Acne is a skin condition that can cause blackheads and whiteheads, or comedones, as well as red pimples and large nodules. These most often appear on the face, but they are also commonly seen on the upper body and buttocks.
Acne prone skin can be hereditary, but it is often hormone-related, as well. Most acne subsides in a person’s twenties, but many individuals continue to experience acne throughout adulthood. A variety of treatment options are available to reduce breakouts and acne scars. Meeting with an acne specialist at Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology is a step in the right direction.
What Is The Root Cause Of Acne?
Normal skin contains glands that secrete sebum, which is meant to keep skin soft and healthy. When these glands are overly active, the sebum is secreted and sticks to the attached hair follicles, which in turn clogs the pores.
If there is no inflammation involved, the clogged pore becomes one of two types of comedones. Closed comedones are whiteheads, and open comedones are blackheads. The dark coloring of blackheads is due to chemical changes in the cells, not dirt or oil.
If a type of bacterium called “Propionibacterium acnes” thrives off the sebum and grows, it activates the immune system and leads to inflammatory acne.
How to Reduce Acne Outbreaks
There are several ways to help reduce the severity and frequency of acne outbreaks. Avoiding certain triggers, adhering to a regular skincare regimen, and medical treatments can all contribute to healthy looking skin.
Things to Avoid
- Excessive stress or chronic stress can activate or intensify acne breakouts.
- Makeup containing any type of oil can exacerbate the pore clogging issue; instead, opt for water-based, non-comedogenic cosmetics.
- Rubbing skin or scrubbing too enthusiastically can actually aggravate acne, so simply cleanse the skin gently two or three times daily.
- Squeezing acne lesions should be avoided, as it can lead to infection and further inflammation.
- Trigger foods that may include sugar, chocolate, or dairy products can aggravate breakouts.
Things to Add
There are several procedures, medications, and supplements that can help treat your acne breakouts. Because skin cells take a full month to regenerate, give new treatments two or three months before you expect to see results.
- Benzoyl peroxide in face washes and moisturizers help kill the bacteria that causes acne flares. (Warning: May bleach clothing, towels, sheets, etc.)
- Glycolic and salicylic acids are contained in many face washes, toners, lotions, and chemical peels. These acids target clogged pores and work to regulate the skin regeneration process.
- Omega 3 supplements are a great way to improve the overall health of skin.
- Retinoids/Vitamin A products can be used every night and work to open clogged pores. They can also help reduce inflammation and discoloration.
- Your diet should include plenty of fruits and vegetables with very little refined sugar.
Board-Certified Acne Dermatologists in Chicago
Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology is proud to offer several safe and effective acne treatments right here in our office.
AviClear is a high-tech laser procedure selectively targets sebaceous glands to reduce sebum production. Our laser technology is safe for use on all skin types, and eliminates acne without medication.
This BroadBand Light (BBL) utilizes blue, yellow, and infra-red light to kill acne-causing bacteria. The result is fewer breakouts, reduced inflammation, and faster natural healing.
We also recommend the following services for our acne-prone clients:
- Acne Extraction Treatments
- BLU-U Light Therapy
- CCSD Restart Peels
- Deep Pore Cleansing
- DiamondGlow Microdermabrasion
- PCA Masks
- PCA Peels
To learn more about our acne treatments or to schedule an appointment, please contact Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology.