Acne, a frustrating skin issue, occurs when skin pores trap oil or bacteria, leading to inflamed, red pimples. Though managing acne can be daunting, it’s navigable. Learning about its causes, treatments, and prevention paves the way to achieving clear, smooth skin!
Common Causes of Acne:
Hormones: Most patients struggle with acne during their transition to adolescence. This is because the hormones in their bodies are rapidly changing which stimulates overactivity in the oil glands of their skin. For women, puberty isn’t the only time for hormonal disruption, as women can experience acne during their premenstrual period, pregnancy, and menopause.
Bacteria: There are thousands of bacteria that our body comes into contact with every day, but some of those can contribute to acne. When our pores or hair follicles become clogged by dead skin cells, this can trap bacteria that can cause acne.
Lifestyle Choices: Acne can be triggered by certain parts of your life such as your diet, hygiene, and stress management. When you regularly eat unhealthy foods that are full of sugar and fats, this can contribute to acne by stimulating oil production and skin inflammation. Similarly, poor hygiene can encourage acne, especially after a sweaty workout. Without regularly cleansing your skin, a build-up of oils, dirt, and bacteria will lead to acne. Finally, high levels of stress can contribute to acne due to an influx of stress hormones, cortisol and androgens, which trigger overactivity in the skin’s oil glands.
Effective Treatment Options:
Topicals: Most often, topical treatments are recommended first to treat acne. Some of the most common topical treatments are benzoyl peroxide face wash, salicylic acid serum, antibiotic cream, and retinol cream. A combination of topicals can help to kill bacteria in your skin and unclog your pores. Plenty of these products can be found over the counter, but for stronger concentrations, a prescription will be needed.
Oral Medication: Oral medications are a great way to work on your acne from the inside out! Most commonly prescribed are anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory medications, helping to reduce bacteria and inflamed pores. These medications can be used in combination with topical treatments for maximal resistance against acne. Isotretinoin is another oral medication used when acne has not responded to any other treatment option.
Supplements: Specific nutrients can help treat acne. Vitamin C, B, and Zinc are often the go-to acne supplements. Vitamin C and Zinc have anti-inflammatory properties that work wonderfully at reducing acne. Vitamin B contains an enzyme that breaks down excess oil, helping to unclog pores.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT): A versatile treatment primarily used to reduce skin precancers like Actinic Keratosis and widely used off-label for facial skin rejuvenation and managing mild to moderate acne. PDT involves Levula, a natural photosensitizing compound, to trigger a targeted photochemical reaction. This reaction selectively eliminates overactive oil glands responsible for acne on the skin’s surface. In treating acne, a BHA peel is initially applied to gently remove the outer layer of dead skin cells. Subsequently, specialized medication penetrates deeper into the oil glands, activated by the Red/Blue LightStim ProPanel.
Adhere to your skincare routine and make lifestyle changes to curb breakouts. Last but not least, don’t touch your face. Touching your face introduces bacteria to your skin. When you need to touch your face, thoroughly wash your hands before and after to avoid any spread of bacteria or excess oils.
The experts at the Pure Dermatology Cosmetic & Hair Center are enthusiastic about providing top-notch acne control for our patient’s. Our goal is to improve your health from the inside out!