Adult and Teen Acne Treatment & Scar Removal in the Las Vegas Area
What is Acne?
Acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States, affecting nearly 85% of all people. Acne can occur at any time in your life. It is most common around puberty, but adults can develop acne as well. Acne appears in the form of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and lumps under the skin called nodules. It occurs when pores in the skin become clogged or through bacterial inflammation. Approximately 20% of acne cases are considered severe, leading to scarring.
What Causes Acne?
Acne is related to changes of the pilosebaceous unit — the hair follicle and oil gland – but there is no one single cause. The cause of acne can include:
- Clogged skin pores
- Hormonal changes
- Genetic factors
- Excess oil production by the skin’s oil glands
- Environmental factors such as humidity or pollution
- Inflammation caused by the bacteria Proprionibacterium acnes
Additionally, acne breakouts appear most commonly on the face but can also appear on the chest, shoulders, upper arms, and back.
Adult Female Acne & Acne in Pregnancy
Adult female acne often has a hormonal component. It may worsen just prior to or during the start of the menstrual cycle. The adult female hormonal acne localizes to the lower half of the face, jawline, and neck. The acne is often painful, red, cystic, and persists for weeks to months at a time. Both Aldactone and oral contraceptive therapy can be used in conjunction with traditional acne treatment in cases of adult female hormonal acne. Acne in pregnancy can be safely treated with a combination of topical antibiotic called erythromycin, azelaic acid (Finacea), glycolic acid, and blue light treatment.
Types of Acne
There are three distinct types of acne, ranging from mild to severe and we see all forms in Las Vegas:
- Comedonal acne is the mildest form of acne and is predominated by white heads (closed comedones) and blackheads (open comedones).
- Inflammatory acne is a moderately severe form of acne that consists of pink bumps (papules), and pustules (pink bumps with white pus).
- Cystic acne is the most severe form of acne and results in large, painful, swollen, deep red bumps that may heal with scarring.
Acne Treatment Options
Early and appropriately aggressive treatment is needed to control acne. Combination treatment is usually necessary. This may consist of topical antibiotics, sulfur, alpha hydroxy acids, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids (vitamin A derivatives). Oral antibiotics may be required for a short period of time to control inflammatory acne. Severe cases may require an oral retinoid called isotretinoin (formerly the brand name Accutane), also known as Sotret, Myorisan, Amnesteem, Claravis, and Absorica, which requires monthly monitoring and blood tests. There is much controversy about this drug, but with proper usage and monitoring, isotretinoin can be safely used.
Other alternative treatment options for acne include laser and light therapy and chemical peels. These applications shrink oil glands, decreases inflammation, kills Proprionibacterium acnes (bacteria contributing to acne), and improves discoloration from old acne lesions. IPL treatment and salicylic acid peels can lessen the appearance of pigmentation following acne. Acne scarring can be addressed once active acne is under control.