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Acne2020-11-09T15:59:01-08:00

Acne

Acne is a condition that affects males and females of all races and ethnicities. It is most prevalent in adolescents and young adults, with 85 percent of 16 – 18-year-olds experiencing some degree and type of acne. Many adults, particularly women, also struggle with acne. Although acne is a genuine medical condition, it can be treated for both medical and aesthetic concerns, and Palo Alto Laser and Skin Care offers a suite of options for optimal acne treatment.

Acne is caused by a combination of factors and the exact mechanisms of acne are not fully understood. It is known that acne can be caused by genetics, both endogenous and exogenous androgenic hormones, bacteria(p.acnes), and immune activation with inflammatory mediators and distention, as well as occlusion or blockage of hair follicles.

There are also medical conditions that can cause or exacerbate acne. For example, polycystic ovary syndrome is commonly linked to acne. Lifestyle and diet also play a role, though not in the way many people think—for instance, chocolate will not cause acne, although an overall poor diet (such as only eating chocolate) can.

More commonly, acne caused by diet is seen when the diet is high in dairy and/or glycemic foods. Finally, certain drugs can also cause acne such as hormones, steroids, anticonvulsants, and others. Unfortunately, when not treated, acne can lead to redness and even permanent scarring or changes in pigmentation. Treatment for acne can vary depending on individual needs and type(s) of acne, with every acne treatment customized for the individual.

Types of Acne

There are seven primary types of acne, each requiring a different treatment approach. These types of acne fall into one of three categories of acne, including comedonal, inflammatory, and cystic.

Comedonal
Acne

Comedonal acne is caused by pollutants such as dirt and sebum getting caught in hair follicles, leading to an infection.

Inflammatory
Acne 

Inflammatory acne flares up when lesions on the skin are infected and full of pus, causing tenderness.

Cystic
Acne 

Cystic acne is similar to inflammatory acne, but much more severe. This category of acne is very deep, painful, and the most likely to cause permanent scarring.

Whiteheads

Whiteheads are the most common form of acne and are considered comedonal. This type of acne is mild and easy for a professional to treat, but avoid picking and popping these imperfections as doing so can cause infections or scarring. Blackheads are clogged pores caused by dead skin and oil. Routine extractions and a skin regimen that decreases pore size can be a solid approach to preventing and treating blackheads.

Papules

Papules are a type of acne that presents as small, red bumps. They are caused when a comedone ruptures and the body responds with inflammation. Without proper treatment a papule can turn into a pustule. Pustules are what we think of as the classic pimple, and they can occur nearly anywhere on the body. Controlling sebum is usually part of the strategy used to stop and prevent papules and pustules.

Nodules

Nodules have many similarities to papules, but they are deeper. They form bumps under the skin that are red or skin-colored, but they lack a pustule’s “head.” Cysts are a severe form of acne and look like boils. Finally, there is also milia, which isn’t technically acne but rather a type of cyst that forms around the eyes, cheeks, or nose.

By Pauline H., Real Patient Review* -

“I’ve been here twice and had pleasant experiences both times … she [the provider] took the time to explain things to me which I appreciated. I plan on going back for a skin consult sometime soon as I have other areas I’d like to address. The receptionists are super nice too and answered all my emails in a very short timeframe. Keep up the great work ladies!”

By Dee B., Real Patient Review* -

“What I like most about their approach (different to my last place): They’re minimalists. They’ll do what’s necessary to achieve your personal goals, but they make sure that your lifestyle isn’t cramped with oodles of complicated and expensive products.  This makes complete sense when I’d realized that 90% of good skin depends on what I do with it at home—not those few hours you spend having facials, etc. If it’s too complicated, too time-consuming and too expensive …. I’m tempted to slack off and I won’t get good results.”

By Dee B., Real Patient Review* -

“What I like most about their approach (different to my last place): They’re minimalists. They’ll do what’s necessary to achieve your personal goals, but they make sure that your lifestyle isn’t cramped with oodles of complicated and expensive products.  This makes complete sense when I’d realized that 90% of good skin depends on what I do with it at home—not those few hours you spend having facials, etc. If it’s too complicated, too time-consuming and too expensive …. I’m tempted to slack off and I won’t get good results.”

By Pauline H., Real Patient Review* -

“I’ve been here twice and had pleasant experiences both times … she [the provider] took the time to explain things to me which I appreciated. I plan on going back for a skin consult sometime soon as I have other areas I’d like to address. The receptionists are super nice too and answered all my emails in a very short timeframe. Keep up the great work ladies!”

Acne Scarring Before and After Photos*

Individual results may vary, please schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your aesthetic goals and we’ll put together a custom treatment plan that’s right for your skin.

Real Patient Before / After Photos*

FAQs About Acne

How long until I see results from laser treatments or chemical peels to help my acne?2020-11-05T09:24:58-08:00

Clients may require multiple laser treatments for optimal results, but you will start to see results about 4 – 6 weeks after your treatment depending on the type of laser used. Results from chemical peels are evident once the healing process is fully complete, typically about 3 weeks after treatment.

Is there an over the counter product that works best for acne?2020-11-05T09:23:22-08:00

There are some over the counter products that may be helpful as recently approved retinoid- Differin gel 0.1%-the first of its kind to be available without a prescription. However, you should always seek the help of a professional to make sure you are treating your type of acne properly and most efficaciously.

Can I improve really old acne scars and hyperpigmentation?2020-11-05T09:22:38-08:00

Yes! A lot of people have their most severe acne as teens, and there are many laser and energy-based devices that can remove even decades-old signs of acne.

Treatment For Acne

Medications

Depending on the type of your acne you may be recommended oral (Doxycycline, Minocycline, OCP or Spironolactone for adult acne in women), topical (topical retinoids as Retin-A, topical antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide to name few) or laser/light device therapy or combination of all.

Broadband Light Therapy

The best tool for treating many types of acne is broadband light therapy, or BBL. This is a light-based approach that is often used to help skin look younger, brighter, and clearer, but is also a fantastic option for removing lingering signs of acne as scarring and hyperpigmentation, as well as treating active acne as combination with oral and topical prescription treatments.

Fraxel Dual

The Fraxel Dual laser is a more aggressive option that works by resurfacing the skin, encouraging collagen production, and stimulates healthy cell growth, making it a great choice for post-acne scarring.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels can also be helpful tools in treating the signs of acne, such as a VI Peel or a salicylic peel. Chemical peels remove the top layer of the skin, including pigmented areas left behind by acne, to reveal the clearer skin below the surface. Clients may also benefit from microneedling, a very minimally invasive treatment that encourages clear skin by stimulating collagen production, therefore repairing the skin changes caused by acne.

Referrals

For more severe, recurrent acne as cystic acne, you may be referred to dermatologist for Isotretinoin treatment (also known as Accutane).