The standard treatments include: topical antibiotics to decrease bacteria, topical vitamin A or tretinoin to reduce blocked pores and oral antibiotics to decrease both bacteria and inflammation. Skin care products, geared towards acne prone skin can be an important adjunctive treatment.
For more severe, unresponsive acne, we may prescribe a 5 month course of Isotretinoin, an oral vitamin A medication that decreases oil production in the skin. Even the most severe acne will respond to Isotretinoin aka Accutane.
For women, with cyclical flares of acne, we often recommend oral contraceptives. The pills work by blocking female testosterone which reduces oil production and breakouts. Spironolactone, another type of testosterone blocker, may be combined with oral contraceptives, to increase the acne clearing effect. There is a treatment plan that will clear even the most severe acne problem.
LED Light and Photodynamic Therapy
For patients who do not want to take oral medication or who want to boost their results, we are pleased to offer LED light therapy. The blue light helps to reduce the P.acnes bacteria in the skin, preventing new breakouts. It can be used for the face, chest or back- with no side effects or downtime.
For more severe acne, the light can be used with a light-activated topical medication, Levulan.
This is known as photodynamic therapy or PDT. The Levulan is applied to the skin and allowed to penetrate for one hour. The skin is then exposed to blue light which targets bacteria in the oil glands. After a few days of sun sensitivity and redness, the skin appears smoother, with fewer breakouts and reduced pore size.
What about diet and acne? Does chocolate or greasy food flare up acne? Recent research has demonstrated a link between acne and high carb diets. Low glycemic or low carb foods such as vegetables and lean meats or fish, reduce oil production. Another recent study has shown a link between acne and high milk intake. We always counsel our patients about diet and lifestyle changes to help clear acne and maintain clear skin.
Acne Facials and Back treatments
To get the quickest results, see our esthetician for a therapeutic face or back treatment. Deep cleansing exfoliation and extractions will result in acne free skin sooner. Learn more
Our esthetician also offers a variety of “peel” treatments that help deep clean the skin, reduce inflammation and unclog pores with little downtime. Learn more
A great resource for everything about acne is ACNE.net