Treating Acne Vulgaris
Acne is a very common skin condition, which can be embarrassing, painful, and cause scarring if left untreated. Many people believe that frequent washing, a change in diet, or topical or over the counter products will cure acne, but this is simply not true. Over-washing and harsh chemicals can actually worsen acne. And it’s definitely not a painless way to treat acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition in the world. It not only affect teenagers, but a growing number of women in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s experience adult acne, which can be extremely frustrating, causing anxiety and reducing self-esteem.
What is Acne?
Acne vulgaris, otherwise known as acne is a long term skin condition characterized by the existence of comedones, papules, pustules and nodules, all of which can lead to scarring. Acne is a chronic inflammatory disease of the sebaceous glands that are associated with hair follicles. Each follicle contains a tiny hair and multiple sebaceous glands. Acne occurs when these glands become clogged with sebum, an oily substance that normally is released out to the surface of the skin through the hair follicle. As a result of the clogging, bacteria and inflammatory cells build up inside the gland. This causes redness, swelling and pus – a pimple. Acne that is deep in your skin can cause hard, painful cysts. Hormonal changes may cause the skin to become oily, thus acne is most commonly found in teenagers but can affect anyone, including babies and adults. Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, and the menstrual cycle, environmental irritants, and skin care products are all common causes of acne flare-ups. Acne typically appears on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders or any area where oil glands are present.
There are many misconceptions about the causes of acne. Acne does not result from too much dirt on the skin i.e. uncleanness. It is often hereditary. Acne does not come from eating a lot of junk food. Research does not show that chocolate, nuts and greasy foods cause acne. However, diets that are high in refined sugars may be related to an increase in pimples. Different doctors have different views regarding the importance of your diet in skin management. It is always important to eat a well balanced diet, however a strict diet by itself will not clear your skin.
Offering Acne Treatment in Los Angeles
For a normal level of skin care, it is advised that you wash your face twice a day. Excessive scrubbing of the face can in fact be counter-productive and make acne worse. Those with oily hair may be advised to regularly shampoo. Additionally, avoid greasy cosmetics and creams. For women, taking off make-up at night is advised, as is using for water based formulas. It is important to organize regular facial treatments from a licensed aesthetician. Don’t try to remove pimples yourself, as infection, inflammation and scarring may result.
For those suffering from mild acne, Benzyol peroxide 2.5% gel is the best initial treatment in decreasing the organized concentration. For mild to moderate acne, topical tretinoin (Retin-A) is usually the next step in treatment. Retin-A is an established solution to acne, decreasing the stickiness of skin cells and relieving obstruction of the sebaceous glands. Oral antibiotics such as Doxycycline are also an effective treatment. In cases of moderate acne, these treatments work well when used in combination.
Dr. Rivkin uses a combination of therapies customized to each patient’s needs, based on skin type and severity of your acne. Our nearly painless way to treat acne regimens include the following:
- Chemical peels
- Home care acne products
For more severe cases, we use Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) to treat acne. PDT uses a topical photosensitizing chemical (amino levulonic acid or Levulan) that is absorbed by the skin. When the skin is then exposed to blue light, the light penetrates deeper and is very effective in destroying bacteria and hyper pigmented or abnormally reproducing cells. It is effective in the treatment of pre-cancerous spots, sun damaged skin, acne, warts and other diseases. Photodynamic therapy shrinks oil-producing sebaceous glands and decreases bacteria on the skin. This reduces the production of pimples.
Micro Botox can also treat extreme cases of acne. Also known as intradermal Botox, this treatment works by targeting the sweat and oil glands in the skin as well as the erector pili muscles, which are responsible for opening the pores. By temporarily weakening these muscles and glands, oil production in suppressed and inflammation is inhibited. This allows the skin to rest and heal. While micro-botox should not be used as the first line of defense against acne, it is definitely worth considering for those who have not seen results from other acne treatments in Los Angeles.
What to Expect During Your Consultation
During your free acne skin treatment consultation, Dr. Rivkin will evaluate your existing profile, desired end results, and explain the procedure in detail. You will have the opportunity to view before and after photos, so that you will know exactly what to expect from the treatment.
To learn more about Dr. Rivkin’s acne skin treatments including the treatment of acne scars, or to schedule your free consultation in the Los Angeles / Brentwood area, contact us by phone or email today.