What is Acne?
Acne Vulgaris is a long-term and possibly life-long skin condition caused by dead skin and oil that clogs the hair follicles. Acne lesions can be divided into two categories: inflammatory and non-inflammatory. Non-inflammatory acne lesions consist of open comedones, commonly referred to as “blackheads”, and closed comedones, commonly referred to as “ whiteheads”. Inflammatory acne lesions are called papules and pustules, AKA zits, nodules, or cysts. The optimal acne treatments focus on addressing the predominant type of acne lesions.
Regular exfoliation will help maintain tone and texture and minimize recurring breakouts. Face washes, toner, serums, moisturizer, and SPF are all going to be beneficial for your at home regimen between your monthly treatments with your aesthetician. These products ensure that you maintain and enhance the progress from the treatments.
How does a medical practice differ in treatment from a spa?
We do medical extraction and cyst drainage and removal when needed. Our medical approach uses not only state of the art technology but also is backed peer reviewed medical research. Treatment plans start with a comprehensive skin analysis by our medical aestheticians to determine the best approach. After your skin analysis we will tailor our products to your skin care needs. We have a range of treatments that can be used to treat acne, tone, and texture. We focus on skin treatments that do not have systemic side effects and do not disturb the body’s natural microbiome.
Salt Facials: This facial starts with an antimicrobial salt exfoliant and is followed by a nourishing, ultrasonic massage with custom peels. The facial is completed with customized LED light therapy which helps calm inflammation, treat acne, stimulate collagen, and reverse sun damage.
Microdermabrasion (MDA) Exfoliation: This acne treatment option uses silica crystals which mechanically removes dead skin cells and opens pores. It promotes cellular turnover of skin cells and helps with fine lines
Chemical Exfoliation: like Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) represents acids derived from a natural substance like sugar cane, milk, almonds, or grapes. They work by breaking down the glue holding your skin cells together, urging along the skin’s natural shedding process. BHAs penetrate deeper into the skin, but the effects of AHAs are primarily felt on the skin’s surface. If you have surface-level skin concerns like red marks from past acne, this constant sloughing off of dead, dull skin cells is helpful for hyperpigmentation.
Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA): This ingredient is best for acne-prone skin and those with deeper skin concerns since BHA penetrates further into the skin. While AHAs love water, BHAs love oil. They can bypass the oil that clogs pores and dissolve the mix of sebum and dead skin that leads to acne, as well as stabilize the lining of the pore (which contributes to acne).
BHAs clear up blackheads, whiteheads, and have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. This umbrella term includes the popular anti-acne ingredient of Salicylic Acid. BHAs also exfoliate the top layer but are best bought for their deep penetrative qualities.
There are many benefits of superficial peels. Among the most notable is the ability to adjust the depth to fit the particular skin problem. As more coats are applied, the peel will get deeper, as the solution goes looking for protein to neutralize itself. The long-lasting results make it an ideal peel for those who prefer less peeling sessions at the cost of moderate downtime.
Lactic Peel: If your skin is sensitive, some of the peels on this list may irritate it. You may want to look into a light chemical peel, such as a lactic peel. As the name suggests, lactic peels come from milk and utilize lactic acid. It’s not only gentle on easily irritated skin, but also moisturizes dry skin.
Beta Peel: Acne can be embarrassing and annoying to deal with. If you have a bunch of problem breakouts, a beta peel will be able to help you. It contains salicylic acid which is great for exfoliation and oil control. Salicylic acid also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Salicylic acid takes care of the bacteria that cause acne breakouts to give you the relief that you’ve been searching for.
Trichloroacetic Acid Treatment (TCA): This is an effective chemical agent used to exfoliate and renew the skin from a superficial to deep level. TCA is commonly applied to the face, neck, décolleté, hands and legs. In addition, Trichloroacetic acid is also an excellent “acne spot treatment” and can be used to exclusively peel isolated areas of the skin.
Mandelic Acid: Mandelic acid is a go-to anti-aging ingredient in the world of skin care. It works to accelerate cell turnover by dissolving the tiny bonds that hold the cells of the skin together, helping to remove dead skin on the surface of the skin that can lead to dull complexions as well as lines. It also strengthens collagen, one of the building blocks of the skin’s support network that gives it a youthful firmness.This increased rate of sloughing thins the outermost layer of the skin called the stratum corneum. A thinner stratum corneum reflects light better and makes skin look smoother and more youthful. Mandelic acid and other alpha hydroxy acids generally soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin texture.
Jesner Peel: Like all other chemical peels, the Jessner peel is done by brushing an acidic liquid onto the skin to remove the top layers and encourage new, younger looking skin to grow. The Jessner peel was first formulated over a hundred years ago, and it’s still in use today thanks to its ability to:
- reduce dark patches and age spots
- even out skin tone
- reduce the appearance of scars
- smooth fine lines and wrinkles
- treat melasma (skin discoloration), hyper-pigmentation, and acne scars
While many chemical peels can cause lasting discoloration on darker skin, a recent small study found that a modified Jessner’s solution safely and effectively reduces melasma and pigment imperfections in darker skin. It has also been shown to be an effective treatment of acne scars even when used as a superficial peel according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology.
Other Acne Treatments
Intense Pulse Light Treatment (IPL): This acne treatment option can be used to help with skin tone. The red light has anti-inflammatory properties. IPL can help with dark spots from sun damage and aging, rosacea, redness, and vascular lesions (spider veins).
Microneedling: After we are able to even out the skin tone, we have an option for microneedling as well. Microneedling helps reduce acne scarring and offers noticeable results in as little as one week. The process involves penetrating the skin with micro-needles to enhance the absorption of skincare products and cause an increase in collagen production, which can minimize fine lines and scarring.