the alpharetta medical spa

Acne Questions

What Causes Acne?
There are three major factors responsible for causing acne. They are:
A) Oil glands are located deep in the skin. They are also known as sebaceous glands. The glands produce oil, known as sebum, that flows to the surface of the skin through pores to lubricate the hair follicles and the surrounding skin. The oil glands are stimulated to produce oil by hormones.  During puberty, and times of
stress, and the body’s hormonal changes, the adrenal glands produce increased levels of these hormones, causing even greater production by the oil glands.

B) Blockage Of The Skin Pores
Oily skin occurs when an overactive oil gland enlarges and overproduces oil. Acne develops when some of the pores, through which oil normally flows from the gland to the skin surface, become blocked by skin cells. This results in trapping the oil within the skin pores. The cause for this hyperactivity of the gland is not known.

C) Activity Of Normal Skin Bacteria
Although acne is not caused by a bacterial infection, bacteria do play a role in exacerbating the condition. The bacterium Propionibacterium acnes, is a normal element in the skin surface. It protects the skin from being invaded by harmful bacteria. As the pore becomes blocked, the P. acnes bacteria will begin to grow. It produces chemicals that alter the composition of the oil, causing inflammation and swelling.

How Is Acne Treated?
Acne isn’t a teen inconvenience.  Effective treatment is necessary to:
• Prevent scarring
• Deal with inflamed and painful areas
• Limit the formation of new blackheads and whiteheads
• Lessen the stress or embarrassment associated with the acne

Mild acne can be usually treated with topical medications, ISOLAZ  photopneumatic blue light therapy, deep pore cleansing facials and glycolic peels.

The ingredients in the topical treatments contain:
• Benzoyl peroxide, containing vitamin A, dries up the oil by killing the P acnes bacterium.
• Salicylic acid helps stop the shedding of the skin cells lining the oil glands.
• Resorcinol and sulfur work by breaking up the pimples.
These medications may initially irritate the face, causing some redness or burning, but this quickly settles.

Moderate to severe acne can be addressed by medical personnel with ISOLAZ photopneumatic treatments, more aggressive topicals, chemical peels and prescription medication.

Oral antibiotics reduce the growth of P. acnes, the skin bacterium responsible for making chemicals that cause inflammation. For this reason, antibiotics will reduce the number of red and yellow pimples.

A low-dose contraceptive is sometimes used for the treatment of moderate acne in women 15 years or older. This contraceptive acts by lowering hormonal activity, resulting in reducing the over activity of the oil glands.
In cases where severe acne does not respond to long-term antibiotic and topical therapy, another oral medication has been available, called Accutane.  Although effective, the side effects made taking Accutane dangerous and its maker  “Hoffman-LaRoche”, announced on July 8, 2009 that it would no longer sell Accutane.

Some acne treatments work to clear up existing acne as well as helping to prevent new acne from forming. In fact, experts recommend that people with acne start treatment as soon as possible to prevent the physical and emotional impact of acne.