With hundreds of items at the pharmacy for acne treatment, where do you start? The best way to find care that actually works is to team up with a professional. At Burt & Will Plastic Surgery and Dermatology, our physicians work with you to develop a scientifically proven, cost-effective acne treatment plan. Our dermatologist, Dr. Tushar Dabade, has authored multiple articles about acne, and our group has the tools to treat its many forms.
What Causes Acne?
There are a variety of factors that lead to acne breakouts – dead skin cells start to clog pores, a type of bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes grows on the skin, and inflammation builds around the hair follicles. Hormonal changes also play a role, leading to extra oil production. The result of these skin changes is the blemishes, bumps and cysts that we call acne.
Acne affects nearly 85% of teenagers and over 50% of adult women. Unfortunately, even the mild early forms of acne can cause scars and discoloration on the skin. Beyond the visual appearances, it’s natural for challenges with acne can make patients feel self-conscious and lead to some level of anxiety. We understand this and never judge; we address every component that troubles you with care.
Committed to an Acne Solution
From puberty-related acne to adult acne, Burt and Will Plastic Surgery and Dermatology will create a comprehensive acne treatment plan to resolve active breakouts, soften acne scars, and prevent further blemishes.
The medical advances in acne treatments have grown significantly with topical rinses, foams, retinoids, antibiotics, light and laser treatments leading the way. During your visit, we will find the cause of your acne, whether it’s hormone changes, medications, or even just clogged pores, and work with you in formulating a resolution. We will develop a treatment plan with your lifestyle and personal preferences in mind.
Customized Medical Grade Skin Care
We are proud to offer a range of skincare lines that we customize to your skin type, including ZO Skin Health, Obagi Medical, and our own Burt and Will product lines. These washes, pads, and creams help to control sebum, kill bacteria, and help with cell turnover on the skin. Often, they manage certain forms of acne by themselves.
Prescription Topical Medications
Topical medications, those that are applied on top of the skin, are useful in mild forms of acne, spot treatment for stubborn bumps, and can be helpful even with severe acne flares. These medications include topical antibiotics that kill Propionibacterium acne (they also decrease inflammation on the skin) and vitamin A derivatives which help prevent – and get rid of – the early stages of a new acne bump. Certain acne gels can even help minimize scarring while at the same time treating acne. There are innovative forms of prescription topicals as well, including foams and lotions, which can be great depending upon your daily activities.
Prescription Pills for Acne
Pills can help do a lot of heavy lifting to clear up acne – especially for the deep, cystic type. They need to be used wisely and are not for everyone. Antibiotics can make a dramatic improvement in getting acne under control, but indefinite long-term antibiotic use is avoided as it can lead to antibiotic resistance. Hormonal acne in female patients can be treated with birth control pills as well as a pill called spironolactone. For stubborn scarring acne, isotretinoin (Accutane) a vitamin A derivative that can have long-lasting results, is great for the right individual. Isotretinoin does require some lab monitoring, and we’ll be sure to fully discuss the pros and cons of this medication if we are considering it.
Laser Skin Tightening
In areas where acne has left scars or indentations, laser skin tightening may be used to realign collagen under the scar tissue and tighten the skin surface. By stimulating collagen growth, laser treatment fills in scars and depressions.
Our aestheticians have an acne facial specific to your skin type and breakout patterns. A customized facial focuses on unclogging pores, reducing the overproduction of oil, cleaning the skin to stimulate a fresh presence, and reducing pore size.
Our selection of aesthetic injectables like Restylane®, Juvéderm® and Renuva plump the skin to diminish acne scars. This result leaves your skin looking healthy with a smooth texture. Additionally, thick acne scars – or keloids and hypertrophic scars – can benefit from steroid injections which work to soften and flatten the scar.
Could there be an “anti-acne diet” that truly helps? The jury is still out on this one. There is some evidence to suggest that low glycemic index foods – or those that do not spike your blood sugar up and down after eating them – may be beneficial. This would include whole grains, high fiber fruits and vegetables, lentils and the like, while avoiding some high glycemic index items, such as high sugar sodas and candies. As an added benefit, low glycemic index diets are heart healthy as well. Other associations are more questionable – it’s possible that dairy and whey protein may contribute to acne, and taking probiotics or zinc may help, but larger studies are needed to prove it.
Acne does affect all skin types and tones. It can be frustrating because you never know when or where blemishes will flare up. People with darker skin face additional challenges like scarring and post-inflammatory dark spots. While it’s not possible to determine what an acne breakout will look like for you or when it will occur, you can help prevent skin problems with a doctor-recommended skin care routine.
While stress alone is not the ultimate cause of acne, it can be a factor that contributes to acne flares. During times of stress and anxiety, various hormones are released into our body (including glucocorticoids and corticotropin-releasing hormone), which can increase oil production on the skin and clog pores. Additionally, stressors can trigger nerve activating substances in the skin, which then increase inflammation and flare acne. While we can’t eliminate stress in our lives, finding healthy ways of dealing with it with your physician can minimize these flares.
Acne treatments help to normalize the skin, controlling the most difficult acne and preventing future breakouts. Our advanced acne treatments are corrective procedures designed to remove dead skin cells, keep the pores clean, and kill deep underlying acne bacteria.