Acne is one of the most common skin problems among women. In addition to being painful, it can cause emotional distress and frustration.
Most often, acne appears on the face as pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, papules, nodules, pustules and cysts. They can also appear on the chest, back and shoulders, since those areas have more oil glands.
What causes acne?
Excessive oil production: when too much sebum(skin oil) is trapped, it causes the area to swell and little bumps appear under the skin.
Inflammation of the skin: a red, itchy pimple and painful blemishes are symptoms of inflammation.
Bacteria: it doesn’t immediately cause acne, but this turns into a problem when our skin becomes inflamed and traps the bacteria under the skin. The bacteria multiply to create an infection.
Hormonal changes: this happens during menstruation, pregnancy, taking hormonal birth control pills, and menopause.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: hormone imbalance affects oil production by the skin. Although not everyone with PCOS will have acne, women with this disorder produce higher androgen levels, which triggers the sebaceous glands to produce more oil.
Genetics: genetic mutation is not directly linked to acne, but there are a number of genetic factors that can cause acne to run in families.
Chronic Stress: this does not automatically cause acne, but if you are already prone to breakouts, stress can make them even worse.
What acne treatments can I have?
For many women, acne goes away after their teenage years, but there are a lot of effective treatments you can do to control acne breakouts and get clear skin. Here are some of the treatments we offer at Acadia Women’s Health:
Chemical Peels: these are great for exfoliating the dead skin from the surface, allowing fresh new cells to be revealed. This gives you back that fresh, dewy complexion we had when we were younger. Our chemical peels are highly effective with minimal down time. Usually, light skin flaking can be experienced for 5 to 7 days and is easily covered with make-up. Chemical peels cannot be performed on inflamed acne.
SkinPen/Microneedling: this procedure uses fine needles that prick your skin. This causes micro injuries on the surface of the skin. The causes a healing response in all layers of the skin, resulting in increased collagen production and cell renewal. Microneedling is considered safe for many skin conditions, but should not be performed on active acne, however, it is a very effective treatment for acne scarring.
Dermaplaning: in this procedure, the Aesthetician will gently scrape the surface of the skin using a medical-grade scalpel to remove dead skin cells and facial hair. The result is baby smooth and glowing skin. Dermaplane is also a great add-on treatment for other procedures such as Hydrafacial and Relaxing facials. Dermaplane should not be performed on active acne, as to not spread the bacteria to other areas of the face. Once acne is controlled, Dermaplane is a great way to maintain regular exfoliation of the skin.
Hydrafacial: a multi-step facial treatment using “vortex technology” to infuse active serums into the skin. It includes a deep cleansing, exfoliation, and antioxidant infusion for an all-inclusive, highly effective treatment. For congested skin, the Hydrafacial is great for extracting stubborn blackheads from the T-zone area.
Deep Pore Detox: this is an extraction focused treatment that can be done every 2 weeks to decongest the skin. This is the treatment best option for active acne.
What products are good for Acne Treatments?
A very important part of treating acne is what you do at home. Our "The Real OG Skincare" products are medical grade. This means there are much higher concentrations of active ingredients then what you will get with over the counter products. Here are some of The Real OG products that are great for oily, congested and/or acne prone skin:
Clear Slate Cleanser: this is a sulfate-free anti-acne cleanser that is infused with botanical to nurture and soothe the skin. It deep cleanses the pores and kills acne causing bacteria without over drying the skin.
C+ Antioxidant Day Serum: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and is very beneficial to acne prone skin to counter act the oxidation from free radical damage and inflammation. It is a light-weight formula that hydrate sand brightens the skin to give you that youthful glow.
Brightening Total Therapy Cream: this is the perfect moisturizer for oily or acne prone skin. This sheer, super hydrating formula is packed with Vitamin C to reduce inflammation and even out skin tone.
Complexion Protection SPF 45: is a lightweight medical grade sunscreen. Acne prone skin must be protected from the sun, especially if you are under-going exfoliating facial treatments on a regular basis.
Blemish Control Serum: clinically proven,highly effective acne fighting, blemish removing serum that quickly clears the pores of cane causing bacteria and cellular debris within 24 hours. Used only as a spot treatment for acne.
Tretinoin: is a prescription strength product that helps to control sebum production and keep the pores clear. It also helps to exfoliate dead skin on the surface. When used long-term, it can significantly help acne. When first using Tretinoin, some people experience“skin purging” where the acne seems to get worse, but with continued use, the acne will clear. Tretinoin is only used three times weekly and only applied at night.
Treating acne requires a multi-faceted approach and can be daunting and costly if you are trying to treat it on your own. Let us help you make a treatment plan that is right for you.