What is Acne?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. The majority of people between the ages of 12 and 24 have experienced at least minor acne.
Acne doesn’t just come in one form either – it can present itself in the form of blackheads, pimples, cysts, and blemishes. It can also occur anywhere on the body where hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells such as the face, chest, and back.
If you suffer from acne and are looking for a solution, look no further. At Essential Aesthetics, we offer an array of treatments to help reduce the appearance of your acne and prevent future breakouts from occurring.
What Causes Acne?
We have all heard that touching our face or sleeping with our makeup on can increase our chances of acne. But what if we are taking all the right precautions, but still dealing with breakouts?
Let’s start with some basic skin anatomy. Our skin is made up of 3 layers:
- The epidermis (topmost layer) which contains melanocytes
- The dermis, which contains hair follicles as well as oil and sweat glands
- The hypodermis, which contains tissue and at.
Acne is caused when the hair follicles in the dermis get clogged by oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. Since sebum (oil) is closely correlated to our hormones, puberty menstruation, and pregnancy tend to be when we notice flare-ups.
What are the Different Types of Acne?
There are 2 general categories of acne, and within each category, there are more specific kinds:
- Non-Inflammatory Acne: These are mild lesions that are relatively superficial and don’t swell. These include:
- Blackheads: These dark-colored spots on the surface of the skin occur when the pore remains open while clogged with excess sebum and dead skin cells.
- Whiteheads: These lesions form when the pore closes on top of a buildup of sebum and dead skin cells.
- Inflammatory Acne: These are lesions that are red, swollen, and tender to touch. These include:
- Papules: Small, tender lesions resulting in red or pink bumps.
- Pustules: Lesions that are filled with pus due to infection and appear red at the base and white or yellow at the tip.
- Cysts: Pus-filled lesions that grow from the deep layers of the skin.
- Nodules: Similar to cysts, but are more severe and firm
What Are My Treatment Options for Acne?
IPL For Acne
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a gentle, non-invasive treatment that addresses propionibacterium (p.acne bacteria) as well as the pigmentation and redness of the skin that comes along with acne. This “lunch-time” treatment is effective and has fewer side effects than oral medications Accutane and Doxycycline.
How Does IPL For Acne Work?
IPL utilized light flashes over the treated area to trigger a biochemical response that will eventually eliminate the bacteria within the pores. The system is designed to deliver many rapid, highly intense, controlled pulses of light without causing any thermal damage to the skin. When used at a specific wavelength, it helps target the bacteria in the skin, and the inflamed oil glands that contribute to breakouts.
What to Expect
A topical numbing cream will be applied to the treatment area(s) for 10-15 minutes to reduce any discomfort. The area will then be thoroughly cleansed and a cold coupling gel will be applied to help make the treatment more tolerable and diffuse the heat. Depending on the area being treated, the procedure may take anywhere from 15-20 minutes. You may experience a warm sensation as the light is applied to the skin, but the treatment should not feel uncomfortable.
When Will I See Results?
Depending on the severity of your acne, it can take anywhere from 6-8 sessions to see an improvement in your acne. You will notice an overall improvement in the texture and appearance of your skin after just one session.
Chemical Peels for Acne
Chemical peels rapidly exfoliate the skin, allowing dead skin cells to shed more effectively. This prevents the dead skin cells and excess oil from clogging the hair follicles. It is best to treat acne with light peels that remove the outer layers of the skin without irritating it. Chemical peels can also help prevent future scarring from occurring after the acne is healed.
Skincare for Acne
The “Gold Standard” for skincare is retinoid products. Retinoids help increase cell turnover in the skin, and unclog the pores, making them appear smaller by clearing out dead skin cells and excess oil. Aside from retinoids, chemical exfoliants such as Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and salicylic acid also help deeply exfoliate the skin.
At Essential Aesthetics, we carry our own exclusive skincare line packed with all the ingredients you need for clear, smooth skin.
Treat Your Acne Today!
Our certified medical provider, Dr. Ellie Zarnegar, DMSc, PA, is an expert in all skin types and different forms of acne. Our Danville office is ideally located for clients from Livermore, Alamo, Blackhawk, San Ramon, Orinda, and elsewhere in the Bay Area. Call or text us at 925.855.1773 or request a consultation online.