Acne is incredibly common, and according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), approximately 85% of the US population will experience acne at some time in their life. Despite acne being such a common medical problem, the majority of the general population does not understand the cause of acne, and many think that acne is caused by factors such as poor hygiene or think it is a contagious disease. According to a recent study presented at an AAD annual meeting by Alexa Boer Kimball, MD, 40% of people report shame about acne and 20% of them report concern about the risk of contracting or spreading infection from acne sufferers.
Acne is principally a disorder of the pilosebaceous gland, but the symptoms and manifestations are as diverse as the individuals who have them. A given individual’s acne may manifest in three different forms. These forms are not mutually exclusive and there is much overlap in the way that they occur.
Acne is caused by a number of factors, many of which are affected by genetics. Generally, acne forms as a result of foreign particles getting stuck in your pores, causing irritation. Excess production of skin oils, bacteria, and inflammation also contribute to acne formation.
1.) Severe Cystic Acne, 2.) Comedonal Acne (Whiteheads) 3.) Pustular Acne on Chest
Comedonal acne – Also known as blackheads and whiteheads, this is the mildest form of acne. It is the result of the sebaceous gland becoming plugged with skin oil, called sebum, along with old skin cells. Comedonal acne appears most often on the nose, forehead and chin.
Inflammatory acne – Pustules and papules occur when the area just under the plugged pore of the blackhead or whitehead becomes reddened and inflamed. The whole sebaceous gland becomes swollen and inflamed with surrounding redness, creating a red papule. If the red papule has a whitish top, it is called a pustule.
Cystic Acne – This is the most severe form of acne. Cystic acne is a result of an actual infection in the area of the outbreak. Cystic acne often runs in families. It’s often very painful and can result in disfiguring, permanent scarring.
Blue Light – We use Blue U which is a unique blue UV spectrum light that helps treat inflammation in the skin. Blue light can penetrate below the surface of the skin and can treat acne by killing P. acnes bacteria. P acnes bacteria proliferation around the hair follicle and in the sebaceous gland is a principal driver of inflammation in inflammatory acne. Blue light can reduce or eliminate the bacterial infection of the hair follicles without antibiotics. It can also be used to augment other skin care and acne treatments.
Acne Extraction – Physical extraction can be very helpful in the treatment of many types of acne and can allow dramatic improvements in more severe acne. Simple comedonal extractions can speed the clear-up of blackheads and whiteheads. This is quite different from at-home squeezing and popping of pimples, as trained medical professionals use sterile techniques and tools to gently removed retained sebum without causing trauma which can lead to scarring and further inflammation. For cystic and more severe pustular acne, incisions and drainage of acne cysts can dramatically relieve discomfort and calm down infection and inflammation.
1.) Acne Removal Therapy by Blu Light, 2.) Medical Extraction Therapy
If you’re looking for a specialist who can help you with your acne treatment, contact us today! Dr. Wright of the St. Louis Laser Lipo and Vein Center can help you improve the appearance of your acne, and fast! Contact us for more information about Dermatology and acne treatments, St Louis style!