne?
As mentioned above, the raging hormones of puberty are the main cause of acne. When androgen levels rise that signals the sebaceous glands to overproduce oil and this leads to clogged hair follicles and subsequent breakouts.
So, who’s at risk? Every teenager in the world.
Acne is the most common skin disorder in teenagers. It affects around 85 percent of American teens at some point between the ages of 13 and 20. That equates to an estimated 40 to 50 million Americans. Acne typically starts during puberty, between the ages of 10 and 13, and it can last from five to 10 years.
Around 20 percent of acne plagues adults, mainly mild to moderate acne that can last into the 30s. This is due to hormone fluctuations.
Who would be a good candidate for acne treatment at Smooth Solutions?
Anyone, especially those saddled with continuing acne, is a great candidate to come see our team at Smooth Solutions so that we can get a handle on their acne. This is particularly true if the patient has cystic acne, which can lead to permanent acne scarring across the face and upper back.
These conditions are a good sign it’s time your acne needs professional treatment:
- It is making the person unhappy, overly self-conscious, or uncomfortable
- It is producing scars
- It is causing dark patches to appear on the skin
- It is severe with deep nodules and persistent pimples
- It isn’t responding to over-the-counter treatments
Are there risks with acne treatment?
Our Omnilux Blue and Red LED light therapy doesn’t involve any risk. The LED light simply kills the bacteria in the hair follicles. Patients wear eye protection during these treatments. Your skin may be somewhat red after your session, but this passes very quickly. Compared to the side effects involved with the antibiotic treatment of acne, these procedures at Smooth Solutions are very safe and effective.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
If you’re interested in learning more about acne treatment, please contact us for a consultation at (716) 633-6100 or fill out a Contact Form here. We will discuss your needs and concerns, and determine your best course of action.