Even the most well-controlled acne will still break through once in a while; it is important to have a great spot treatment to apply to these unwanted pimples as soon as they pop up. Dr. Schweiger explains that, "The very best treatment for an unwanted pimple is to visit your dermatologist for a cortisone injection. A tiny amount of an anti-inflammatory medication is delivered directly into the pimple, and most pimples will flatten out within 48 hours. If you are unable to visit your dermatology, a great at-home spot treatment is the next best thing."
Here are a few of the best spot treatments to have on hand to spot treat acne:
Salicylic Acid: Salicylic acid can be found at any drug store, these creams and gels should be applied to acne to unclog the blocked pore that is leading to the development of a pimple. It can also exfoliate and help to remove the pimple from the skin's surface.
Benzoyl Peroxide: Benzoyl peroxide kills the acne-causing p. acnes bacteria that resides on the skin. Be careful when applying, as it can bleach fabric if you don't wash your hands afterward!
Does LED light help to treat adult acne?
Red and Blue LED light is used to treat adult acne, both at home and in the doctor’s office. Red and Blue LED light is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. There is no downtime after the treatment. These treatments are often combined with the Isolaz and Photodynamic Therapy in the office and may be used at home through hand held blue LED light devices.
What is the best quick fix for adult acne?
Adult acne can strike at incredibly inopportune times. And for some adults it can be just as embarrassing as when teenagers are hit with a pimple. While teens can suffer from taunting and teasing from their peers, adults with acne may not be seen as authoritative or hygienic if they have acne. For adults, the best quick fix for acne is a cortisone injection into an inflammatory papule (aka “pimple”) is the most effective method of getting rid of acne quickly. The medication injected into the papule is anti-inflammatory and flattens out the pimple within 48 hours by decreasing the inflammatory reaction.
If there was only one way to treat acne, we would all have gorgeous clear acne-free skin. The truth is that, one size does not fit all for acne treatments. Everyone's skin has different needs, and every patient we meet with has a different type of acne. There is inflammatory acne (like pimples and cysts) and non-inflammatory acne (like blackheads and whiteheads.) Additionally, many people have a combination of both types of acne, or a different non-acne condition all together! Some people can tolerate the use of irritating topical prescription acne medications, while others benefit most from in-office laser acne treatments.
It is important to meet with an acne specialist, to determine the specific needs of your skin, and the specific type of acne that you have. After an initial evaluation, a unique acne regimen should be created for your unique skin. It is important to partner with a dermatologist or dermatology PA who specializes in the treatment of acne, and understands the many factors that can lead to the development of acne. We often meet with patients who have been battling acne for years, simply because they have been using the wrong regimen. We also have many patients who come to us after years of trying to treat acne on their own, which can often lead to persistent acne and the development of acne scars.
The truth is that medical professionals who specialize in the treatment of acne are familiar with the latest prescription medications and in-office laser acne treatments, as well as older acne treatments that work well for persistent acne.
Click here to schedule an appointment for an acne specialist at Clear Clinic.
Can oral contraceptive pills help to treat adult acne?
Oral contraceptive pills can be effective in treating adult acne in female patients. A few oral contraceptive pills, such as Yaz and Yasmin, have an FDA indication for the treatment of acne, though many oral contraceptive pills may be beneficial when treating female adult acne. However, women who are hoping to become pregnant soon should look for an alternative treatment for fighting acne.
The best–and most effective–ways to treat acne for women in their childbearing years are often through Blue Light Therapy, cortisone injections, Isolaz laser treatments and “Category B” prescription topical medications, such as Finacea.
Which laser treatments are best for adult acne?
Adult patients with acne benefit most from Photodynamic Therapy and the Isolaz laser treatment. Photodynamic Therapy uses a medication called aminolevulinic acid, which is applied to the skin’s surface and then activated by a blue LED light. This process decreases p. acnes bacteria, deceases sebum production and is anti-inflammatory. The Isolaz laser treatment uses a gentle vacuum to clear out the pores and a light to kill the p. acnes bacteria inside the pores. These laser treatments for adult acne both help to clear acne more quickly than prescription medications.
Blue light treatments are often performed at Clear Clinic for the treatment of acne. Blue LED light is used to kill the acne-causing p. acnes bacteria that lives on the skin's surface. Sometimes Blue LED light is performed on its own, though we often recommend its use in a series of visits combined with other therapies. However, it is important to know the best products to use at home between blue light treatments.
Dr. Schweiger explains that, "Blue LED light is an effective method of decreasing the p. acnes bacteria on the skin, which lead to the formation of acne. The most effective acne treatment regimens combine in-office blue light treatment with at home treatments and prescription medications. At Clear Clinic, we recommend that our acne patients use an at home blue light device between their office visits."
The most studied and effective at home blue light devices are the Tria and the Tanda systems. Both devices emit blue LED light, which kills the p. acnes bacteria on the skin. They use the same wavelength and deliver treatments that are similar in efficacy; the difference is the manner by which the blue light is applied. Both devices work by employing their energy directly onto the skin, though the instructions for how long and how often to use each device differs. Blue LED light does not cause any redness or downtime, and can be used immediately prior to applying prescription acne medications.
Click here to learn more about the best products to use at home between blue light treatments.
The Isolaz treatment for acne is an effective and innovative procedure for both the treatment and prevention of acne. Dr. Schweiger explains that, "The reason that the Isolaz treatment for acne is so effective is that it addresses multiple causes of acne simultaneously. A gentle vacuum cleans oil and debris out of the pores of the skin, while an anti-bacterial broad-spectrum light kills the p. acnes bacteria in the pores."
What to expect during your Isolaz treatment for acne visit:
Upon arriving at the Clear Clinic, you will cleanse any makeup, sunscreen or lotion from the skin using a gentle cleanser.
Goggles will be placed over your eyes to protect the area during the procedure.
The Isolaz treatment is performed as a series of pulses that cover the entire surface of the affected area of the skin. Each pulse feels like a tiny warm pinch, but is not at all painful.
The treatment itself takes approximately fifteen minutes.
After the treatment is completed, we will clean your skin and you are then free to apply sunscreen or makeup if you would like.
Some patients experience mild redness immediately following the treatment, but most people do not have any downtime after their visit. Patients who experience mild redness generally report that it resolves within the hour.
You may see some improvement in active acne lesions in the days following your visit, but long-lasting improvement is typically seen after a series of treatments.
The KTP laser is a favorite of Dr. Schweiger, because of its many uses and excellent results. The KTP laser might be right for you if:
You have any red marks left behind from old acne lesions
You have redness or visible blood vessels on your skin from rosacea
You have any redness on your skin that you wish to get rid of quickly
You want to remove red marks with just 2-3 treatments
The KTP laser works by sending a 532nm energy directly into the skin. This energy is absorbed by the hemoglobin in the red blood cells of the skin, which are present in the superficial vessels of the skin that form after acne resolves or from rosacea. For some conditions, like the treatment of tiny blood vessels around the nose, only one treatment is necessary. For the treatment of other conditions, such as red marks left behind from old acne lesions, you may need up to three treatments. There is no downtime after the KTP laser treatment and the treatments may be performed before your acne is completely clear (the energy of the laser can even help to clear your acne more quickly!)
The KTP laser treatment itself is not painful; it feels like a tiny rubber band snap on your skin with no residual pain after the treatment is completed. If you have tried other treatments for red marks, such as topical medications and chemical peels, you may consider visiting the Clear Clinic to discuss treatment with the KTP laser.
Click here to learn more about the KTP laser.
As much as everyone hates to hear it, acne is not just for teenagers! Adult acne is a common phenomenon that can present at anytime into your 50's! Dr. Schweiger notes that, "Many of our patients tell us that they can't believe they have to deal with acne, when they feel they should be fighting wrinkles instead." The good news is that many acne treatments actually make your skin healthier AND can prevent wrinkles. There is no need to hold off on preventing wrinkles; the newest treatments address both acne and aging skin.
Here are a few great treatments to consider for acne and aging skin:
Retinoid - a prescription strength retinoid (such as Retin A) can be prescribed by your dermatologist or dispensed directly from their office, depending on the needs of your skin. Retinoids help acne by stimulating skin cell turnover, to clean out the dead skin cells that clog up your pores and lead to acne. Simultaneously, this medication stimulates collagen and elastin turnover - to smooth out the fine lines of your skin, improve the appearance of dark spots from years of sun, and prevent fine lines from developing in the future.
Fraxel - this laser treatment can be used to address fine lines, sun spots, and acne scars. By stimulating the production of healthy skin cells, all of these issues can be addressed after just a few treatments.
Isolaz - the Isolaz treatment clears acne by removing dirt and debris from the pores, while a broad-spectrum light kills the p. acnes bacteria inside the pores. This same broad-spectrum light can be used to decrease redness on the skin and even out the skin tone.
Can adult acne be treated with topical medications?
Adult acne can often be treated with topical medications, such as benzoyl peroxide or retinoids. Topical medications can be very effective when treating acne and they are a very important part of acne treatment plans for even patients with severe acne. For adults in particular, retinoids offer anti-aging benefit and improved skin appearance while simultaneously treating acne.
Which oral antibiotics are best for adult acne?
Tetracycline antibiotics, such as doxycycline, Doryx, minocycline and Solodyn, are the most commonly used oral antibiotic treatments for acne. In addition, Azithromycin is sometimes used for acne treatment, particularly during the summer months when excessive sun exposure while taking tetracycline antibiotics can lead to sunburn.
Green tea contains many anti-oxidants, which can be beneficial to your health. Unfortunately, simply drinking green tea is not enough to fight acne. However, recent studies have shown that when applied directly to the skin, green tea does have acne-fighting benefits. Dr. Schweiger explains that, "A 2010 study showed the a 3% green tea emulsion decreased excess sebaceous gland activity in male patients, when applied directly to the skin. Excess sebaceous gland activity results in excess sebum, or oil, production on the skin. Excess sebum production on the skin leads to clogged pores, which attract acne-causing bacteria."
Topical green tea for acne is an exciting development in the management of acne. Previously, over-the-counter acne treatments were mostly limited to salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide formulations. These ingredients are effective for use in fighting acne, but can lead to irritation on the surrounding skin. Topical green tea for acne does not cause irritation to the skin. Many patients will find that green tea for acne is most effective when used in combination with other acne treatments. Since acne has many causes, it is helpful to attack it in many different ways. Benzoyl peroxide kills the acne-causing p. acnes bacteria and salicylic acid unclogs sebum and debris from the pores, but neither decreases sebaceous gland activity on the skin. By adding green tea into your acne regimen, you can decrease the production of sebum that often ends up clogging the pores on the face and attracting the acne-causing bacteria.
Click here to learn more about green tea for acne.
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