Acne is the most common skin disorder in the U.S., affecting about 17 million Americans. 8 out of 10 people between the ages of 11 and 30 have acne outbreaks at some point in their lives, causing embarrassment, low-self esteem, and even serious depression (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). The good news is that there are safe and effective acne treatments available that can clear your skin and restore your confidence.
What Causes Acne?
Acne is the result of pores becoming blocked with oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells. Pores, also known as hair follicles, are connected to sebaceous glands under the skin’s surface. These sebaceous glands produce sebum, an oily substance that helps your skin remain healthy and moisturized. Sebum also helps your body dispose of dead skin cells by pushing them out through the hair follicle.
Acne occurs when excess sebum production encourages the overgrowth of a bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes, or P. Acnes. As the bacteria proliferate, they attract white blood cells, which damage the follicle walls, forming dead cells. The sebum attempts to push these cells and other debris out of the follicle, but the excessive material causes the pores to become plugged. This causes blackheads, whiteheads, or pustules to form.
Causes of Excess Sebum
Sebum actually plays a vital role in keeping you healthy. It’s essentially a waterproof shield, keeping too much water from getting into your body and preventing too much water from leaving your body. It also protects your skin from bacterial and viral infections.
You begin producing sebum and soon as you’re born and will continue to produce it for the rest of your life, but sebum production typically peaks during puberty (which is why so many teenagers have acne). Hormonal changes such as pregnancy and the female menstrual cycle can also increase sebum production and cause acne to flare.
Other factors that increase sebum production include stress, diet, and certain medications. It’s important to talk to a licenced dermatologist to determine the underlying causes of your acne and the most effective acne treatment for your particular case.
How to Get Rid of Acne
The most effective treatment will vary depending on the type and severity of your acne. Mild acne such as blackheads and whiteheads can sometimes be cleared up by OTC topical medications, but more moderate and severe cases will likely require an oral or topical prescription from a dermatologist.
To prevent scarring, never pick or pop your pimples; even more mild forms of acne can result in unsightly scars that will require more sophisticated interventions to remedy. Acne treatment continues to evolve, and there are sophisticated, less invasive options available today for both acne treatment and scar removal. Be sure to talk to a professional dermatologist to discuss the benefits and risks of each treatment.
Acne Treatment that Works
W8MD Medical Aesthetic Program offers the newest innovations in acne treatment. In addition to traditional medical treatments, the office provides state-of-the-art, FDA-approved technology to customize an acne treatment plan that is safe and effective.
Our Photofacial treatment utilizes Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology, which emits short pulses of broad-spectrum light that target bacteria deep within the pores. This energy-based treatment allows the skin to heal from the inside out, simultaneously reducing unwanted spots and discoloration.
Our Photofractional™ treatment is a truly complete skin rejuvenation solution that combines Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) photofacial technology with with ResurFX™ non-ablative skin resurfacing. This laser therapy targets even very deep acne scars and stimulates collagen regeneration, improving both skin tone and texture. This “lunchtime treatment” is effective, low-risk, and has minimal downtime.
In this day and age, there’s no reason to live with a complexion that makes you feel self-conscious. You deserve to face the world with confidence – clear, vibrant skin is within your reach!
Using advanced laser and IPL technology, W8MD’s medical aesthetic program can not only treat acne but also dramatically improve the acne scars.
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