Acne

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Acne Treatment in Miami

Greater Miami Skin & Laser Center offers advanced acne removal options for patients. If you are interested in learning more about the services we offer or if you wish to determine whether you are a candidate for treatment, give our experienced dermatologists a call at 305.532.4478!

What is acne?

Acne is a very common skin condition that occurs when your pores become clogged. Whether it’s with excessive oil, dead skin cells, or bacteria, the pores are blocked and form what is known as a “whitehead” or “blackhead.” It can also cause a pimple–a small red bump that is often filled with pus. Most commonly, acne appears on the face, but it could also show up on the neck, back, check, and other areas of your body.

While acne is most common during adolescence, it can also appear throughout a person’s adult years. The best way to treat and prevent acne is by visiting with an experienced acne doctor at your local dermatology office.

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What are the different types of acne?

Acne vulgaris is the medical term for common acne, with the presence of blackheads, whiteheads, and other types of pimples on the skin. Often the type of breakout is how acne is categorized.

  • Whiteheads — A comedone is a basic acne lesion, a hair follicle that has become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. If the comedone is closed at the surface skin, it forms a whitehead.
  • Blackheads — These are comedones that are open at the surface of the skin. They are filled with excess oil and dead skin cells. People think it is dirt that turns these lesions black, but it isn’t. It is simply the irregular reflection of light coming from the clogged follicles.
  • Papules — If the comedones become inflamed they form small red or pink bumps on the skin. These are papules, and they may be sensitive to the touch.
  • Pustules — These resemble whiteheads with a red ring around the bump.
  • Nodules — Nodules develop deep within the skin and develop into a large, inflamed bump that feels firm to the touch. They are often painful.
  • Cysts — Cystic acne is the most severe form, and it leads to permanent acne scarring. Cysts are large, pus-filled lesions that resemble boils.

What are the main causes of acne?

When acne occurs, it is the result of clogged, oily pores. But what causes the pores to clog up more than usual? And why do some people get terrible acne, while others seem to have clear skin their whole lives?

While it may seem like there are people out there who have never had a pimple or outbreak a day in their lives, that is most likely not true. Almost everyone has experienced some level of acne or an acne breakout at some point during their life. Most often, acne is triggered by one of the following:

  • Hormones
  • Stress
  • Food choices
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Poor hygiene

How common is acne and who gets it?

This isn’t news, but acne is the most common skin disorder of teenagers, affecting roughly 85 percent of teens at some point between the ages of 13 and 20. This is obviously a result of the raging hormones of puberty.

In adults, women are more likely to have mild to moderate forms of acne into their 30s and sometimes beyond.

Can acne be painful?

Cystic acne can be quite painful because the pimple develops deep in the skin, causing a red, swollen, and painful bump.

At what age does acne go away?

Acne is most commonly seen between age 10 and age 20, and for most people, acne is not an issue after this age range. However, acne can come and go throughout your life, depending on your skin type and how you react to triggers like food choice, hygiene, changing hormones, and stress.

Can I prevent acne when I’m older?

After our teenage years, acne is unusual. We all get a clogged pore that leads to an occasional pimple, but this is mainly the stuff of puberty.

Unfortunately, hormonal changes also occur in adulthood, particularly for women. That’s why acne can be a part of pregnancy. It can also arise when you change birth control pills, as the hormones in the pills can create an increase in activity of the sebaceous glands. This is usually only temporary as your body adjusts to the hormone levels.

Why is my face breaking out all of a sudden?

If it seems like your skin is suddenly breaking out and you have never noticed pimples before now, there could be something that you are doing that is triggering the condition. Stop and ask yourself these questions and then consult with a dermatologist:

  • Have you recently changed your diet?
  • Have you been eating oily foods?
  • Have you recently changed your skincare regimen?
  • Are you showering or washing your face on the same schedule as normal?
  • Have you recently changed medications?
  • Are you feeling more stressed than usual?
  • Are you going through hormone changes?

While there may not be one answer that solves your acne problem, thinking about these questions prior to your dermatology visit will help your doctor better understand what could be contributing to your acne breakouts.

What’s the relationship between hormones and acne?

Hormones are the main driver of acne. Androgen is a staple of puberty in both girls and boys. This male sex hormone triggers excess oil production in the sebaceous glands, leading to those glands clogging and becoming inflamed. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy and in birth control pills can cause the same increase in sebum production in adult women.

Does acne get worse before it gets better?

Some acne treatments will require your skin to go through what is known as a “detox” period, which can cause your skin to see like it’s getting worse than before. This typically subsides within a few weeks, after which you will notice your acne clearing up. Be sure to check in with your dermatologist as needed, and always reach out if you have concerns about your acne worsening or new symptoms.

Can acne be cured?

Acne is not “cured” per se, but it can be successfully treated by a dermatologist. Speaking with an experienced acne doctor is the first step to managing and reducing your acne breakouts. Some of the most successful means of acne management include taking acne medication, using over-the-counter or prescription creams and cleansers, managing your diet, and avoiding certain acne triggers. Check with a dermatologist to learn more about your skin type and what acne solutions would work best for your condition.

What is the best treatment for acne?

The best acne treatment for you will be determined by your dermatologist and varies from person to person depending on the symptoms you are concerned about, the condition of your skin, and your skin type. Some of the possible skin treatments that can help clear up your acne include the following:

  • Topical acne medications
    • Antibiotics
    • Salicylic acid
    • Dapsone gel
  • Acne pills
    • Antibiotics
    • Contraceptives
    • Isotretinoin
    • Anti-androgen agents (for women)
  • Steroid injections for acne
  • Laser acne therapy
  • Chemical peels for acne
  • Whitehead extraction therapy
  • Blackhead extraction therapy

How should I maintain or improve my skin in between my treatments?

What’s most important is to try and not help the follicles/pores become clogged. This means avoiding the use of heavy and oily cosmetics. Patients should remove all of their makeup before going to bed. There once was a time when the thinking was using harsh cleansers and scrubs to decrease oil on the skin, but this is actually backwards. These cleansers further inflame the clogged pores and skin. You’ll need to switch to mild cleansers. Excessive sun exposure also isn’t good for acne-prone skin, despite the thought that you can somehow bake it away.

Finally, patients must not pick or “pop” blemishes and shouldn’t touch their skin continually, feeling for blemishes. Doing so can move bacteria from breakout areas to areas that didn’t have excess bacteria.

During your treatments at Greater Miami Skin & Laser Center, we’ll advise you on what to do to keep your skin as acne-free as possible.

How can you treat acne scarring?

At Greater Miami Skin & Laser Center, we offer various treatments that help reduce acne scarring. There are two approaches in these treatments.

First, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and dermabrasion remove the outer layers of the skin. More aggressive applications, such as medium depth peels, remove more skin and can make quite a difference in acne scarring, basically removing the layers where much of the scarring has occurred, and getting the body to replace this with new, clear skin.

The second approach is to improve the skin from within. This is the goal of treatments such as our Fraxel laser skin resurfacing and Sciton Halo Hybrid Laser treatments. These laser treatments deliver laser energy into the dermis layer of the skin (the layer beneath the epidermis), and this light energy converts to heat. When the body senses heat in the dermis, it assumes a wound has occurred, so it triggers a wound-healing response. This involves remodeling the existing collagen in the area, and then producing new amounts of collagen to “heal” the perceived wounds, although there aren’t any actual wounds. This new collagen thickens, firms, and fills the skin, reducing the appearance of acne scarring.

What are some things I can do at home to help with my acne?

Today, acne is much better understood and much more successfully treated than even just a decade ago. At Greater Miami Skin & Laser, we can successfully treat virtually every case of acne. But there are also things you should do at home to help keep your skin calm and breakouts to a manageable level.

  • Wash your face twice a day and after sweating — Perspiration, especially when wearing a sports helmet or a hat, can make acne worse. So, after you sweat, wash your face as soon as possible.
  • Be gentle with your skin — Harsh astringents and scrubs were once thought to help with acne. That has since been proven to be incredibly bad advice. Use gentle products that are alcohol-free. Don’t use astringents, toners, and exfoliants. Dry, red, irritated skin makes any acne appear far worse.
  • Use your fingertips to apply a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser — Mesh sponges, washcloths, and other applicators can irritate your skin.
  • Don’t scrub — Scrubbing your skin only increases irritation.
  • Shampoo regularly — If you are prone to having oily hair, wash it every day.
  • Let your skin heal naturally — Picking, popping, or squeezing acne makes it take longer to clear and increases the risk of scarring.
  • Try not to touch your face — Touching your facial skin throughout the day can lead to flare-ups.
  • The sun doesn’t clear acne — When you have breakouts, sun exposure won’t clear them. Also, many acne medications make your skin very sensitive to the sun’s UV light.

Call Our Miami Beach Office For Your Acne Removal Consultation!

For more information on our acne treatments or to schedule an appointment with our board-certified dermatologists, contact Greater Miami Skin & Laser Center at 305.532.4478. You can also click here to fill out an online contact form and we will reach out to you as soon as possible. Our practice proudly serves Miami Beach and the surrounding areas!

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