Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It often causes whiteheads, blackheads and pimples, and occasionally under the skin solid or puss filled nodules.
Each hair follicle contains one hair and a sebaceous gland that produces sebum, an oil that helps keep skin soft. When dead skin cells and oils collect in the opening to the skin follicle, will result in a bump called a comedo. If the skin over the bump stays closed, the bump is called a whitehead. If the skin over the bump opens, exposure to the air causes the content to darken, creating a blackhead. Pimples are raised red spots or red spots with a white center and they develop when blocked hair follicles become inflamed or infected with bacteria.
Blockages, inflammation and infection that develop deep inside hair follicles produce lumps or cysts beneath the surface of your skin.
Acne appears where skin has the most sebaceous (oil) glands and hair follicles connected to the oil glands: the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders. Acne is most common among teenagers due to increased androgen hormones of puberty, though it affects people of all ages.
Acne is often associated by scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Scars and pigmentary changes are most often the product of an inflamed lesion, such as a papule, pustule, or cyst and often aggravated by picking at the lesion. The greater the inflammation, the more likely it is to scar and darken in color.
The fight against acne has two powerful weapons in our office, and the most appropriate for you will be chosen by Dr. O’Brien at your consultation:
- Chemical Peels employ carefully chosen ingredients to suppress outbreaks, decrease pigmentation, pore size and sebum production.
- Photo peel / PDT in combination with Sapphire abrasion and Laser Genesis destroy the oil glands suppressing acne outbreaks, improving pigmentation and scarring.
- Venus Viva and Microneedling, with possible augmentation by PRP, work very well in improving scars and pigmentation left behind by years of acne outbreaks and pimple squeezing.