Acne Treatment in New Jersey
Patients in West Orange, Livingston, and Beyond Can Get Help for Skin Outbreaks and Scars
Suffering from acne? You're not alone. Acne is the most common skin disorder seen by dermatologists. Annoyingly persistent, it can be frustrating to treat and embarrassing to live with. But it doesn't have to be! Effective acne treatment at New Jersey’s Advanced Dermatology & Skin Care is available. The earlier acne treatment is started, the lower the risk of lasting damage to your skin.
Drs. Deborah Spey, Kimberly Ruhl, and Rachael Hartman and the New Jersey team know that pimples can be difficult to deal with. Frequent flare-ups take a toll on the skin, potentially leading to permanent scarring. The bumps and marks of acne can also negatively impact self esteem, particularly in teenagers. Advanced Dermatology & Skin Care offers a range of acne treatment options to suit your personal situation, and each case is handled with compassion and thorough attention to detail to minimize long-term effects of acne while clearing it up quickly.
What Are the Different Types of Acne Outbreaks?
The most basic form of acne appears when a pore plugs and forms a whitehead or blackhead. Whiteheads are sealed off from the air, so the material inside the plugged pore is visible as a small, light-colored dot. If the pore is open to the air, the material inside turns black, creating a tiny, dark-colored dot. These frequently appear on the nose. Acne treatment in this case can be as simple as gently washing the area with water and a mild soap, though more options are available.
Papules are the next stage of acne severity, as blackheads and whiteheads become inflamed, leading to an immune response that sends white blood cells to the area and the development of red bumps on the skin. These are often very visible and can lead to embarrassment, especially if they appear before a big event or scheduled public appearance or photo shoot. Acne treatment can be effective at reducing their appearance if handled properly. Remember: Do not scratch or pick at these bumps yourself, as this can worsen the inflammation and lead to infection.
As the inflammation continues to grow, along with the white blood cells sent to fight the problem, the pressure can push some of the material trapped inside the pore out, forming a light-colored bump visible on the surface. This is known as a pustule. Obvious bumps like these are frequently referred to as pimples, and are often thought of as a problem dealt with solely by teenagers, though people of any age may deal with them. Acne treatment at home should continue to consist of gentle washing, though a member of the team at Advanced Dermatology & Skin Care can assess the severity of the outbreak and recommend a safe and effective acne treatment designed to prevent worsening symptoms and clear up the papules and pustules that have formed.
If an inflammation is left to grow, the most severe forms of acne can develop. Just as pustules expand upward and outward, cysts grow downward, expanding deeper into the skin as the plugged pore continues to swell. Acne treatment from a professional dermatologist is highly recommended for this type of acne, as cysts can be uncomfortable, and even painful, and have the potential to leave noticeable scars. A plugged pore may also ultimately succumb to collapse and form a tough nodule, similar to a cyst, but even harder and deeper in the skin. Scarring is incredibly common in these cases, so acne treatment should be handled by a trained and certified skin expert with acne experience.
Learn more about the recommended acne treatments at Advanced Dermatology & Skin Care below.
How Do Acne Treatments Work?
Acne treatments work to reduce oil production, speed up skin cell turnover, unclog pores, and/or reduce inflammation in the oil glands, as well as fight acne-causing bacteria.
The type and severity of your acne will dictate the best acne treatment for you. A member of the Advanced Dermatology & Skincare team will assess your skin and acne while listening to your concerns, then make a recommended course of acne treatment tailored to your unique needs.
Mild acne: Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, found in over-the-counter acne treatments, are often highly effective for unblocking pores and combating bacteria. The type of acne you have will determine which one will be most successful. Inflammatory acne (red pimples) tends to respond to benzoyl peroxide. Comedonal acne (whiteheads and blackheads) is best treated with salicylic acid.
Moderate-to-severe acne: Oral antibiotics are used as acne treatment to manage moderate-to-severe acne, outbreaks that are resistant to topical therapy, and acne that covers large areas of the body. Often used in combination with topical medications, oral antibiotics can help reduce inflammation and lower the population of Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), a bacterium commonly found on the skin.
Severe nodular cystic acne: Accutane (oral isotretinoin) remains the acne treatment of choice for severe recalcitrant acne, scarring acne, and stubborn acne that does not respond to topical and antibiotic therapies.
Hormonal acne: Adult females often experience acne lesions on their chins, jawlines, and neck. This type of acne responds well to hormonal therapies such as birth control pills and spironolactone.
What Can I Expect During My Acne Treatment in West Orange, NJ?
Many topical acne medications are drying and can increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun. In some cases, your skin may get worse before it gets better. Finding the most effective acne treatment for you may require some customization.
Throughout the acne treatment process, be sure to follow your dermatologist's instructions as you continue to care for your skin by keeping it clean and protected. Discuss sunscreen and other strategies for avoiding ultraviolet radiation exposure, as well as any activities that may impact your specific treatment.
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At-Home Acne Treatment Tips
Of course prevention is the best medicine for acne. Following these at-home best practices can help thwart breakouts:
Do: Gently wash affected areas once or twice a day with a mild, non-drying soap.
Don't: Scrub your skin. Vigorous washing can irritate your skin and make acne worse.
Do: Wash pillowcases, sheets, and makeup brushes often. They absorb and store oil and bacteria and may reapply it to your skin.
Don't: Shampoo hair infrequently. Oily hair can exacerbate acne.
Do: Use oil-free cosmetics, toiletries, and sunscreens. Look for "non-comedogenic" products, which do not clog pores. Minimize leave-in hair care products such as mousse, gel, and pomades.
Don't: Unnecessarily dry the skin with astringents. Dry skin is not necessarily acne-free skin.
Do: Shave carefully with an electric razor or a sharp blade and shaving cream.
Don't: Shave unnecessarily. You run the risk of nicking blemishes.
Do: Seek treatment for acne that does not respond to over-the-counter medications.
Don't: Pop, squeeze, or pick at acne. It will lead to scars.
I Already Have Acne Scars. Is There Anything You Can Do to Remove Them?
Yes! Many acne sufferers will develop some degree of scarring, especially if their acne is moderate to severe. Because cysts and nodules develop deep in the skin, they have the greatest chance of leaving scars after they clear up with acne treatment.
Once your acne is controlled with a successful acne treatment, the appearance of acne scars can be improved with laser skin resurfacing, Laser Genesis treatments, or fillers. A customized treatment plan is your best option for treating acne scars, especially since different types of acne on different parts of the body can leave scars of varying sizes, shapes, and depths.
Fraxel® uses thousands of tiny columns of laser light to stimulate new collagen production and trigger healing in the skin, reducing the appearance of scars. Laser Genesis works in much the same way. IPL makes use of a different sort of light that also encourages collagen production, minimizing the visible redness of acne scars, and can also be used as an acne treatment.
These options should be considered only after the problem of ongoing acne outbreaks has been resolved with successful acne treatment.
Note that the best way to control acne scars is to apply an effective acne treatment to prevent the pustules, cysts, and nodes from forming in the first place. If you are noticing that your acne is worsening from blackheads and whiteheads into something more pronounced, seeking out a dermatologist experienced in effective acne treatments can help, especially if the problem is addressed earlier rather than later.
Treatment for Acne-Like Skin Conditions
Acne can certainly be a problem for adults, but people older than 30 who begin develop red, pimple-like bumps on their face may be dealing with a different skin condition: rosacea. Though this chronic skin disorder has no cure, its acne-like symptoms can be treated to minimize their appearance.
A variety of rashes caused by allergies, skin irritants, or certain infections can also cause skin redness and bumps that resemble acne. Acne treatment will not necessarily work to restore clear skin caused by these triggers.
Anyone dealing with persistent facial redness and outbreaks of bumps that resist efforts to clear them up should visit a dermatologist who can determine the nature of the problem and recommend acne treatment, rosacea treatment, or other strategies to control the condition as necessary, depending on the cause.