Doctor, what can I do for my acne and acne scars is one most

Acne: It’s Not Just For Teens
by Hitesh R. Patel, M.D.
“Doctor, what can I do for my acne and acne scars?”
That is one most common questions posed to me. Acne is an all too common issue that
has plagued each of us at one time or another. Unfortunately, it is such a visual ailment
that it can cause self-esteem problems, especially in the teenager years. However, with
all the treatment options available today, there is no reason why this should still be the
case. All forms of acne can be treated and controlled.
Acne commonly starts in the early teen years, when the oil glands in the body start
making more sebum (oil). Some people also have too many "sticky" skin cells. In people
with acne, these cells mix with the oil and plug up the hair follicles in the skin. These
plugs trap bacteria in the follicles, which can cause the follicles to swell. Tender red
bumps are the result. If the follicle wall breaks near the skin surface, these bumps can
develop into pimples.
Both boys and girls can get acne, but boys can potentially get it worse because they have
more skin oils. You can also get if your mother or father had acne. Some of the things
that can make acne worse include oil based makeup, suntan oils, hair gels and sprays,
menstruation in girls, picking or squeezing, hard rubbing of the skin and sun exposure.
A "whitehead" results when the follicle is plugged with oil and skin cells. If this plug
reaches the surface of the skin and the air touches it, it turns black and is called a
"blackhead." A blackhead isn't caused by dirt.
If the wall of a plugged follicle breaks, the area swells and turns into a red bump. If the
follicle wall breaks near the skin surface, the bump usually becomes a pimple. If the wall
breaks deep in the skin, acne nodules or cysts can form. This is called cystic acne.
Acne can be treated in a number of ways. It can be treated with over the counter meds,
prescription meds, or even with microdermabrasion.
Benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, salicylic acid, and sulfur are the most common over-thecounter medications used to treat acne. These meds usually help with minor acne but are
a waste of money for any significant acne problem.
Prescription meds include topical antibiotics and other topical gels, lotions, creams and
oral medications.
Retinoids, such as Tretinoin (brand names: Retin-A, Avita, Altinac cream) and
Adapalene (brand name: Differin), are other medicines for treating acne. If you use a
retinoid, you must avoid the sun or use a strong sunscreen because this medicine
increases your risk of getting a very bad sunburn.
Isotretinoin (Accutane) may be used to treat severe cystic acne that doesn't get better with
other treatments. It's a pill that is taken once a day by mouth for 15 to 20 weeks. I am not
a big fan of accutane.
In girls, isotretinoin can cause very serious side effects such as birth defects and
miscarriages. It should never be taken during pregnancy or even 1 month before
pregnancy. Girls must use 2 types of birth control or not have sex while they take
isotretinoin, as well as 1 month before they start and 1 month after they stop taking it.
Acne, especially cystic acne, can cause scars in some people. You can help reduce
scarring by not squeezing or picking at blemishes. Also, avoid scrubbing your skin.
Gentle washing is better. If you do get scars, treatments are available.
Microdermabrasion is useful in both treating acne and acne scars.
microdermabraison, aluminum oxide crystals are used to remove the dead keratinized
layer above the epidermis of the skin. In addition to removing acne scarring,
microdermabrasion is used to reduce hyper-pigmented lesions, to achieve glowing
healthy skin, and for almost any other skin problem. It can be used on the face, back,
arms and anywhere on the body. It helps to make the skin look “flawless”. It can be used
on men, women and children. Many patients have said they did not think it was possible
to remove their acne scars were amazed at the results. The recommended treatment
course is approximately four 25-minute treatments spaced two weeks apart from one
another. We have seen wonderful results in treatment of cystic acne and acne scars in our
office and other offices.
It’s very easy to get trapped by “info-mercials” that promise you the solution to
acne that you’ve been looking for. Play it safe—ask your physician about these pricey
treatments before shelling out your hard-earned cash. A medical doctor can recommend
safer, more cost-effective solutions for those menacing blemishes.
If you have any further questions on anything we have discussed in this article,
please feel free to contact us at the Physicians Wellness Center/ Laser & Cosmetic
Center of New Jersey at 732-744-0634. All of the cosmetic medical services outlined
above are provided at our facility and are performed by a board-certified and
experienced physician. Initial consultation is absolutely free, and there is no obligation.
While appointments are preferred, walk-ins are welcome. You can also find us on the
Internet at www