When you look good on the outside, you feel good on the inside. Nothing can put a dampener on how you feel than waking up, going to the mirror, and seeing a zit. The good news is that you do not have to let it control your self-esteem. Thanks to science and new specialized treatment procedures that can be administered by your friendly neighborhood dermatologist, there is a vast array of options.
To beat these evil facial demons, you need to know the enemy. You can find more information about acne here. For a quick rundown, hormones spike oil production, that oil is trapped in the pores, it turns into bacteria, and the bacteria consolidate into acne. Treatments work by breaking through the blockage, killing the bacteria, and sweeping out the oil. Treatments should also minimize or “tone” the pores to help ward against oil build-ups in the future.
If you have acne, you are probably familiar with the available over-the-counter products. These are in the form of topical treatments. Most of these products contain either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Both of these key ingredients are drying agents – they dry out the oil. Unfortunately, these can also dry out the skin when used too often. This is why you see skin-care systems now, and they are getting better with each incarnation. Most systems will have an exfoliant, a cleanser, a toner, and some kind of after-care lotion. The majority of people with acne can find significant results with these systems over time. There are new consumer products being launched regularly, such as the Zeno (a small electrical device), but you should always research the product thoroughly and check with your dermatologist to make sure it is good for your skin type.
For those who want more immediately results or for those with stubborn acne, you will need to see a professional. Dermatologists have exclusive access to certain product. Some, like Dr. Guenthner, conduct studies for products not available on the market and you may be eligible to participate. Dermatologists can also prescribe oral medications and administer steroid injections to control your acne. Medications are antibiotic-based – tetracycline, minocycline, or amoxicillin. Be sure to inform you dermatologist of any medication allergies and of any other medications you are taking to avoid bad side effects.
The most exciting acne-treatment develops are in laser treatments and light therapy. Laser treatments are in-office procedures that destroy bacteria, shut down oil production, and heal skin. There are two main types: photodynamic therapy and isolaz. Photodynamic therapy involves spreading a medicated liquid over affected areas and then activating the medicine using a laser. Isolaz cleanses the pores using a vacuum and then kills bacteria on the skin using a broadband light. Light therapy and other laser treatments should only be performed by a qualified dermatologist or under the direct supervision of a dermatologist.
Acne is a skin condition, but it is one that you do not have to live with forever. If you are ready to terminate your evil facial demons, call Dr. Guenthner’s office today.