Treat Acne in Kaysville, UT
Acne is the most frequent skin condition in the United States. It is characterized by pimples that appear on the face, back and chest. Every year, about 80% of adolescents have some form of acne and about 5% of adults experience acne.
Acne is made up of two types of blemishes:
- Whiteheads/Blackheads, also known as comedones, are non-inflammatory and appear more on the face and shoulders. As long as they remain uninfected, they are unlikely to lead to scarring.
- Red Pustules or Papules are inflamed pores that fill with pus. These can lead to scarring.
Causes of Acne
In normal skin, oil glands under the skin, known as sebaceous glands, produce an oily substance called sebum. The sebum moves from the bottom to the top of each hair follicle and then spills out onto the surface of the skin, taking with it sloughed-off skin cells. With acne, the structure through which the sebum flows gets plugged up. This blockage traps sebum and sloughed-off cells below the skin, preventing them from being released onto the skin’s surface.
Makeup and other products with chemicals can add to acne. Even regular toothpaste has so many chemicals in it that it can add to peri oral acne. We have toothpaste recommendations as well as product recommendations for people with acne that will work with your body avoiding harsh chemicals. Always use non comedogenic products and try and use the "cleanest" product you can find that contains no parabens, no phthalates, and no petroleum products.
Dietary changes are hotly debated by dermatologists but I will tell every patient to not drink skim milk if they are having a problem with acne. The skimming process has been found to contribute to acne and I have seen many people benefit from dietary changes just like this. Change to whole or 2% milk or skip it all together and drink almond milk or other such product.
Hormonal changes also contributes both in teen/young adult years and our perimenopausal years (which vary widely). I hear often from women who have not had any problems since their teen years, now in their 40s having severe acne eruptions. These need to be evaluated by Dr. Silkey and recommendations can be individualized based on your exam and even possibly blood work to assess hormonal status.
Our hormonal status is being challenged by many things in our environment these days, so I am seeing younger and younger men with low testosterone and women with estrogen excess and depleted progesterone. There are many "endocrine disruptors" and we will teach you how to avoid these.
There are several things that we can do to treat hormonal flares of acne but most of the time, it is beneficial to know what is elevated or depressed to target hormonal balance and overall health. This way we can target your therapy specifically to balance your levels. There are several ways to approach this including, non-pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical approaches, and this will be tailored to your specific needs and desires.
"Our skin is a prime indicator of what is going on underneath the surface. If one just treats the superficial layer without looking deeper than one potentially misses the root cause of the issue." ~ Dr. Silkey
Treating acne is a relatively slow process; there is no overnight remedy. Some treatments include:
- Benzoyl Peroxide — Reduces the blockages in the hair follicles. It is best used 2 or 3 times per week and use an antioxidant wash (like resveratrol) for improved benefit without the flakiness. We can teach you how to make your own resveratrol wash to avoid any additives or preservatives!
- Topical Antibiotics, Dapsone, and Other Topical Therapies
- Hormonal Treatments — Can be used for adult women with hormonally induced acne.
- Tretinoin — A derivative of Vitamin A, tretinoin helps unplug the blocked-up material in whiteheads/blackheads. It has become a mainstay in the treatment of acne.
- Extraction — Removal of whiteheads and blackheads using a small metal instrument that is centered on the comedone and pushed down, extruding the blocked pore.
- Levulan — Levulan is a photosensitizer of the skin. It is applied to the skin and then activated by light. It is absorbed by sebaceous glands – the ones that are overactive in acne patients. The result is that the sebaceous gland is partially destroyed, leading to less secretions and less acne. The light which activates the Levulan also kills the bacteria that cause acne as well. The results after 2 or 3 treatments is 75-85% improvement in acne for 9 months, and in some patients up to several years.
- Although Levulan is not FDA approved for acne, it is widely used by the medical community worldwide for this purpose. Its FDA approval is for Actinic Keratosis, pre malignant lesions, on the skin.
- Laser Therapies — targeting the sebaceous gland
- Light Therapy
For more information on Acne Treatment, call SilkeySkinMD in Kaysville, UT at (801) 882-2200!