Lucid Dermatology

What is Acne?

Acne affects a wide range of populations: the teen in high school getting ready for prom or the middle aged woman past her childbearing years who will walk her son down the aisle on his wedding day. It can emerge on the face and body. They are referred to as “pimples” or “zits” and can appear as red, angry bumps or a more subtle but stubborn blackhead or whitehead. It causes frustration and depending on severity can affect confidence and one’s boldness to pursue their
goals.

Acne treatment

So, what is acne? If we understand it, we can fight it. Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. 85% percent of people between the ages of 12 and 24 years old will have some acne. Acne can continue into the 20s and 30s in 64% and 43% of these groups respectively. It typically manifests blackheads, whiteheads, and, in more severe cases, nodules or cysts. Acne is most commonly associated with adolescence due to hormonal changes, but it can affect people of all ages. Factors such as genetics, certain medications, and skincare habits can also contribute to the development of acne. While not life- threatening, acne may require various treatments, including topical creams, oral medications, or other dermatological interventions.

Main contributor to Acne

In acne, one key contributing factor is the accumulation of sebum, an oily substance produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands. Excess sebum production can lead to the formation of oil build up within hair follicles. When combined with dead skin cells and sometimes bacteria, this oil build up can clog pores and create an environment conducive to the development of acne lesions. The clogged pores may result in the formation of blackheads or whiteheads, and the subsequent inflammation can lead to the development of pimples or more severe forms of acne. Managing oil production through proper skin care and, in some cases, medication is often a key aspect of acne treatment.

What type of Acne is there?

Cystic Acne
A severe and excruciating type of acne known as cystic acne is typified by the formation of deep, inflammatory bumps under the skin. The bacteria, Cutibacterium acnes, previously called Propionibacterium acnes, colonize in the hair follicles, causing increased sebum production and irritation. These variables work together to cause this disorder.

Non-Inflammatory Acne (comedonal): Whiteheads and Blackheads
Blackheads are open comedones: when the clogged material is exposed to air they are given their dark appearance. Whiteheads, which are closed comedones created by clogged hair follicles, are examples of non-inflammatory acne. These kinds arise from the build-up of C. acnes bacteria,
dead skin cells, and sebum in the hair follicles.

Inflammatory Acne: Papules and Pustules
Pustules loaded with pus, as well as red, and raised papules are the hallmarks of inflammatory acne. C. acnes bacteria in hair follicles cause the inflammatory response, which in turn activates
an immune system response leading to the creation of these inflammatory lesions.

Nodular Acne
Large, solid nodules that grow beneath the skin’s surface are a sign of nodular acne. These deep- seated lesions are more likely to leave scars and can be extremely painful. Specialized medical
intervention is often necessary to avoid long-term skin damage caused by nodular acne.

Ways to Treat Acne

Numerous acne therapies target certain facets of the condition’s onset and manifestation. Topical medications, such as benzoyl peroxide have anti-inflammatory properties and reduce C. acnes colonization by acting as potent oxidizing agents. Retinoids, which are synthetic forms of vitamin A, promote cell division and inhibit the development of comedones and also help with dark spots left behind after acne is gone. Oral interventions include contraceptives with estrogen and progestin to manage hormone levels thus treating the acne caused by the original imbalance. Antibiotics such as doxycycline target acne bacteria and reduce inflammation. Oral medications such as spironolactone works wonders for female hormonal acne. Chemical peels which involve application of active ingredients in varying concentrations, sometimes combined together can be used to improve acne, hyperpigmentation, and skin quality. For example, salicylic acid peels encourage skin exfoliation, clear clogged pores, and enhance texture overall. Microdermabrasion is a type of mechanical exfoliation that improves complexion and lessens acne scars. Inflammatory acne lesions can be effectively treated with laser and light therapies, such as blue light therapy, which targets acne bacteria, and photodynamic therapy, which destroys sebaceous glands.

The Lucid Dermatology Way

Here at Lucid Dermatology, we use a combination of modalities to treat patients based on their individual acne type. We start by getting a good history of the patient to see if their lifestyle is playing a role in their acne. We may ask for blood work to better understand what may be causing the issues from the inside. After reviewing all of the data, our medical providers then create a custom treatment plan that caters to the patient’s desires. We pride ourselves in our consistent ability to improve our patients’ outcomes.

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