Topical Therapies: Over The Counter
Benzoyl peroxide is an over-the-counter bactericidal agent that comes in a wide array of concentrations and formulations. No particular form has been proven better than another.5 Benzoyl peroxide is unique as an antimicrobial because it is not known to increase bacterial resistance.11 It is most effective for the treatment of mild to moderate mixed acne when used in combination with topical retinoids.2 Benzoyl peroxide may also be added to regimens that include topical and oral antibiotics to decrease the risk of bacterial resistance.2 Salicylic acid is present in a variety of over-the-counter cleansing products. These products have anticomedonal properties and are less potent than topical retinoids, but there have been only limited high-quality studies examining their effectiveness.5
The Benefits Of Chemical Peels On Acne
For the best results, your dermatologist will perform several peels over several weeks. Deep chemical peels happen once and require an extended healing period. After the full treatment, chemical peels remove damaged skin and clears up your acne. There are some hidden extras in your chemical peel too. For instance, your peel will improve the absorption of future topical treatments youll use to keep your acne at bay.
Chemical peels also reduce pore size and may decrease sebum production, the oil that causes acne. That means long-term, youll get fewer acne breakouts. And who wouldnt love a fresh new face? In addition, clearing up your acne brings back your confidence in ways you did not think were possible.
What Is The Prognosis Of Cystic Acne
Immediate resolution of the acne, even with the best and most effective treatments, is unlikely. The skin cells have a six-week life cycle, and it usually takes a number of weeks before optimal results may be reached. The prognosis for eventual control is good, although there will always be some remaining scarring long after the condition has been treated or gone into remission.
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Theyre One Of The Most Stubborn Forms
Dealing with acne can be frustrating, to say the least. And when you throw acne scars into the mix, it can get even more complicated. As with most scars on the body, thereâs no magic serum or tonic to make acne scars magically disappear overnight. The same is true for pitted acne scars, the ones that tend to leave behind a hollow, âpit-likeâ impression in the skin.
Despite being among the most common skincare conditions, both acne and acne scars can look, feel, and respond to treatments differently for each individual. So, weâve tapped double board-certified dermatologist Brendan Camp for expert insight into managing, treating, and eliminating the pitted acne scars that breakouts can leave behind.
Below, Camp shares 11 recommendations for treating pitted acne scars.
Meet the Expert
- Brendan Camp, MD, is a double board-certified dermatologist specializing in medical and cosmetic dermatology at MDCS Dermatology in New York City.
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Which Chemical Peel Is Good For Acne
Your doctor will perform either a superficial or medium-depth peel to treat your acne. Superficial peels can help mild acne, improves your skin texture and tone. Medium peels will help moderate to severe acne scars, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. Your superficial peel can be one of the following:
- Glycolic acid: Belonging to a group of alpha-hydroxy acids, glycolic acid is perfect for superficial peels. It helps with exfoliation while increasing collagen production. Glycolic acid also reduces inflammation and works on all skin types. The superficial peel will start at 20% strength.
- Salicylic acid: This is a beta-hydroxy acid naturally sourced from willow tree bark that can provide deep exfoliation while treating acne. It can also improve hydration, keeping your pores clear for longer, which means fewer breakouts.
- Jessners Solution: This is a combination of lactic acid , salicylic acid , and resorcinol .
- Lactic Acid: Lactic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid that provides a light peel of the epidermis. This acid can be combined with others for a more effective treatment.
- Mandelic Acid: This is another alpha-hydroxy acid that helps with exfoliation and is perfect for mild to moderate acne. Studies show that mandelic acid also contains antibacterial properties. In some cases, your dermatologist will combine mandelic acid with salicylic acid.
- Trichloroacetic acid : A specially made acid that can be used to perform peels at all levels.
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Why Cystic Acne Develops
Cystic acne is the most serious type of acne. It develops when cysts form deep underneath your skin. This can result from a combination of bacteria, oil, and dry skin cells that get trapped in your pores.
Although anyone can develop acne, cystic acne tends to occur in people with oily skin. Its also more common in teens, women, and older adults with hormonal imbalances.
Usually, cystic acne can improve with age. However, the stubborn and painful bumps wont go away on their own. If you suspect you have cystic acne, your dermatologist is your best line of defense. They can prescribe the medication necessary to help clear your skin.
Keep reading to learn how to identify cystic acne and navigate your treatment options.
Aside from being the most serious form of acne, cystic acne also tends to be the largest in size. Its also deeper within the skin. All other types appear to rest on top of the skins surface.
Cystic acne often looks like boils on the skin. Other identifying characteristics include:
- large pus-filled cyst
- tender or painful to the touch
Acne cysts are perhaps most noticeable on a persons face. But theyre also common on the chest, neck, back, and arms. Cystic acne may even develop on the shoulders and behind the ears.
Schedule An Appointment With A Tampa Dermatologist
Cystic acne can be painful and stubborn, but with enough time, care, and patience, its possible to reduce or eliminate symptoms and feel better about your skin.
If youre struggling with cystic acne and are ready to try clinical solutions, schedule an appointmentin personwith Dr. Lisa Diaz today at our North Tampa office.
Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to substitute professional medical advice. Always talk with your doctor before starting or stopping medications or treatments.
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How Is Deep Acne Different From Other Acne
To understand deep acne, lets quickly go over acne in general.
First of all, acne is a common skin condition that can be divided into four types: blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and the last type, which consists of both cysts and nodules .
The term deep acne refers to the cysts and nodules.
Sometimes, these painful pimples burrow so deep, you can barely see a protruding bump. No wonder they can be called blind pimples.
How To Treat Acne With A Chemical Peel
After your initial consultation, we will decide on the type of peel thats best to treat your acne. In the weeks leading up to your first chemical peel, you may be prescribed topical medication to prepare the skin for your peel. These could be a combination of hydroquinone and tretinoin, along with lower strength alpha-hydroxy acids. Follow all instructions before your peel, such as avoiding excess sun exposure, makeup, and exfoliating.
On the day of your treatment, your dermatologist or aesthetician will first cleanse your face. Then, the prepared chemical solution is placed on the face with an applicator, making sure to avoid your hair and eyes. After the peel stays on for a few minutes, the chemical is deactivated with a neutralizer to prevent burning. The total process takes less than 20 minutes. For deeper peels, the process can take a bit longer. For the best results, you will need a series of chemical peels over 2 to 3 months.
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When Should I See My Doctor
You should see your doctor if your acne is not improving after using the treatment recommended by your pharmacist, or if your acne is severe and causing you concern. Untreated acne can leave you with skin scars, so it is important not to leave it too late before treating it.
Your GP may refer you to a dermatologist if your acne is severe and they can help you decide which treatment is best for you.
Why Do Deep Acne Scars Form
The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery explains that Acne scars form during the healing process of inflamed acne blemishes. When the skin pores are full of excess oil, dead skin cells and bacteria, this causes the pore to swell and break the follicle wall.
Small, shallow lesions are able to heal quickly and smoothly, but deep breaks in the pore walls cause infected material to spill out into surrounding areas which creates a deeper wound. When the skin tries to heal a deep, inflamed wound, the new collagen is rushed and the repair is not as smooth as normal skin and classified as an acne scar.
Deep acne scars are the result of deep, inflamed blemishes healing. The deeper the inflamed acne blemish, the collagen production during the healing process will produce a deep acne scar as a result. There are ways to improve and heal acne scars, but it is always easier and better to try preventing the acne and scarring from happening in the first place.
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Schedule An Acne Scar Treatment Today
If youre ready to start the process of removing your scars, rest assured, youre in good hands. For an acne scar treatment in Dallas, just give us a call and well help you choose the treatment thats best for you.
We start with a consultation. An esthetician will examine your skin to determine your skin type and the severity of your scarring. Then theyll decide how many treatments youll need. Typically, dark skin requires more treatments. Because dark skin is more prone to produce pigment, we reduce the amount of energy for each treatment. That way, youll avoid dark pigmented areas after your treatment.
Youll also learn how to prepare for your treatment. Well give you products to apply before your procedure to prime your skin and avoid pigmentation. Youll also receive information on pain medication and the downtime youll need as you recover. If you decide to take time off work, you can schedule your procedures before a weekend or take a few days off.
After your treatment, have your sunscreen ready. Youll need to apply it heavily in the weeks following your procedure to avoid over-pigmentation.
If youre a victim of acne scars, theres no need to live with skin blemishes of the past. Laser treatments work at a deep level to leave you with beautiful smooth skin, and Rejuvapen delivers great results at a fraction of the cost. Contact us to discover the best choice for your skin!
What Causes Nodular Acne
Anyone can get nodular acne. There does seem to be a genetic component. If your parents or siblings had nodular acne, you’re more likely to get it too. But you can develop this type of acne even if you don’t have a family history.
- Overactive oil glands called sebaceous glands
- A large buildup of dead cells within the pore
- An overgrowth of acne-causing bacteria
- An increase in androgen hormones, which can lead to more and thicker skin oil
Nodular acne is more common in young men. Teen boys and young adult males frequently get acne nodules on both the face and the body.
Adult women may get nodular acne on their jawline, chin, and neck. This typically gets worse right before a period.
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Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer
Turn your scar-ridden cheeks into baby skin with this Maybelline primer! It can blur pores and smooth out your deep acne scars, creating an even complexion before you put your makeup on.
This primer is suitable for all skin types because its lightly hydrating and yet mattifying at the same time. The finish is a soft matte, so its not too dehydrating nor too nourishing, which is great for normal skin types.
Its clear in color without any beige tint. That means you can wear this primer even if you have darker skin. You wont have to worry about it ever washing out your color because its designed for universal use.
I love this primer because you can use it even if you dont plan on wearing makeup. You can wear it by itself and still see a world of difference in your complexion smoothness. Massage this into your pores and pitted scars to blur and fill them in for a fresh and naturally poreless everyday look.
This primer is perfect for acne-prone skin because its non-comedogenic. That means the formula doesnt contain any ingredient that can clog your pores and make you break out.
- Blurs pores and deep acne scars to make your skin even and smooth
- Gives your skin a soft matte finish that isnt too drying
- Its clear in color, so it wont wash out darker skin tones
- Can be used even without makeup for a fresh, naturally poreless look
- The formula is non-comedogenic, so it wont clog your pores
- Powder and mineral foundations can look clumpy on top of this primer.
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
This Hourglass primer is a go-to by many sophisticated women for an even complexion, even with blemishes and pitted acne scars.
This primer fills in and smoothes out deep acne scars and big pores to give your face a smooth, texture-free canvas before putting on makeup. But whats unique about this primer is that it can also conceal redness, giving you an even tone as well.
It has SPF 15 to protect you against sun damage that can make your acne scarring worse. It also has an airy and silky feel that allows it to glide onto your skin easily, making it a breeze to apply.
The formula is oil-free and waterproof, so you dont have to worry about looking greasy or your makeup melting off your face during a hot, sweaty day. You can maintain the freshness of your matte makeup, keeping you looking snatched until the end of the day.
This primer is perfect for sensitive skin because its formulated without any harsh and irritating ingredients. There are no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and even synthetic fragrances and colorings.
- Conceals imperfections like deep acne scars, big pores, and redness
- Contains SPF 15 to give you protection against sun damage
- Has an airy, silky texture that glides on super easily on the skin
- Oil-free and water-resistant so that your makeup look snatched and fresh
- Doesnt contain parabens, phthalates, fragrance, and more
- The pump bottle can get clogged after youve used it for a while
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Should I Use Laser Acne Treatment For Cystic Acne
As cystic acne is a more severe form of acne, the skin condition may require laser acne treatments. There are many different forms of laser acne treatments and two specific types ablative and non-ablative.
For cystic acne and ice pick acne scarring, a combination of the two types of laser treatments may need to be used to help with both the removal of outer layers of skin and encourage skin cell regeneration, but also induce collagen to repair the acne infected areas of the skin.
However, in most cases, one type of acne laser treatment is used. While effective, laser treatments for acne conditions tend to be used later on in the acne treatment programme, combined with other acne treatments, or if the acne is so severe that laser treatment is the only logical treatment for the condition.
What Is The Best Medication For Cystic Acne
Cystic acne requires a regimen of medications that address all the mechanisms that cause acne. Several different drug combinations may need to be tried to clear the condition. For this reason, there is no best medication for cystic acne.
|Best medications for cystic acne|
|One 25 mg tablet to two 100 mg tablets daily in a single or divided doses||Increased urination, breast development, mild nausea|
Many of the standard dosages above are from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health . Dosage is determined by your doctor based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and weight. Other possible side effects exist. This is not a complete list.
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Use An Acne Treatment Medication
If you use topical acne treatments, continue to do so. You can even dab a bit more on the pimple to help it heal more quickly. There’s no need to use too much limit yourself to a twice-daily application. Using too much medication too often can dry out and irritate your skin rather than heal it.
There are also small, medicated “stickers” called hydrocolloid patches that you can place over a pimple. The medication helps dry out the pimple, while the sticker covers the pimple and keeps you from picking at it.
Be aware, however, that spot treatment works best for pustules. It won’t do much for deep nodules or cysts.
If you break out regularly but don’t typically use an acne treatment, now is a good time to start. Consistently using an acne treatment medication will stop pimples from forming before they become a huge blemish.
What you should never do for these large blemishes is try to spot-treat with items not meant for the skin. For example, things like garlic, honey, cinnamon, lemon, or toothpaste won’t treat large acne cysts, contrary to what some online sources say.
Home remedy spot treatments can’t get deep enough into the skin to do any good. At best, they’ll do nothing for the blemish. At worst, you’ll end up with an irritated spot or a red and itchy rash called contact dermatitis.