Acne at Every Age, Fall 2014 Newsletter
Acne is the most common skin disease in the United States affecting 40 to 50 millions of Americans. Acne usually begins in adolescence but can occur at any age even affecting adults in their 30s, 40s and 50s. Luckily, there are many acne treatments available today which allows us to customize each patient’s anti-acne regimen to fit their specific needs.
Acne beginning in adolescence is the most common. Prescription topical agents are an excellent first line choice for treating acne in teens. Prescription topical agents are safe, effective, and easy to use. skinfo® carries a prescription strength spot treatment called skinfo® Clear Skin 5% ($14). It contains 5% Benzoyl Peroxide which cleans out bacteria with oxygen and minimizes swelling of pimples. There are also prescription combination topical agents available where two different anti-acne medications are mixed together into one tube. These combination agents provide a complete acne treatment with only one prescription. When prescription topical agents are not enough to control a teen’s acne, clear pore facials, superficial salicylic acid chemical peels, or SilkPeels can be implemented into a patient’s regimen. These in office procedures require little to no downtime but dramatically improve acne by cleaning out pores and removing excess oil and skin debris. Other non-traditional anti-acne therapies like Isolaz®, Acne Light Treatments, and Photodynaminc Therapy are very popular with teens as well because these treatments help to clear acne more quickly than prescription medications alone. Isolaz® Laser Treatments use suction and intense pulsed light to clean pores and improve acne. Acne Light Treatments use blue, red and infrared light to kill bacteria and calm inflammation in the skin. Photodynamic Therapy uses a prescription medication called Levulan® combined with a laser treatment to help shrink oil glands and improve acne. Oral medications such as antibiotics are also prescribed to teens with stubborn or more severe acne and yield excellent results.
Treating acne that is persistent into adulthood can be more challenging. Often the persistence of acne coupled with the start of wrinkles causes frustration in patients. Luckily, SkinCeuticals make an excellent product called Blemish + Age Defense ($87) found at skinfo®. This product treats both acne and signs of aging. 2% Dioic Acid kills p. acnes (bacteria that causes blemishes) and a combination of aha’s and bha’s reduces the appearance of pore size and minimizes fine lines and wrinkles. When topical agents are not enough to control adult acne, oral medications are used. Adult women with cystic acne often benefit from an oral hormone modulator called spironolactone. Spironolactone is an anti-androgen drug which helps limit hormonal fluctuations in women. Hormonal fluctuations can contribute to acne. Another oral medication used to treat adult acne is isotretinoin. Isotretinoin, also called Accutane, is the most effective drug on the market to treat acne. Isotretinoin can not only improve acne while it is taken but can cure acne in some patients. Isotretinion is in a class of drugs called retinoids and works by decreasing the size and output of sebaceous glands. When the acne has improved but old marks and scarring from the acne are left behind, NEOCUTIS Biogel with PSP® ($165) found at skinfo® can be the perfect solution. NEOCUTIS Biogel with PSP® is an oil free growth factor that not only minimizes scarring from blemishes but also reduces fine lines. Growth factors in this product stimulate new collagen in the skin which heals scars by providing healthy tissue. The collagen that is stimulated can also thicken your skin and gives a more youthful appearance.
Our armamentarium of acne treatments continues to expand allowing us to effectively treat acne at any age. We are able to customize each patient’s acne regimen to fit his needs.