Prescott, AZ (PRWEB) February 20, 2013
Most people think that acne is just about pimples, but it can include blackheads, excessive oiliness, cysts and even scarring. The skin changes after acne such as dark or purplish spots may take months to disappear. In addition, many studies have shown that people with acne may feel low self-esteem or even depression.
Acne is most common on the face, but can appear on the neck, chest, back and arms. Typically acne occurs in the teenage years but it can occur at any age. Other conditions can mimic acne, so correct diagnosis is the key to proper treatment.
Robin Fleck, M.D., founder and medical director of Southwest Skin and Cancer Institute, offers the following tips to her patients to have clear, acne-free skin. “First of all, acne is curable, so don’t give up. If the treatment you are using hasn’t worked, seek out a board-certified dermatologist who can help. Most patients can be clear of acne within two months with the proper prescriptions,” remarks Dr. Fleck.
A second tip is to be gentle with your skin. It will heal more quickly if it isn’t injured by harsh soaps and chemicals, manual picking, abrasive cleansers, dermabrasion and other so-called acne treatments. Cleanse with a soap-free agent such as Cetaphil, Aquanil or Pureblend cleansers with only your hands is recommended, followed by application of an oil-free moisturizer, especially if you are using a prescription retinoid cream, which can dry your skin.
For very mild acne, topical Vitamin C serum may be all that is required to bring it under control. This antioxidant is beneficial for more severe acne as well and is best applied in the mornings, after gentle cleansing. Topical Vitamin C also doubles as a full spectrum sun-protective agent and can be used under makeup.
Another basic step to improve acne is to avoid carbohydrates in the diet. The recent book, The Dietary Cure for Acne by Dr. Loren Cordain, points up the link between insulin-resistance and increased oil production by the skin. A diet high in protein and natural animal-based fats, and low in sugars and other carbohydrate is important in healing of acne. Bromides in soda pop and bleached flour have also been implicated in the cause of acne, and should therefore be avoided.
If the above tips have been tried and acne is still present, it is time to see a dermatologist who will recommend a topical prescription medication. The retinoids are tailor-made to reduce oiliness and clean up the blackheads, which are the basis for acne. After two months of nightly application of these medications, the acne should be significantly improved or healed. For patients with more severe acne, the oral drug, Accutane, may be prescribed for adequate control. Long courses of oral antibiotics should not be prescribed due to the growing problem of antibiotic-resistance.
For those who already evidence signs of scarring, there is still hope. First, getting the acne under control with the above treatments is important. Then, new laser therapies such as the Active FX CO2 laser resurfacing has shown impressive results in alleviating acne scarring. Several laser resurfacing sessions may be necessary to remove the scarring, if it is deep or longstanding.
Cosmetic dermatologist, Robin Fleck, M.D., is a double board certified dermatologist and internist, recognized by the American Board of Dermatology and the American Board of Internal Medicine. She is founder and Medical Director of Southwest Skin and Cancer Institute and Body Oasis Laser Aesthetics http://www.rejuvadoc.com. Dr. Fleck is a fellow of the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery and the American Academy of Dermatology. She is also the director of Vein Specialties in Prescott, Arizona and is a member of the American Venous Forum.