Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting millions of people. While its most noticeable symptoms are the pimples and pustules it causes, acne is also associated with a significant number of emotional symptoms, such as anxiety and depression. And although many people experience a marked reduction in breakouts by the time they reach their mid-20s, plenty of other people (including up to 15% of women) continue to suffer through breakouts well into their adult years.
Acne breakouts occur when dead skin cells and excess oils clog your hair follicles. When your follicles get plugged up, it creates a warm environment that’s ideal for bacterial growth. As these bacteria multiply, they trigger an inflammatory response that causes the swelling, redness and soreness characteristic of breakouts. Pretty much anyone can have an occasional pimple, but acne tends to occur more commonly among people with very oily skin and in response to hormonal fluctuations, which is why acne is so very common among teens. People with a family history of acne are also more likely to develop the condition.
Currently, there’s no foolproof cure for acne, but there are treatments that can help you manage your condition and reduce the number of breakouts you have. The key to getting good results is to start treatment as soon as possible and, more importantly, to continue treatment and come in for regular office visits, so we can adjust your treatment to match your skin’s changing needs. At Open Canvas Laser, our aestheticians offer an array of treatment options to help patients get the care they need to reduce their symptoms and feel more confident about the way they look. Here are some of the treatment options we might consider to help you enjoy clearer, healthier-looking skin.
Face washes can play an important role in your daily skin care, helping to reduce the oils and bacteria that hang around on your skin and in your follicles. Washes that contain products such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide are designed to penetrate deep into the pores to lift out dirt and dead skin cells and keep bacteria under control. Make sure any wash you use is gentle to avoid over-drying or irritating your skin.
Topical creams, gels and ointments can be very effective in reducing bacterial populations and optimizing your skin’s pH. One of the most popular acne-fighting topical products is Retin-A, a product that contains a vitamin A derivative called tretinoin. Tretinoins are also available in over-the-counter products. Some tretinoin products can dry your skin or cause flaking, but most people find their skin adjusts over time. Topical products are often used in combination with prescription medicines and washes.
Oral medications can be very helpful in people who have moderate to severe acne and in those who have acne on their chest, back, shoulders or other areas. The most common medicines for acne are antibiotics, medicines designed to fight off the bacteria that cause breakouts. Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) can help stabilize the hormones estrogen and progesterone, eliminating or reducing the fluctuations that can trigger breakouts. Isotretinoin, sold under the brand name Accutane, can be very effective in helping people with severe acne, but it also has some serious side effects, so it’s typically prescribed after other treatment options have proven ineffective.
Some facials are designed specifically for people with acne or acne-prone skin. These treatments use special products to help unclog pores and get rid of excess oil and dirt. The HydraFacial system is a special kind of facial that provides gentle exfoliation to help clear your skin and get rid of excess dead skin cells that can clog pores. We finish it off with red or blue LED lights to ensure the best product penetration and recovery.
At Open Canvas Laser, we begin every acne treatment plan with a thorough skin evaluation to determine the best options based on every patient's unique skin condition, medical history, and other factors. Then we update that treatment plan over time to ensure it's always focused on your evolving needs.
Just check out this recent review from Holly C. about her Open Canvas Laser experience:
“Wonderful experience, friendly and professional staff, and most importantly- wonderful results! The owners Dr. McLeod and Emerald RN FNP have created something truly special here in San Luis Obispo! They cater to your needs to address your concerns with recommendations for services and products to keep your skin looking beautiful! I will continue to see Dr. McLeod and the staff at Open Canvas to keep looking as good as I feel for many years to come!!”
To learn how Dr. Wilton McLeod and his team of skilled aestheticians can help you enjoy clearer skin, book an appointment online today.