Acne is the term for a skin disorder associated with blocked pores (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that can appear on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms. While it affects mostly teenagers, and almost all teenagers have some form of acne, adults of any age can develop acne. Acne is not life-threatening, but it can cause physical disfigurement (scarring) and emotional distress.
Sebaceous glands are attached to hair follicles in the skin on the face, neck, back and chest. They produce an oily substance called sebum, which normally reaches the skin surface through the opening of the follicle (pore). When follicles become plugged, sebum cannot reach the surface of the skin. This blocked sebum promotes the growth of bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) beneath the skin, which in turn produce chemicals and enzymes that attract white blood cells, causing inflammation. Eventually the follicle wall breaks down and the sebum, skin cells and bacteria erupt to form lesions or pimples. These are the visible effects of acne.
Treatment for acne varies depending on the type and severity of the skin lesions, skin type and the patient‘s age and lifestyle, but on average results are visible in six to eight weeks.
Options for treatment include:
- Intralesional steroid injections
- Laser resurfacing: Fractionated CO2 laser
- Soft tissue fillers and fat transfer
- Punch excisional surgery for deep ‘ice-pick‘ pitted scarring
- Chemical peels
Fractionated CO2 Laser (Fraxel)
Fraxel™ is a noninvasive laser therapy designed to dramatically improve skin texture and pigmentation, including the treatment of fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, surgical scars, and sun damage. Fraxel™ utilizes fractional resurfacing technology, where only a small fraction of the skin receives the laser light. The treatment delivers a series of microscopic laser spots, while simultaneously preserving areas of unaffected, healthy skin. The healthy cells in the untouched spots promote rapid healing of the entire area, resulting in faster recovery time and minimal side effects. The result is softer, smoother and healthier skin without an uncomfortable healing period.
Rosacea is a chronic skin disease that causes redness and swelling on the face. It is caused by the dilation of capillaries and blood vessels and can affect both men and women. The scalp, neck, ears, chest, back and/or eyes may also be affected. Symptoms range from red pimples, lines and visible blood vessels to dry or burning skin and a tendency to flush easily. Many people find that the emotional effects of rosacea – such as low self-confidence and avoidance of social situations – are more difficult to handle than the physical ones. Although it can affect anyone, rosacea typically appears in light-skinned, light-haired adults aged 30-50. It is not yet known what causes the dilatation of the blood vessels and the disease is not curable, although it can be treated with topical and oral medications, as well as laser therapy. Intense Pulse Light (IPL) can successfully treat dilated blood vessels and redness without injuring the surrounding healthy skin, while greatly reducing the episodes of flushing with long-term effectiveness.