Acne Treatments Cleveland
Prescriptions are not the only answer. When extra help is needed, we offer professional acne skin care products, skin clearing nutritional supplements, acne facials, acne peels, microdermabrasion and photodynamic therapy treatments.
What is acne?
Acne is the term for the blocked pores (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that can appear typically on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms. Seventeen million Americans currently have acne, making it the most common skin disease in the country.
Do only teenagers get acne?
While acne affects mostly teenagers, and almost all teenagers have some form of acne, adults of any age can have it.
Are men more likely to have acne than women?
Acne does not affect one gender more than the other. However, men are more likely to have severe acne and less likely seek professional treatment, while women’s acne is typically caused by cosmetics or menstrual/hormonal changes.
Is acne dangerous?
Acne is not life-threatening, but it can cause physical disfigurement (scarring) and emotional distress.
What causes acne?
It is not yet known what causes acne, but suspected factors include an increase in androgens (male sex hormones) associated with puberty in both boys and girls, hormonal changes during pregnancy or when starting or stopping the use of birth control pills, heredity, certain drugs such as lithium, and the use of greasy cosmetics.
Chocolate and oily or greasy foods can cause acne, right?
Wrong. What you eat does not have much of an affect on acne. Neither does dirt or stress.
What is a lesion?
Generally speaking, lesions are physical changes in body tissue caused by disease or injury and may be external (as with acne or skin cancer) or internal (as with lung cancer, atherosclerosis and cirrhosis). Specifically, acne lesions are physical changes in the skin caused by a disease affecting the sebaceous gland. Acne lesions range in severity from comedones to nodules and cysts.
Where do acne lesions usually appear?
Acne lesions are most common on the face and neck, where sebaceous glands are most dense, but they can also appear on the chest, back, shoulders, scalp, and upper arms and legs.
What are sebaceous glands? What is sebum?
Sebaceous glands are attached to hair follicles in the skin on the face, neck, back and chest. They produce an oily substance called sebum, which normally reaches the skin surface through the opening of the follicle (pore).
When follicles become plugged, sebum cannot reach the surface of the skin. This blocked sebum promotes the growth of bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes) beneath the skin, which in turn produce chemicals and enzymes that attract white blood cells, causing inflammation. Eventually the follicle wall breaks down and the sebum, skin cells and bacteria erupt to form lesions or pimples.
Can picking/opening up pimples make my acne better?
No – in fact, that can make it worse. Pimples should never be opened except by a dermatologist because of the risk of infection. Other things that can cause acne to worsen are:
- Hard scrubbing of the skin;
- Friction caused by leaning on or rubbing the skin;
- Pressure from bike helmets, backpacks, or tight collars;
- Environmental irritants, such as pollution and high humidity.
What are the different types of lesions/acne?
Comedone: A plugged sebaceous follicle.
- Open comedones are called blackheads because of the plugs’ black-colored surface.
- Closed comedones are called whiteheads because of the skin-colored bumps they cause in the skin.
Papule: A small, inflamed, often pink lesion or bump, often tender to the touch. Groupings of small papules (“microcomedones”) may have a rough texture like sandpaper.
Pustule: Papules topped by pus-filled, dome-shaped, red lesions, often with a hair at the center. Left alone, healed pustules usually do not form scars.
Nodule: Similar in color and shape to pustules, nodules are large, painful, solid lesions lodged deep within the skin. They are often resistant to treatment and may form scars.
Cyst: Larger than a pustule, cysts are deep, painful, liquid (pus) filled lesions. They may cause scarring.
Can acne be treated?
Yes. Early intervention is best to minimize breakouts and scarring.
What are the different kinds of acne treatments?
Acne treatment varies depending on the type and severity of lesions, skin type and the patient’s age and life ; on average, results are visible in six to eight weeks. Options include:
- Acne facials and acne peels
- Photodynamic therapy
- Laser resurfacing
- Soft tissue fillers and fat transfer
- Punch excisional surgery for deep “ice-pick” pitted scarring
- Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion
- Topical and/or oral medications
Accutane® – type of oral medication
Acne can be unsightly and painful. In addition to the physical toll, it can also saddle sufferers with poor self-esteem and even depression. A drug called Accutane® (isotretinoin) offers acne sufferers a potent, highly effective option for clearing even the most stubborn acne. For over 20 years, Accutane has successfully helped patients with severe recalcitrant nodular acne. The small Accutane capsules are taken orally in several courses of 4-6 months each.
Memberships & Affiliations
- American Academy of Dermatology
- American Medical Association
- American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery
- American Society of Dermatologic Surgery