Acne Treatment Options For Burbank & Los Angeles
Whether in your teens and suffering through puberty, or an adult struggling with hormonal imbalances, acne is never pleasant. It can cause discomfort, long-term scarring, and psychological harm such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. It’s a good thing there are so many ways of treating it. At the Burbank Med Spa, we offer many solutions for acne treatment.
Causes of Acne
Broadly, acne is caused by sebum (oil) production in the sebaceous glands. Sebum managing to clog pores and proliferation of common bacteria which feed on sebum causes inflammation and infection which creates pimples. There is a link between the production of sebum and androgens (male hormones). That is why people going through puberty and people undergoing hormonal imbalances can suffer particularly from acne. It does present a relatively simple solution for women and girls suffering, though. Oral contraceptives, which contain large doses of estrogens (female hormones), can counter the hormone markers to overproduce sebum. This will cause oiliness on the skin to return to normal.
At-Home Acne Treatments
Skin care is an important part of beating active acne. Chemical peeling, such as might be done with salicylic acid (willow extract), can be effective. Its properties are helpful in exfoliating and unclogging pores. Glycolic acid (sugar cane extract) is another substance commonly used in chemical peels. When applied to the acne-afflicted area, it can exfoliate and reduce the number of blocked pores. Ironically, spikes in blood sugar caused by eating products derived from sugar cane can be a contributor to inflammation. This is itself another cause of acne. There are topical antibiotics such as tetracycline which can kill the bacteria that contribute to acne. They also reduce the inflammation in afflicted areas. However, these days there is a shift away from using antibiotics except in the most dire cases. Bacteria are rapidly developing resistances to common anti-acne antibiotics like erythromycin. Topical antibiotics must be prescribed by a health provider. Perhaps the best topical treatment for acne is benzoyl peroxide. A common active agent in over-the-counter acne creams, it dries out the skin and kills off bacteria. A highly effective one-two punch for fighting acne. It’s important to remember when using topical acne treatments of any kind that consistency is important. Lurching from one product to another and getting frustrated when they don’t produce immediate results is counterproductive. Using different products together or in quick succession can actually irritate the skin and make symptoms worse. Give any product you try a proper trial run of several weeks at the very least.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
This method of treating acne is perfect for those who have already experienced significant acne scarring. Also known as photorejuvenation, laser skin resurfacing is a precise and technologically advanced technique. It is primarily used to remove signs of damage from the surface layer of the skin. Laser resurfacing is a very versatile treatment that can be used for removing scars of various kinds, including from cosmetic surgeries. The way it works is by using finely concentrated light to trigger new production of collagen and elastin. These two proteins work together to give skin its healthy, elastic look and texture. You may notice that your acne scars are already beginning to disappear after your first treatment. We usually recommend a program of between 3 and 5 sessions, spaced apart by around 25 days. That way your skin has enough time to produce new proteins, begin repairing damage, and return to its normal state.
- Plan For Multiple Treatments
- It May Hurt (or Not)
- Your Medications May Interfere
- Removes Sign of Damage from Outer Skin Layer
- Triggers Production Of Collagen and Elastin
- Very Effective On Acne Scars
Before beginning laser treatments for acne scars, Dr. Cynthia Thaik will give your skin a thorough evaluation. This will ensure that everyone has a thorough understanding of the treatments necessary to achieve your aesthetic goals. Depending on the severity and prevalence of the scarring, the number of recommended treatments may be higher or lower. Don’t worry, though. You will continue to see improvement in the condition of your skin for several months after treatment. Unfortunately, this procedure is not advised for pregnant or breastfeeding women. It is recommended that smokers desist from smoking for two weeks prior to undergoing this treatment. Smoking can impede the rapid healing caused by this procedure.
It’s also important to avoid sun damage before undergoing a procedure. You cannot be treated while your skin is tanned or burned due to sun exposure, tanning beds or sunlamps. Especially if you’re undergoing treatment to your face, you should take cold sore medication to prevent development of cold sores. Make sure that for the month preceding treatment, you are not using skin care products which include retinoid or glycolic acid. These products make the skin more sensitive to lasers, which will impede the procedure itself. They can also interfere with the healing process. Other external factors which can negatively impact healing are medications and supplements such as aspirin and vitamin E. Make sure you inform Dr. Cynthia of all medications or supplements you are on during your evaluation.
Is Laser Scar Removal Painful?
Unfortunately, it can be. Local anesthetic is available to numb the area under treatment. You will be conscious but not aware of discomfort in the area undergoing laser therapy.
Is Laser Acne Scar Removal Permanent?
Effects of laser scar removal are long-lasting. Because of the nature of skin, we cannot guarantee permanent effects. As skin ages and production of collagen and elastin diminishes, old scars may become more prominent.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from Laser Scar Removal?
The speed of recovery for laser scar removal depends on several factors. Age is an important consideration, as is the area being treated. Faces heal a lot faster than hands, as a rule. Three days can be all it takes for a face to be back to normal (or better than normal).
If you want to avoid the plastic surgeon, microneedling is another option for acne scar treatment. It works along similar principles to laser scar removal. Fine needles that probe the skin at various depths stimulate production of collagen and elastin for skin repair. However, an important distinction is that minute blood draws are made. The blood is then separated in a centrifuge to ensure that only platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is infused under the skin. The concentrated PRP stimulates healing cells, improving the health of the skin in that area.
Can Microneedling Be Used on Active Acne?
At Burbank Med Spa, we avoid performing microneedling on areas which are actively suffering from acne. The simple reason is that the bacteria in the area can be spread to other parts of the face. It is recommended that other treatments be used in these cases.
Does Microneedling Have Side Effects?
A common side effect of microneedling is redness and minor skin irritation. That is entirely normal though: the top layer of skin is giving way to reveal younger, smoother skin beneath. Other side effects are rarer but can include bruising, bleeding, and infection.
Is Microneedling Suitable for Everyone?
Unfortunately, microneedling cannot help with keloid scarring. Keloids are overgrown scars that protrude from the damaged area, caused by an overproduction of collagen. People with darker skin are more likely to develop keloids in response to acne. It does, however, also occur in people with fairer skin.
- Non-Surgical Procedure
- a Collagen Induction Therapy
- AKA Vampire Facial®
- Plan On 3 Treatments
- Can Be Repeated Every 4-6 Weeks
- No Downtime!