Acne can be a huge blow to your self-esteem, but you don’t have to just accept its many cosmetic symptoms. Treating acne and keeping your skin clear of blemishes should be a priority this holiday season, and your dermatologist can help make it simple.
A facial or chemical peel might be the perfect thing for getting your acne under control in a short period of time, perfect for holiday party prep. While these two treatments are not identical, they do have quite a bit in common.
A facial is a simple, even soothing cosmetic treatment that will leave your skin refreshed and clean. Facials can be fine-tuned to address acne and other issues. An acne facial focuses on reducing oil and moisturizing skin effectively, but lightly. Acne-prone skin can react poorly to heavy moisturizers and ointments, as well as some makeup and other cosmetic products. During a facial, your dermatologist may be able to perform safe extractions on existing pimples or blackheads. The results of a facial are near-immediate, but inflamed or red skin will need a few days to resolve.
A chemical peel is a lot like a facial, just far more abrasive to the skin. A peel starts much like a facial, with a cleansing agent being applied to the skin. Next, an acidic agent is applied to the face for a short amount of time. This damages the superficial, top layers of the skin. In the days following a chemical peel, this damaged skin begins to slough off. In its place is much healthier skin, with less oil and fewer blemishes. As a result, skin is much less prone to acne in the weeks and months following a peel.
Mild acne can be prevented and mitigated by good skincare, but breakouts can happen even if you’re doing everything right. Medical intervention by a skilled dermatologist is the best line of defense against moderate to severe acne. One of the most common medications in the acne-fighting business is called Accutane, or isotretinoin. In terms of acne medication, Accutane is the nuclear option—it’s very strong and meant to treat the most difficult acne. Accutane is essentially a high dose of vitamin A, a vitamin that suppresses the skin’s production of oil. Less oil means less acne, because sebum, or oil, clogs pores and directly causes acne to develop. Acne can take many forms, from simple black and whiteheads to painful, cystic or nodule acne. Isotretinoin could work for you even if your acne isn’t extreme, but only your dermatologist will be able to determine that.
There are other medications for treating acne, and many work to suppress specific hormones that contribute to acne. For women, certain birth control medications may work to treat acne because of their ability to deal with drastic hormonal changes. Rushes of the hormone androgen can be responsible for sebum overproduction, and these are often the result of puberty, pregnancy and menopause. Obviously birth control is not the right option for treating pregnancy related acne, but it can work wonders in these other scenarios.
There are a lot of ways to treat acne and have you looking your best this holiday season, and we haven’t even listed them all. If you’re ready to get your acne under control, reach out to us at Northeast Dermatology Associates.
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