Many of us associate acne with the teenage years, but acne is also common in adulthood. Skin is skin, after all, and if we’re not doing a great job of turning skin cells over, the skin harbors bacteria, creates inflammation, and we get a breakout, regardless of our age. In addition to skin care habits, there are many factors that play into how often we get acne breakouts, such as hormones, genetics, and stress.
Medical treatment of acne often includes either topical or oral antibiotics. While those treatments have their place, we also offer non-antibiotic options to treat and prevent acne, as well as reduce acne scarring.
Healthy skin is skin that is regularly turning over, with surface skin sloughing off or being exfoliated, and youthful, healthy skin coming to the surface. Cleansing twice daily, exfoliating a few times per week, and using a toner to reduce oil production and balance pH of the skin helps to reduce bacteria’s opportunity to stay on the skin. With regular turnover and exfoliation, bacteria is given less of a chance to become trapped, making breakouts less frequent and less severe.
The easiest approach to managing acne is at home, with consistent cleansing, exfoliating, and toning. We use and recommend products from ZO Skin Health. This medical-grade skin care line is only sold in physician offices and has been developed by Dr. Zein Obagi, a world-renown dermatologist and researcher of skin health. ZO’s Acne Prevention and Treatment Program is a complete kit that is available in our office ($140, available without prescription; see below for this month’s special of the Acne Prevention and Treatment Kit and microdermabrasion). The kit includes an exfoliating cleanser, exfoliating polish, acne pore treatment pads, and a sulfur mask cream. The kit is a complete line of highly effective products formulated to treat clogged pores, blackheads, papules, pustules (pimples) and cysts, slow oil and sebum production, and tighten pores. It can also be used as a preventative treatment for acne and breakouts. It does not contain antibiotics, can be used with any skin type/ethnicity, and can be safely used long-term. We have many patients who have successfully treated their acne without antibiotics by using this system. Successful treatment of acne requires commitment to consistent cleansing, polishing, and toning, and the kit includes all of the necessary products and is an easy routine to establish. Its citrus-y scent and gender-neutral packaging are great for both men and women, adults and teens/tweens. We also offer individual treatment products, including ZO Aknetrol acne treatment cream and ZO “Correct & Conceal” concealer sticks, which treat acne while providing cosmetic coverage of pimples.
For patients who are looking for in-office procedures to manage acne, microdermabrasion is a gentle resurfacing procedure in which the outermost skin cell layers are gently and comfortably removed. This helps to encourage the skin cells to turn over, and reduces acne. It also allows topical agents (creams, toners, etc) to better penetrate the skin, which increases their effectiveness. Lasers can also be used to treat acne. Laser can warm the skin, constrict blood vessels that contribute to redness, and reduce the growth of bacteria. It can also reduce acne scarring after the acne has resolved. Microneedling with SkinPen can also physically “break apart” the fibrous matrix of cells underneath a scar, which softens the scar, and stimulates the skin’s repair process to trigger the body to rebuild the treated area by producing its own collagen and elastin. PRP, or “platelet-rich-plasma” can be performed with microneedling, to provide an additional boost to the microneedling process. PRP involves performing a blood draw of the patient, centrifuging the blood, and removing the platelet-rich plasma, which is placed in the skin during microneedling. The growth factors from PRP then contribute to healing of the area and reconstruction of the skin, which reduces acne scarring and strengthens the skin.
The basics of cleansing at home are fairly simple, but there is a vast array of products used to prevent and treat acne. Our office offers complimentary appointments for consultation and evaluation of skin, including acne treatment. We would be happy to evaluate your skin and create a customized treatment plan to help you achieve your clear skin goals. Call us at (616)994-2770.
AUGUST SPECIAL: Purchase a ZO Acne Prevention and Treatment Kit $(140), and receive a microdermabrasion session for $60, and a complimentary ZO memory jump drive.* ($40 savings)
*offer ends August 31, 2017 and is good while supplies last. Microdermabrasion must be performed in August, 2017. Limit one per patient.