About Acne Treatments at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta
Stating that acne is the most common skin condition doesn’t make it any less frustrating to those it affects. The board-certified dermatologists of Dermatology Associates of Atlanta know the common causes of acne and they understand that different types of acne should be treated differently.
Acne is a common problem experienced by a majority of adolescents and adults at some point during life. While not a serious health condition, the cosmetic symptoms of acne can be troublesome and untreated acne can also lead to physical scarring.
The most common causes of acne include dead skin cells, excessive sebum production (usually caused by hormones) or bacteria growth. Sebum is natural oil produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands. Sebum production usually increases when a person hits puberty.
View our acne scarring procedure page for information about the acne scarring treatments and techniques we offer. Read on for additional information about the types of acne and treatments available at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta.
Blackheads— Appear as small black markings on the skin’s surface. Blackheads usually form a plug that blocks sebum.
Whiteheads— Appear as small bumps beneath the skin’s surface. Whiteheads occur when the follicle becomes completely blocked with sebum. When a whitehead is present, the excess sebum production or bacteria growth causes the hair follicle to which the gland is attached to become inflamed and eventually rupture.
Nodules— Appear as large, round bumps beneath the skin’s surface. Nodules are caused by whiteheads that become severely infected and only respond to intense treatment. If not treated properly, this type of acne may cause acne scarring.
Cysts— Appear as raised lumps beneath the skin’s surface. Cysts are very similar to nodules and only respond to intense treatment and can cause scarring, except they are filled with pus.
Rosacea— Often coined as “adult acne,” rosacea isn’t actually acne at all. It’s a chronic facial skin condition that appears as redness, inflammation, and irritation that looks similar to acne. Even though it’s not acne, we do offer various rosacea treatments including rosacea laser therapy at the Laser Institute of Georgia.
Identifying the cause of your acne is imperative for determining the most effective treatment for your unique skin condition. At DAA the first thing we do when evaluating acne is to identify its cause(s), please see below for descriptions of the more common acne treatments we offer.
Benzoyl Peroxide— The active ingredient in most over-the-counter acne medicines, benzoyl peroxide works to limit the bacteria that cause acne.
Antibiotics— Topical or oral antibiotics, usually derived from erythromycin or tetracycline, can be prescribed to treat acne, but immunity to the antibiotic may eventually lessen its effectiveness.
Salicylic Acid— This beta hydroxyl acid is a commonly found in over-the-counter acne medicines, and works to correct acne by penetrating through the follicle and clearing it of dead cells and other acne-causing debris.
Retinoids— Derived from vitamin A, topical or oral retinoids can treat mild to moderate acne by unclogging pores and preventing new blemishes from forming. Isotretinoin (Accutane), a member of the retinoid family, is prescribed at DAA in very severe acne cases. Our dermatologists only prescribe Accutane to those patients whose acne does not clear up with other treatment methods.
Laser treatments— Laser treatments can help even out the skin tone, while also eliminating acne and acne scarring.
IsoLaz™— Combining a suction that cleans with light that heals, IsoLaz™ acne treatment is offered in DAA’s Laser institute of Georgia. Not only will this treatment eliminate acne, but it corrects pigmentation issues (sun damage), eliminates spider veins, and removes unwanted hair with no downtime.
Prescription Compounds— We offer customized prescription compounds based on your specific skin and acne type, customized to meet your specific needs.
Birth Control Pills— Some birth control pills contain active ingredients that may help regulate certain types of acne.
Skin Care Products— Some of our skin care products can also help certain types of acne. After a consultation, we can prescribe and/or recommend prevention and treatment products based on your condition.
Microdermabrasion— Depending on your specific type of acne, a microdermabrasion treatment at Skin Medics™ Medical Spa may help purify your skin of pore-clogging, acne-causing skin cells.
Chemical Peels— Chemical peels, available at Skin Medics™ Medical Spa, work to repair the skin’s surface damage, and in some cases, help reduce and correct the appearance of acne.
Yes, acne can affect individuals of all ages, gender, and ethnicities. Women are especially prone to acne during their menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and/or menopause. Our treatment options are effective for women, men and adolescents.
Sunlight does not improve acne; in fact, it increases your risk of pre-mature aging and skin cancer. Many acne treatments can actually make the skin more light sensitive, so acne patients should avoid extended UV exposure.
Treating active acne will reduce the likelihood of developing acne scarring. Despite proper treatment, some individuals may still develop scarring from their acne. Our board-certified dermatologists can create a tailored treatment plan through both non-surgical and surgical techniques to smooth and remove acne scarring.