Do not be fooled by Instagram time lapse pictures, filters or too good to be true miracle products with unbelievable before and after pictures on social media. Severe acne, scarring acne, or nodulocystic acne is NOT cured by miracle online products, and certainly does not go away with fancy filters. It is treated with appropriate medical treatment by a board-certified dermatologist.
WHAT IS ACNE
Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil, dead skin, and bacteria. It causes whiteheads (closed blocked pores), blackheads (open blocked pores), papules (small tender bumps), pustules (pus-filled pimples), nodules (large solid bumps under skin) and/or cystic lesions (pus-filled bumps under skin). Depending on its severity, acne can scar the skin. The earlier you start treatment, the lower you risk such problems.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition, affecting up to 50 million Americans annually. Acne is not just a teen problem, as approximately 85% of people between the ages of 12 to 24 experience at least minor acne. That being said, it can be stressful to deal with and emotionally debilitating.
WHEN IS IT TIME TO SEE A BOARD-CERTIFIED DERMATOLOGIST?
- If you have been treating consistently without adequate improvement, especially if the acne has been present for over 3 months, it is likely time for prescription products.
- If there is any scarring on the face, neck, chest, or back, it is time to get in! Remember only a board-certified dermatologist can prescribe all available acne treatments when medically necessary. Scarring can be permanent, so effective treatment is necessary for prevention.
- If acne is causing social embarrassment, problems with confidence or self-esteem, or contributing to depression... it is time to get a dermatologist to effectively treat this medical condition which can have many emotional effects.
- Remember, acne is not a one size fits all medical condition. Only a dermatologist has the expertise in knowing the most effective ways to treat and even cure acne.
ACNE TREATMENT PROGRAM
At T&G Dermatology, board certified dermatologists, Dr. Elizabeth Grieshaber and Dr. Rachael Delahoussaye-Shields, create a customized treatment plan that is personalized to each acne patient. As your acne specialists, it is their passion to help patients toward the ultimate goal of healthy clear skin.
Getting Everything Clear
As there are many different types of acne and skin types, Dr. Grieshaber and Dr. Delahoussaye-Shields are committed to providing custom care to intervene exactly where you are at today to get you on track for a healthier complexion tomorrow. You will be provided with guidance and support through your personalized acne treatment steps.
T&G Dermatology’s acne treatment plan involves four possible steps:
Consultation – The first step will involve taking a before treatment photo, a discussion of your medical history, current skin care routine, perform a skin analysis that will examine the patients face, chest, upper back, and arms.
Treatment – A customized a treatment plan will be designed to the patient’s individual skin. Treatment may include a combination of professional skincare products, which may include both over the counter and prescription products, depending on the amount of time and money the patient is able to put toward their treatment plan. The patient will be coached on how to properly use the skincare products, which may be an AM/PM routine that best fits his or her skin’s specific needs.
Maintenance – Depending on treatment, patients will see the dermatologists every 4 to 6 weeks for ongoing care and monitoring of progress. At each appointment, patients will have the opportunity to ask questions, go over any changes or adjustments as needed, refill any skincare products, and watch for acne triggers.
Treatment Add-Ons – Medical intervention can often be used in conjunction with cosmetic treatments. For patients who want to do more than medical treatments, our aesthetician can provide variety of cosmetic treatments that can help with successfully treating acne. Chemical peels can tame acne and reduce lines, wrinkles, and discoloration; laser treatments help reduce scarring; dermabrasion exfoliate, nourish, and balance skin to control acne and reduce risk of breaking out.
WHAT CAN YOU DO AT HOME?
There are so many over the counter options to treat acne... so you may be left confused on where to start. A basic acne routine includes using over the counter benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and retinols, or a retinoid. Salicylic acid products decrease oil production. Benzoyl peroxide helps to break up blackheads and bumps of acne and mildly chemically exfoliates the skin. Retinols and retinoids act on the skin in numerous ways to help prevent acne breakouts, but they take about 3 months of consistent use to prevent help breakouts. It is also important to know that retinols and retinoids are NOT spot treatments and will be effectively treat acne if used only on individual pimples. Consistency is key with treating acne. If your adolescent only treats occasionally, little progress will be made.
- Avoid spending mega bucks on fancy sounding celebrity touted brands as these products are no more effective than drug store products.
- Avoid harsh or irritating products including harsh fibers, masks, and over the counter peels.
ACNE PROGRESS GALLERY