What causes acne?
Acne occurs when the oil produced by sebaceous glands does not reach the surface of the skin but is trapped in tiny pores or follicles. This plug may close off the pore, causing the follicle wall to bulge, which creates a whitehead. If the pore stays open, the top surface of the plug may become darkened, causing a blackhead. In both cases, the bacteria, P. acnes, thrives in the clogged follicles. When the bacteria and pus leak from the follicle into the surrounding tissue, pimples are formed.
You may have heard that “blackheads are dirt”; “only teens have acne”; “junk foods cause acne”; or “it will just go away by itself.” These and other myths have prevented many from seeking the appropriate acne treatment for years.
Our doctor will determine the severity of your acne and may select one or more treatments that are best for you. The basic steps of acne control may include topical antibacterials and antibiotics, oral antibiotics, comedolytics (such as Retin-A™), sebostatics (such as Accutane™), astringents and exfoliants. Recent advances in device-based acne treatments include laser treatments targeted to stimulate a photoactivated byproduct which kills P. Acnes.
Treating acne scars
More than 12 million Americans suffer from varying degrees of acne scars. Even a mild case of adolescent acne can leave permanent scars throughout adulthood. In addition to physical trauma, for many, acne scars can also have adverse psychological effects.
Physicians say that the scarring itself represents only a small part of the actual damage. To gauge the psychological effect of acne scarring, the makers of injectable collagen gathered a focus group of men and women to discuss their feelings before and after acne scar treatments.
This study found that people with acne scars tend to be very introverted, often holding their heads down, covering their faces with their hair, and generally avoiding eye contact. Many of them carry a great deal of guilt — as if the scarring were their fault. Many sufferers “blame their skin” for things that go wrong in their lives.
After treatment of their acne scars, members of the focus group regained their self-confidence and felt more at ease in social situations.
Fortunately, our doctor performs laser treatments for patients to successfully treat severe and mild acne scars.