Most people don’t think of their skin as an organ, but it is — in fact, it’s your largest organ. Every day, it’s subjected to both internal and external factors that can have a direct impact on its health, as well as contribute to medical problems, like acne.
Acne is the most common skin disease in the United States, affecting as many as 50 million people every year. It’s easy to think of acne solely as a physical ailment, but in a lot of cases, acne can have a psychological or emotional impact, too, especially if you have chronic or severe acne.
At Starkey Medical Aesthetics, Michele Meinhart, FNP, uses a variety of state-of-the-art approaches to acne treatment, tailoring every step of care based on the patient’s individual needs. Here’s how she can help you get control of your acne.
Why acne happens
Acne breakouts happen when tiny hair follicles get clogged with excess oil and dead skin cells. Sticky oil combines with debris to form a plug that traps bacteria inside the follicle. Over time, the warm, protective environment is the ideal place for bacteria to multiply, leading to inflammation, pimples, and breakouts.
Acne can happen at any time in life, but it’s especially common during your teens and 20s when your hormones are undergoing a period of “adjustment.” In fact, hormonal fluctuations are a major cause of acne breakouts, along with other factors like:
- Some types of medication
- Poor diet
- Harsh skin care products or harsh skin care routine
Controlling acne and decreasing breakouts usually require a combination of medication and lifestyle changes to soothe and protect your skin and provide it with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
Acne treatment options
Because acne affects people in different ways, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment that works for every patient. That’s why Starkey Medical Esthetics offers an array of options to help each patient find the solution that works for them.
Intense pulsed light (IPL)
IPL administers “doses” of light to penetrate your skin, destroying acne-causing bacteria to reduce your risk of breakouts. IPL treatments are also effective for reducing and preventing acne scarring, so your skin looks and feels smoother.
Microdermabrasion uses tiny crystals to gently abrade the uppermost layer of skin, getting rid of dead skin cells that can clog follicles and pores. At the same time, debris is also lifted away, leaving skin cleaner and clearer.
Chemical peels work in a similar way as microdermabrasion treatments, but they use chemicals to lift away the uppermost layer of skin so pores are clear and clean. Many patients benefit from a combination of the two treatments — microdermabrasion to prepare the skin, followed by a chemical peel that penetrates more deeply and consistently.
Acne facials use cleansers, toners, exfoliators, and other preparations designed specifically for acne and acne-prone skin. When used on a regular basis, acne facials help protect skin, giving it the nutrients and care it needs to stay healthier.
Because acne is caused by bacterial overgrowth inside your follicles, antibiotics and other medicines often are prescribed to reduce both the bacterial infection and the inflammation it can cause. Acne-fighting medicines and other medical therapies may be prescribed on their own or in combination with other therapies, based on your needs.
Individualized care, routine checkups are essential
Your skin changes a lot over your lifetime, and that means its needs change, too — sometimes dramatically. That’s why even when you find a treatment that works for your acne, at some point, that treatment may no longer be as effective.
Seeing your doctor on a regular basis for acne checkups is the best way to make sure your treatment stays on track. Plus, regular visits allow our team to help you make other important changes in your skincare routine, your diet, and other areas of your life to keep your skin healthy and free of major breakouts.
If you have acne, the sooner you begin treatment, the sooner you can see results. To schedule a skin evaluation and learn how we can help, call or book an appointment online today.