Laser Acne Facial Treatments
Acne is a common problem among teenagers as well as adults, which is becoming a new epidemic. Acne is one of the most difficult skin conditions to treat because it can be stimulated in many different ways.
Acne is formed when follicles, or pores, get clogged with sebum (oil), which normally drains to the skin’s surface. When the surface gets blocked, bacteria can begin to grow. A blackhead or whitehead begins to form, which is called a comedone. A whitehead is formed when sebum and bacteria get trapped below the skin’s surface. A blackhead is formed when the trapped sebum and bacteria partially open and turn black due to melanin (skin’s pigment).
P.acne is an inhabitant of normal skin flora which involves abnormal follicular hyperkeratinization as well as increased sebum production and inflammation. P.acne has the ability to metabolize sebum into fatty acids. Most acne treatments, both over the counter and prescription strength, help inhibit growth.
Types of Acne
There are two main types of acne, Acne Vulgaris and Acne Rosacea:
Acne Vulgaris is the most common, which includes blackheads, whiteheads, papules (red bumps with no head), pustules (inflamed, appears as a red circle with white or yellow center), nodules (large, hard bumps under the skin’s surface) and cysts (similar to a nodule, but filled with pus).
Acne Rosacea is similar to acne vulgaris and can be confused with acne vulgaris. Rosacea is a skin condition effecting over 30 million people, usually over the age of 30. Rosacea appears as a rash which is confined to the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin. Blood vessels appear more prominent and Rosacea patients do not suffer from blackheads. Treatment is different than acne and must be treated by a physician.
Medications used to treat Acne
There are many different acne treatments and solutions available to you; however, it is best to consult a physician or skin care specialist to determine which treatment is best for your skin. Treatments include over-the-counter products, prescription products, hormone treatments and laser treatments. Most of these treatments take a minimum of two weeks to improve skin. Also do not be alarmed if after beginning a new treatment, you have a flare-up. This can happen because your skin is purging out the bacteria and oil.
Over the counter treatments include Benzoyl peroxide and Salicylic acid. Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most common topical OTC remedies used in the treatment of mild acne and acne-prone skins. Benzoyl peroxide helps to reduce oil production and minimize P.acne. Salicylic acid, which is a Beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), helps to minimize skin cells to shed lining the follicles of the oil glands. Salicylic acid helps to break down blackheads and whiteheads.
Prescription medications come in a variety of forms, both topical and oral. Topical medications are prescribed for mild to severe acne, which includes Retin-A, Beta-Hydroxy Acids (stronger forms of Salicylic acid), Erythromycin or Clindomycin. Oral medications help to fight to reduce the P.acne count and decrease inflammation. Higher doses are prescribed in the beginning and reduced as acne subsides. Most antibiotics are prescribed for a six month or less period of time. Some women prefer Oral contraceptives to control acne. Some people do not see improved results with Oral contraceptives. Your physician will determine the source of your acne and whether oral antibiotics or contraceptives will help your acne condition. One of the newest treatments is Laser acne treatments.
Acne Facial Treatments
Medications and proper home care are crucial in the treatment of acne, but so are facial treatments. Acne facials are different than anti-aging and relaxation facial treatments because they have one purpose - clearing up acne. All facial treatments have a basic order (cleanse, steam and facial mask) but massage in this type of facial is omitted due to the fact that the bacteria may be spread and pores clogged from the massage creams and oils.
Acne facials use products to control oil. Aestheticians use Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide in facials to cleanse. Steam opens the pores and extractions are crucial in this facial treatment, due to the accumulation of blackheads and whiteheads. By extracting the skin, there is less risk of another breakout and even prevention of scarring the skin (with well-trained Aestheticians). Masks are for drying up the oil and contain ingredients such as, Kaolin clay, sulfur, camphor oil, tea tree oil, and/or lavender oil. The skin is topped off with an oil-free moisturizer to protect the skin from losing moisture and bacteria to penetrate.
It is important to maintain this regimen every 6 - 8 weeks for optimal results.
Our Aestheticians recommend a few products specifically designed to help acne and acne-prone skin:
Acne Cleanser with Benzoyl Peroxide: This product is best for patients who are suffering from mild acne and acne-prone skins. Benzoyl peroxide helps to control the balance of bacteria on the skin to help control breakouts.
Acne Wash with Salicylic Acid: Salicylic acid is one of the best products for controlling breakouts. Salicylic acid helps to “unglue” the dirt and oil left in the pore. This product is formulated for clients with mild-to-severe acne because of its ability to control oil production.
Facial Exfoliant: This product is meant to exfoliate and help shed the top layer of skin cells. We use different vitamins, hydroquinone and crystals to stimulate the skin while helping to minimize clogged pores and breakouts. Hydroquinone is added to help control the dark spots left behind after a breakout.
For more information on neaclear skin care products, visit their web site at www.neaclear.com
**Info provided by Dr. Sam