Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become plugged with excess oil and dead skin cells. Hair follicles are connected to sebaceous glands, which produce and secrete an oily substance known as sebum. Sebum lubricates your skin and hair. When your body produces too much sebum and/or an excessive amount of dead skin cells accumulate, hair follicles can become clogged with a soft plug. This can create an opportunity for bacteria to grow and thrive. Acne most commonly appears on the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders, which are the areas of the skin with the largest number of functional oil glands.
Acne can result in a number of non-inflammatory and inflammatory lesions such as whiteheads, blackheads, pimples or deeper inflammatory lesions, which include papules and pustules.
Acne is most common during adolescence but can occur in adults as well.
Contributing Factors to the Formation of Acne
- Overproduction of oil
- Irregular shedding of dead skin cells
- Build-up of bacteria
- Hormonal change (especially in pubescent children and women who are pregnant or menopausal)
- Medication (certain drugs, especially those containing corticosteroids, androgens, and lithium)
- Diet (triggers may include dairy products and foods high in carbohydrates)
- Family history of acne
- Friction (pressure on the skin caused by helmets, backpacks, cell phones, etc.)
- Stress (although not the cause, it can make an existing outbreak worse
- Direct contact with oily substances (such as cosmetics)
Preventing Blocked Oil Glands
- Wash your skin with a gentle cleanser no more than twice daily
- Avoid picking at problem areas
- Daily acne cream to dry areas of excess oil
- Avoid the use of heavy makeup and foundation
- Remove all makeup nightly
- Shower after working out
- Wear loose-fitting clothes
Do You Have Acne? Do Your Children Have Acne?
Acne can be disfiguring, demoralizing and frustrating and can have lasting consequences on how you feel about yourself. If left untreated or improperly managed, it can leave scars.
People will often go to their drug store and get advice from the person behind the counter who’s selling products. But what Sante Medical can do for acne is much more comprehensive than over-the-counter products - especially if you have problematic acne outbreaks.
A number of treatment options and interventions are available for acne and over-productive oil glands. Depending on the severity of the acne, multiple treatments are often used in combination.
Oral and topical medications can work effectively to help you achieve clearer, healthier skin. Only three medicines have proven to be effective for the treatment of acne: benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, and antibiotics.
Benzoyl peroxide targets surface bacteria, which often aggravate acne. Irritation (dryness) is a common side effect.
Retinoids (a vitamin A derivative) is effective in breaking up blackheads and whiteheads. The most common side effect is skin irritation.
Antibiotics, either topically applied to the skin or taken orally (tetracycline) can control surface bacteria that aggravate and foster acne.
Accutane is reserved for those patients with severe (nodular or cystic) acne. Accutane shrinks the size of oil glands, the anatomic origin of acne. Without active, plump oil glands, acne actively diminishes. However, side effects cannot be discounted (dry skin, elevated lipids) and Accutane is often not prescribed for women of childbearing age.
Laser Genesis emits a wavelength that penetrates through the skin and targets overactive sebaceous oil glands - the root cause of acne. The heating of the sebaceous glands causes a mild thermal exertion that changes the activity and function of the glands, leading to a prolonged reduction in acne breakouts. In addition to reducing the activity of the gland, the laser kills the acne-causing bacteria under the skin.
Laser Genesis has proven to be extremely effective in rapidly bringing the inflammatory lesions of acne under control, including lesions that have been unresponsive to other acne therapies. In addition to the anti-inflammatory action, the laser deactivates the acne forming bacteria.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
Photodynamic Therapy, also referred to as PDT, is a treatment for acne that is highly effective at diminishing oil production, reducing the size of pores, and reducing bacterial growth. During the procedure, a photo-reactive solution will be applied to your skin and light energy will then be delivered to the targeted areas.
BLU-U (Blue Light Therapy)
Blue light therapy or BLU-U can help you reduce the overproduction of bacteria that causes acne on the face and body. The device is designed to deliver a high-intensity, narrow band of blue light into the area of concern, affecting only the acne blemishes and leaving surrounding skin unharmed.
By gently exfoliating the skin, we can remove dirt, bacteria, oil, and debris from clogged pores, which typically are the cause of most breakouts.
Deep Cleansing Treatments
Available for the back or face, this treatment deep cleanses and purifies problem skin, addressing congestion, breakouts, and excess oil production.
Medical Grade Skin Care Products
Often the first course of correction for all grades of acne, skincare products remove impurities, excess oil, and sooth the skin. Medical grade products will always be more effective than what can be found in the drug store due to a higher concentration of active ingredients.