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Medical Treatments

Acne Care

Acne is not just a teenage challenge. 51% of women in their 20s and 35% in their 30s suffer from acne.

Why consider dermatologic acne treatment options? Because the sooner acne is treated, the less likely it will result in dark spots and permanent scars, low self-esteem, depression and anxiety. There are many effective treatments that will clear you skin, prevent new breakouts and help you will feel in control and better about yourself.

What is acne?

Acne results from clogged pores. Clogged pores result when skin cells and oils block the pores. Normal skin bacteria migrate into the pores and the body’s immune system attacks the bacteria, resulting in inflammation and ultimately pimples. Sometimes these pores unblock on their own or they become white heads and black heads. A severe inflammatory reaction can cause pus to fill the lesion and create a cyst.

What causes acne?

Hormones play a significant role making the skin’s oil glands larger and they secrete more sebum (oil).

Genetics also play a role. Other causes include diet, low levels of antioxidants like Vitamin K, E and Selenium, stress, and the body’s inflammatory response.

  • Topical treatments kill the bacteria that cause acne vulgaris. Other topical medications can reduce oil production and unblock the pores. Prescription topical antibiotics work better than over the counter acne medications. They work best when combined with benzoyl peroxide to reduce inflammation and the frequency of breakouts. Retinoids are derived from Vitamin A and improve shedding of skin cells to unclog pores resulting in reduced inflammation. Topical antibacterial medications complement the action of retinoids. Azelaic acid kills acne causing bacteria and are anti-inflammatory.
  • Low dose oral antibiotic medications help treat cysts and nodules.
  • Birth control pills can reduce lesions and oil production in women and teenage girls.

Procedures used to treat acne include:

  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT) shrinks the oil glands and is good for moderate to severe acne. A prescription medication is applied and absorbed into the oil glands. Then a pulsed dye laser creates red light to activate the the medication which kills bacteria, and reduces the size and activity of the oil glands. This treatment can clear severe cases of acne and cystic acne and controls acne formation and prevent scar formation, sometimes with one session.
  • Glycolic Acid or Salicylic acid peels can speed up recovery from acne. It works by dissolving the clog in the pore, killing the bacteria and removing dead cells.
  • Acne removal through drainage and extraction for large cysts or steroid injections in the cyst.

There are many effective treatment options but not all work for everyone. What you need to know is that acne can be managed with effective dermatologic care. At Horizon Dermatology and Laser Institute in Newport Beach, Beverly Hills, Torrance, Fullerton and Encinitas, CA, Dr. M. David Cole, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, wants you to look and feel your best. He knows that looking better will make you feel better. Let us help you achieve and maintain healthy and beautiful skin.