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BVHS Weekend Column: Acne and Post-acne Treatments

Acne and Post-acne Treatments, by Mary Beth Brown, APRN, Beyond MedSpa

Acne and post-acne scarring can be troublesome for teens and adults of all ages regardless of gender. Active acne can be influenced by certain medical conditions or as a result of individual processes. These may include excess oil production, bacteria and/or hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells. It may also be influenced by excess activity of androgen hormones that are produced by both males and females.

Mary Beth Brown, APRN

Risk factors for acne development include age, hormonal changes, family history, stress, oily substances that encounter the skin, and/or friction or pressure to the skin such as with cellphones and hats. Unfortunately, active acne can lead to post-acne scarring and/or hyperpigmentation. Because acne and post-acne scarring can be damaging to our skin as well as self-esteem, there are an array of treatments available.

Facial services are an option for every age and skin type. There are many facial options that include cleansing with extraction of blemishes if needed as well as steam exfoliation, which is an important step in preventing acne lesions. Toner application to restore skin’s natural pH level as well as application of medical grade skin care products that are specific to skin needs are also viable treatments. These methods treat and help prevent new blemishes from forming.

Chemical peels are available in different strengths and types that are chosen by trained professionals and include agents such as alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids as well as retinol compounds to exfoliate and brighten skin. Exfoliation and brightening occur through the processes of cell renewal and collagen production, which are vital elements in preventing active acne outbreak as well as managing post-acne scarring and hyperpigmentation.

Microneedling is a valuable tool in treatment of post-acne scarring through the process of penetrating the skin with tiny sterile needles. This technology promotes the skin’s natural healing response by stimulating collagen production and by destroying keratinocytes (which layer to produce the outer surface of skin). Keratinocytes contain melanin, which is responsible for pigment in skin. Therefore, microneedling can effectively treat surface post-acne hyperpigmentation through cell renewal and skin turnover.

Laser services are an effective way to manage post-acne scarring and hyperpigmentation. It is also useful to encourage skin cell turnover, which can prevent further active acne lesions from forming. This includes treatments such as Clearlift and Photofacial that leave the skin’s surface intact while treating tissue underneath. Skin-resurfacing laser treatments, also known as “mini peel or weekend peel,” are also helpful in the treatment of acne.

Acne and post-acne scarring can be bothersome to people of all ages. There are many effective treatment options available to heal skin and help erase post-acne hyperpigmentation. Speak with a dermatologist or medspa physician for more information.

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