Acne & Acne Scars

Acne & Acne Scars

Acne is typically thought of as a problem that only affects us during our teenage years but it is also a common part of later adulthood, especially during the peri-menopausal years for women. Not only are the pimples, redness and irritation unsightly, but the lesions can also leave scars that vary from pigment changes to irregularity of texture and deep pockmarks in the surface of the skin. Whether you are dealing with active acne or the longer-term damage from acne in the past, the team at Morpheus Medical Aesthetics can help you to improve your skin’s health and appearance for restored confidence and wellbeing.

What is Acne?

Acne is a common, troublesome skin condition that can be very challenging to treat. It occurs when hair follicles become plugged, resulting in breakouts that include whiteheads, blackheads and pimples. While the face is the most common area where acne appears, it can also affect the chest, back and shoulders. Though teenagers are the most prone to acne, it can develop in adults of all ages as well.

Acne is a chronic condition, which means there is no cure. It is also the most common skin condition in the U.S., affecting around 50 million people every year. Symptoms can be emotionally as well as physically painful, but the good news is there are effective ways to keep breakouts in check and enjoy brighter, more beautiful skin now.

Symptoms of Acne

You likely know if you have acne and it is a concern that requires treatment. In fact, you are probably painfully aware of this condition if it affects you. Signs you are experiencing acne right now include:

  • Open plugged pores, known as blackheads
  • Closed plugged pores, known as whiteheads
  • Red bumps (papules) that are usually small and may be tender
  • Pustules or pimples, which are papules with pus inside
  • Larger red lumps that can be painful (nodules)
  • Cysts, which are large red bumps filled with sebum and pus

You may see one or more of these symptoms, depending on the severity of your condition. Pustules, nodules and cysts are the symptoms most likely to leave scarring behind.

Why Do I Have Acne?

There are many “facts” circulating about acne which often have little truth to them. Some of these include the notion that greasy foods or poor hygiene can cause the condition. Factors that can increase your risk for acne, however, do include:

  • Hormonal changes – acne often occurs around puberty and perimenopause
  • Genetics – if one or both of your parents have had acne, you are more likely to as well
  • Skin pressure – caused by regular use of helmets, phones or hats
  • Topical products – greasy lotions or areas that have a lot of grease like fry kitchens can contribute to acne

Stress is also often attributed to acne, and while it isn’t listed as a cause, it can make acne worse if you already have it. Some foods might also make acne worse, but not the foods you might think. Dairy products and some carbohydrates can exacerbate the condition because they may increase the amount of underlying inflammation that your body is trying to manage.

Treatment Options for Acne

While it has always been challenging to find effective treatments for acne, fortunately, that is no longer the case. Advances in technology and skin procedures that target clogged pores and the bacterial build-up that creates the breakouts have significantly improved the effectiveness of treatment. At Morpheus Medical Aesthetics, we have the treatments you need to manage breakouts and help promote clearer, healthier skin:

Medications and Home-Based Skin Care

Your individual skin condition should be evaluated by one of the providers at Morpheus Medical Aesthetics who will carefully examine your skin, take a medical history and make recommendations regarding how you can best care for your skin at home. Based on your specific needs, the provider may advise the use of medical-grade topicals, prescription creams and/or medications to be taken by mouth. At Morpheus Medical Aesthetics, your course of treatment will begin with a full evaluation by a qualified medical provider, a crucial aspect of care you may not find at a day spa or esthetician’s facility.

The HydraFacial®

HydraFacial® is designed to do more than improve the appearance of the skin. Regular treatments can substantially improve the overall health of your skin. This multi-step treatment helps to manage acne through the following steps:

Exfoliation to remove dead, dry skin cells that clog pores
Deep cleansing to unclog pores and remove dirt and oil
Vacuum extraction to eliminate blackheads and other pore-clogging substances
Protection to restore healthy moisture and keep further damage at bay

A HydraFacial® takes about 30 to 40 minutes to perform, and there is no recovery time afterward. You will leave our office with skin that looks and feels amazing. Regular treatments provide acne sufferers with the most comprehensive benefits.

IPL

Intense-pulsed light therapy or IPL is an effective treatment for managing the hyperpigmentation scars that can come from having had acne. This device delivers multiple wavelengths of light deep into the dermal structure, denaturing the protein that makes the pigment which darkens the skin and causes discoloration.

IPL is a treatment we perform in our offices. The total procedure takes between 30 and 90 minutes to perform depending on the size of your treatment area. As a part of your treatment, you may receive a topical numbing agent, which takes about 20 to 30 minutes of this time. It is not pain free, but is quite tolerable after you have received the anesthetic. You will remain in a comfortable position while the device goes to work, delivering the energy, in the form of laser light, into the skin. Immediately after your treatment, you will have what appears to be a light sunburn and the brown spots you have will darken further before flaking off over the course of the following week. Final results typically appear in the 7 to 10 days following your session. You may need a series of treatments to achieve an optimal result.

Say Goodbye to Acne Scars

When your acne leaves behind residual scarring, these marks can be nearly as upsetting as your breakouts were. Acne scars can also be treated at Morpheus Medical Aesthetics to reduce their appearance significantly. Laser skin resurfacing using the innovative Clear & Brilliant® device is an excellent choice for addressing acne scars.

In addition to improving the appearance of your skin right away, Clear & Brilliant® works at the cellular level to replenish collagen in the dermal structure. This vital protein helps to thicken and repair skin, so acne scars are smoothed away at every skin layer. Clear & Brilliant® is appropriate for every skin type, and the procedure takes less than an hour to complete.

Don’t let acne or acne scarring affect your confidence. We are ready to help you achieve clearer, more beautiful skin that lasts. Contact Morpheus Medical Aesthetics today at 707-921-7447 for our location in Santa Rosa or 510-488-1230 for our Albany location.