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The ABC’s of Acne BY LINDSEY JOHNSON, MS, MCHES
According to the Mayo Clinic, the definition of acne is “a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It causes whiteheads, blackheads or pimples. Acne is most common among teenagers, though it affects people of all ages.” The Cleveland Clinic states that up to 80% of people ages 11 to 30 will experience at least a mild case of acne and most people will have it at some point in their lives.
WHAT'S YOUR TYPE? COMEDONAL Comedonal acne refers to clogged pores that present as blackheads and whiteheads. Blackheads are open pores while whiteheads are closed pores. Blackheads are dark because they contain an oxidized version of melanin, the dark pigment made in the skin. INFLAMMATORY Inflammatory acne refers to papules, pustules and nodules beneath the skin that become inflamed. These can lurk under the skin’s surface and be painful. CYSTIC Cystic acne is the most severe type of acne. These blemishes also sit below the skin and contain pus. Cystic acne can progress to scarring.
PREVENTION AND TREATMENT DAILY CLEANSING Dr. Miranda Whitmer of Gainesville Dermatology and Skin Surgery recommends a good hygiene routine to help prevent breakouts. “A daily routine that includes a mild cleanser followed by a moisturizer is ideal. It’s important to include the moisturizer because dry skin can become inflamed and cause painful breakouts. If needed, use over the counter medicated solutions like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid on a regular basis to help prevent acne breakouts. Using non-comedogenic products is recommended because they do not clog pores.” PROFESSIONAL SKIN CARE Nicole Coullias, Certified Medical Electrologist, Medical Esthetician, and Laser Technician at Paradise Skin and Body recommends some additional routine treatments to keep skin healthy and clear.
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Coullias states “It is important to remember that your skin and results will need to be maintained. Have a good skincare regimen, maintain results with monthly treatments, and always consult your medical esthetician on best products and procedures to meet your skin care goals.” FACIALS Facials provide a deep cleanse, exfoliation and improved skin tone and texture. Facials are recommended every four to six weeks and can be combined with light chemical peels and microdermabrasion for optimal results. Jordan Strack, Licensed Esthetician at Pure Aesthetics, LLC adds, “One of my favorite procedures for acneic skin is the HydraFacial. Unlike a traditional facial, the HydraFacial uses vortex technology to unclog pores while simultaneously infusing hyaluronic acid and peptides into the skin to hydrate and protect. The Hydrafacial allows for painless exfoliation and extractions of black heads in a comfortable and relaxing treatment.”