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Acne… The “human condition”… Today we are going to talk about how to get rid of acne.
It is stunning to recognize how different life has been for individuals throughout history and how different it still is today for people in different places around the planet… Throughout time and space only a few things in common seem to affect everyone. Death, taxes, the opposite sex drives us bonkers, and acne.
So, how do we deal with these four inevitabilities? How do we get rid of acne? Death we largely ignore; taxes we begrudgingly endure; the opposite sex we complain about half of the time and chase after the other half; and acne, because it makes us look bad, we spend billions of dollars dealing with. With all the time and money spent fretting about acne, you would think that by now we would have figured it out and eliminated it. But we haven’t, and not for lack of trying.
WHO GETS ACNE? NEARLY EVERYONE!
In fact 90% of humans will have acne at some time in their lives. The bizarre (and lucky) 10% that manage to dodge it still have to deal with their siblings, friends, spouses and kids who do get it and become determined to get rid of it. We typically get acne during puberty, when our androgen (sex) hormones start appearing on the scene. Ironic isn’t it, that just when we start caring about how we look to the opposite sex, our faces can look like a pizza. However, “adult onset” acne is not uncommon, wherein we managed to survive our teenage years unscathed, only to have the acne curse arrive out-of-the-blue in our mid-twenties or even thirties.
In some cases acne does not stop after adolescence. Statistics have revealed that adult acne affects 50% of women and 25% of men over the age of 25. Repeating the dangerous cycle of oral antibiotics and standard over-the-counter creams can seem daunting if you were never satisfied with the results in the past. Even if you were satisfied, all those anti-biotic meds take their toll, especially on your immune and digestive systems, and long term use of them is simply not a good idea.
Bottom line: Aside from the obvious correlation with sex hormones, and some bacterial conditions (discussed later), we do not know what causes acne.
A MULTIPLE-MODALITY APPROACH IS HOW TO GET RID OF ACNE
In our clinics we specialize in “Integrative and Laser Medicine”. We are particular focused on using “evidenced based science” to develop protocols that achieve the best possible clinical results. We have concluded that the best possible results to get rid of acne are often achieved by combining different acne treatment modalities. This “Multiple Modality” approach has been particularly rewarded by the recent advancement in laser sciences and the many different types of medical lasers now available, that we can use in combination therapies for human skin.
During the past 20 years we have administered over 85,000 medical treatments to skin, primarily faces. We have treated mild acne that pops up just before a woman’s period and then disappears, to severe cystic acne that was truly destroying the patient’s skin, face neck shoulders and back, deeply scarring their skin as well as their psyche. We have worked with every conventional cystic acne therapy there is, including , and the most advanced and expensive medical lasers available. We have explored using non-conventional therapies to get rid of acne including homeopathic treatments, acupuncture, diet, natural herbs and essential oils. We are open to investigating just about anything, and have tested countless “native”, “folk-lore” and “country” ways of how to get rid of acne brought over from “the old country” by the great-grand-mothers of our patients.
Bottom line: There are countless ways of how to get rid of acne among which a few are scientifically developed and medically approved acne treatments. Unfortunately, many of them do not work at all, and most of them do not work well. If they did, everyone would have heard about it by now, and the collective sigh-of-relief from around the globe would be thunderous.
None the less, don’t despair, because we have discovered that by combining specific conventional acne treatments with alternative therapies into a customized and coordinated multiple-modality protocol, we have been able to achieve satisfactory to amazing results with nearly all of our acne patients.
HOW TO GET RID OF ACNE WITH LASERS
To achieve the best possible results, multiple lasers must be used to get rid of acne that will target all aspects of acne lesions, including elements that are found in the epidermis as well as deep down in the dermis to eliminate infections and treat cysts. In this case, it’s not just the results that count, but also the method, because the way we achieve superior results at AMA Regenerative Medicine & Skincare is without the use of harsh medications that have many dangerous side effects. Using the pure energy of specialized lasers is simply a better way to go.
Specialized Bluelight lasers deliver energy that interact biochemically within sebaceous glands to suppress over activity that causes cystic acne.
- A variety of long and short pulse infrared lasers are used to suppress hyperactive sebaceous glands by interacting and stimulating your body’s natural immune system.
- Additional array of lasers specifically target and reduce inflammation, redness and hyperpigmentation that accompanies acne.
- The final step in this laser therapy is to precisely remove the external-most, dead layer of skin, also known as the stratum corneum. This process is an “epithelial peel” and accelerated regeneration that allows your skin to breath and detoxify, and stimulates a complete regeneration of a completely new epithelium, which has radiant texture and tone.
Along with the multiple-modality laser procedures, most patients are also treated with a series of dermal infusion facials administered by one of our nurses. These regenerating peels saturate the skin with a variety of natural substances, such as salicylic acid, to further reduce acne and cystic acne breakouts. During this process, the dead layer of skin (stratum corneum) is exfoliated to further assist with the healing process of the skin. Moreover, the nurse will personalize your daily anti-acne treatment routine to help you improve the overall health and beauty of your skin.
HOW TO GET RID OF ACNE WITH ALA PHOTODYNAMIC THERAPY
While we can get rid of most cases of mild cystic acne with lasers, some severe cases would require a more specialized procedure that combines lasers with ALA photodynamic therapy.
To begin, Levulan is applied to the skin and left on for a 30-35 minute absorption period. The clear solution is 20% Aminolevulinic Acid (ALA) that is naturally present throughout your body. Once the solution penetrates the skin, active cells in the sebaceous glands absorb the ALA. The ALA is then stimulated with a specific wavelength of blue spectrum light for about 10-15 minutes.
When the ALA is activated by the blue light, it works to suppress the overactive sebaceous glands which will in-turn dramatically cut down on oil production. ALA will also focus on the sebaceous hyperplasia (tiny 1-3 mm bumps on the skin) and the papules of acne rosacea. The photodynamic therapy will improve overall skin texture and tone and you will see noticeably smaller pores and a decreased oily appearance.
The treatment is unique in the way that it does not require surgical excisions to get rid of cystic acne lesions. Just 2-5 treatments within 3-4 week intervals, can rejuvenate and help restore your skin to a younger appearance. There are no known systemic side effects to Bluelight Acne Treatment.
In order to achieve optimal ALA absorption into the skin, we recommend that a portion of the outermost dead layer of skin (stratum corneum) be removed before an application of the ALA. There are several methods including various skincare scrubs, dermabrasion or laser epithelial peeling techniques. A gentle, yet effective light Erbium laser peel will greatly enhance the results.
TIPS FOR HOW TO GET RID OF ACNE AT HOME
There are simple things you can do at home to help prevent acne from appearing and help to get rid of acne if it does appear.
- Keep your skin clean
- Avoid products that clog your pores
- Wash your skin 1-2 times daily
- Be sure to use a gentle soap or acne wash when cleansing your face
- Do your best to LEAVE THEM ALONE! Popping or picking does not help and increases your chances of scarring
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW TO GET RID OF ACNE
Q. Does sun exposure help to get rid of acne?
A. Sun exposure can improve acne and is more effective for body acne than face acne. Of course, over exposure to the sun is not healthy because the sun can cause long termed sun damage… so keep things in balance!
The reason sun can help to get rid of acne has to do with the interaction of sunlight with particular chemicals that naturally occur in sebaceous glands called “porphyrins”. In fact, modern medicine has developed an extremely effective treatment for various skin conditions that utilizes this interaction between light and porphyrins. The therapy is called Photo-Dynamic Therapy (PDT), and will be discussed in more detail in subsequent articles about effective treatments for acne.
Q. Does frequently washing your face help to get rid of acne?
A. Contrary to popular belief, environmental dirt does not cause acne. However if you have acne, poor hygiene will make the acne worse. Follicles are not clogged from the surface of skin; but internally under the surface of the skin, from overproduction of sebum and dead sebaceous gland cells. Once plugged up, the accumulation of sebum and dead sebaceous cells is what causes acne.
Washing your face too frequently and aggressively may actually irritate the skin and boost your chances of acne. Washcloths that are too rough can cause additional irritation that increases your risk of acne. Most doctors recommend washing your face twice each day. Of course, after heavy sweating and activity that dirties your skin, cleansing is a good idea.
Additionally, if by washing your skin too frequently you are removing too much oil from your skin, you will succeed in stimulating your sebaceous glands to compensate for the loss of oil by increasing their production of sebum… which may just exacerbate a vicious cycle your fighting to control your skin’s oil output. The answer is to find a balance wherein you and your skin can find a happy median.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND HOW TO GET RID OF ACNE
In this series of articles on acne and how to get rid of acne, I will first address the few things whose influence on acne has been established. It is a good idea for each person suffering from acne to determine if any of those elements are active in her/his particular case. Thereafter, I will dedicate the bulk of the articles to describing which treatments to get rid of acne really do work, and how combining them produces better results than utilizing them alone.
- What is Acne and What Causes Acne – The Basic Science
- Home Remedies for Acne – Diet and Its Effects on Acne
- Does Birth Control Help for Hormonal Acne During Your Period?
About the Authors
Doctors Alice Pien, MD and Asher Milgrom, Phd are established pioneers in the fields of Regenerative Medicine and Skincare. Their expertise ranges from advanced laser systems to stem cell medicine. Their medical education and advanced certifications span from medical schools of NY State University, the University of Chicago, to John Hopkins, Harvard and UCLA. They approach medicine with the clinical expertise of over 85,000 successful treatments over the past 20 years and significant scientific research resulting in proprietary protocols that they customize for each individual patient.