Acne is the term used to describe blackheads, whiteheads, pimples or any clogged pores that occur on the face or body. Most acne problems occur during the adolescent years, but it can sometimes occur before or even after the teenage years.
Acne can often play a detrimental effect in one’s self-esteem because it ruins the natural beauty of a person’s facial features. Normally, minor acne will come and go on its own, recurring more frequently between the ages of adolescence and becoming less thereafter. Occasionally, acne can continually cause problems for a person later in life. More severe cases of acne can lead to more serious, permanent scarring.
There are a number of techniques available today to treat acne. Doctors can recommend habitual changes in a person’s lifestyle to help reduce the reoccurrence of breakouts. Medications are also often used to lessen the severity of outbreaks. Advanced laser therapies and chemical peels are also available to treat acne.
Oral and Topical Medications
There are a number of oral and topical medications available to treat mild to moderate acne. While the ingredients and directions vary from product to product, most of these medications involve either decreasing your skin’s natural oil production, or removing dirt and oil from the targeted area. This will lessen the severity and frequency of acne outbreaks.
Blue Light Therapy
Blue Light Therapy offers patients a faster solution for combating acne without the use of oral and topical medications. Using a specially designed light, Blue Light Therapy can kill the bacteria in your skin that causes acne.
Blue Light Therapy usually involves a series of three treatments, each taking 10-20 minutes. After Levulan is applied to the targeted area, you will wait approximately one hour for it to be completely absorbed by the affected skin cells. Your eyes will be covered as you are treated under the lamp. You may experience slight discomfort while being treated. Afterwards, you may also have some mild sunburn-like redness and peeling for a few days. It is important to use a sunscreen with zinc oxide and SPF 30 or higher for at least 48 hours following treatment, to prevent prolonged redness or peeling.
Chemical peels remove a layer of skin with a specially formulated chemical preparation, allowing your skin to grow back smoother and clearer. There are different levels of strengths available to meet the individual needs of each patient. Depending upon the type and strength of the peel you use, you may experience several days of peeling after the procedure. Chemical peels are also most effective when performed on a regular basis, with the needed interval between peels determined by the strength and type of peel that you choose.