Acne Skin Treatment
Acne Skin Treatment Summit and Englewood, New Jersey
Get the Facts about Acne and Acne Control
Acne is the term for a common skin condition that results in blackheads, whiteheads, blemishes, and other lesions occurring in clogged pores of the skin. Though the physical health consequences are typically minor, acne can have a devastating impact on a person’s sense of well being at any age, because it affects one’s appearance. This is particularly true when acne results in acne scars. Fortunately, a plethora of acne skin treatment options are available at the luxurious Summit and Englewood, New Jersey locations of Ethos Spa Skin and Laser Center.
The Causes of Acne
Acne is caused primarily by genetic predisposition. The tendency to develop acne is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern with incomplete penetrance. If one parent has acne, he or she can pass the gene on to their child. Incomplete penetrance means that the condition does not always manifest, even if an individual possesses the causative gene. Thus, acne can appear to skip a generation. Additional factors can also influence the appearance and severity of acne:
- Certain cosmetics and hair pomades may exacerbate acne.
- Some medications, including steroids, lithium, some antiepileptics, and iodides, can promote acne.
- Endocrine disorders associated with excess androgen may trigger the development of acne.
- Chafing caused by headbands, back pack straps, tight bras, or even a violin tucked under the chin for extended periods can induce the development of acne.
How Acne Develops
Acne develops in follicles, or pores, which are the tiny glands in the skin from which individual hairs grow. Each hair follicle is connected to sebaceous glands, which secrete sebum, an oily substance that lubricates the hair and skin. Sebum normally travels up the hair shaft and out through the opening of the hair follicle onto the surface of your skin. During adolescence, the follicles produce excess sebum and an overabundance of cells lining the follicle. Ordinarily the sebum spills onto the skin, but the cells lining the hair follicles quickly shed and mix with the sebum, clogging the pores. Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), which is bacterium normally found on the skin, can grow in the trapped mixture, causing inflammation and infection, resulting in pimples, pustules, and other blemishes associated with acne.
The Types of Acne Lesions
Acne lesions range in severity from blackheads and whiteheads, called comedones, to nodules and cysts. Here is an overview of the various forms of acne lesions:
Nodular acne is a severe form of acne that may be very painful. A nodule is a solid, dome-shaped or irregularly-shaped lesion similar to a papule.
A pustule is a white-centered, dome-shaped lesion containing pus of white blood cells, dead skin cells, and bacteria. It is fragile and may be easily punctured.
A macule is a red spot left by a healed acne lesion that may persist for a long time. It is flat and usually red with a well-defined border.
A papule is a solid lesion slightly elevated above the surface of the skin. Reddish or pinkish, these bumps can be sensitive to touch. Small papules and comedones may be almost invisible but can give a "sandpaper" feel to the skin.
Larger than a pustule, a cyst is a sac-like lesion containing a liquid or semi-liquid mixture of white blood cells, dead cells, and bacteria. Cystic acne and nodular acne often occur together in a severe form of acne called nodulocystic acne.
A comedone is a sebaceous follicle (oil gland) that has become plugged. An open comedone is commonly called a blackhead; and a closed comedone is commonly called a whitehead.
Pimples, in the form of blackheads and whiteheads, are the manifestation of an acne infection and inflammation occurring within the pores. Other blackheads and whiteheads first appear as a "microcomedone" filled with trapped sebum, dead follicular cells, and bacteria.
Categories and Types of Acne
Acne is categorized by both severity and cause. The most common forms include:
Mild acne is the most common form, characterized by occasional acne breakouts that are mild, leave no scars, and don’t impinge on life or social adjustment.
Moderate acne may include blackheads and whiteheads in addition to papules or pustules.
Severe acne is characterized by nodules and cysts, which are inflammatory and can cause scarring.
Acne Mechanica is caused or aggravated by heat, covered skin, constant pressure and repetitive friction against the skin, such as with helmets, tight athletic uniforms, or backpack straps.
Adult acne is a post-adolescent form of acne, which can either be a first appearance, or a recurrence of acne that resolved years ago. Regardless of age, this type of acne is a condition of the sebaceous glands. If acne occurs or recurs in adulthood, the underlying cause should be determined prior to acne skin treatment. Among the potential underlying causes to consider:
- It could be a recurrence of acne that cleared up after adolescence.
- It is a flare up of acne following a relatively inactive period, appearing for example during pregnancy.
If acne occurs for the first time in an adult with no prior history of acne, several causes should be considered:
- Some medications can induce acne, such as anabolic steroids, anti-epileptic medications, the anti-tuberculosis drugs isoniazid and rifampin, and lithium and iodine-containing medications.
- Some lesions that appear to be acne may in fact by another skin condition with a similar appearance.
- Chlorinated industrial chemicals can cause chloracne, an occupational skin disorder. Conditions that change hormonal balance, such as pregnancy or hormonal abnormalities can also induce acne.
Adult acne is often resistant to traditional topical and oral medication therapies. Thus, laser therapy, which has been proven effective, is sometimes the only acne skin treatment option for people with adult onset acne. Our Summit and Englewood, New Jersey spas offer a variety of laser therapies for adult acne.
Learn More about Acne Skin Treatment
When you are ready to attack acne problems at their source, our medical professionals can help. From the moment you set foot into our spa, our number one priority will be finding an effective solution for your specific case. For more information on acne skin treatment, contact our Summit or Englewood, New Jersey spa today. A dedicated representative is standing by to answer your questions, or to assist you in scheduling an appointment.