Acne Laser Therapy Geelong
Acne and post acneic skin conditions are very common and in most cases aesthetically troubling. Body Recon is committed to providing state-of-the-art treatments for acne. The causes of acne are multi-factorial and different for each person and therefore the treatments used vary from person to person. Often, acne will develop in adolescence due to the over production of testosterone; however in some cases this can continue late into life.
There is a difference from having the odd pimple here and there to having a diagnosed ACNE skin. Acne is a medical condition where the skin is not functioning correctly and if left untreated can result in severe scaring. At Body Recon we class acne in “Pillsbury scale.” This simply classifies the severity of the acne from 1 (least severe) to 4 (most severe).
What happens with acneic skin?
Ance is an inflammatory condition where the skin is not functioning correctly. A healthy ‘normal’ skin will have a cell turnover of approximately 28 days. In acneic skin, because the skin has on over production of oil, the top layers of skin can become waxy and have a much slower turnover, which is why the condition often becomes worse without treatment. Having an oily skin is not necessarily bad, it is more the oil quality rather than the oil quantity that will contribute to acne. Acne however has a few characteristics that make the skin act differently.
- An over production in oil. The sebaceous glands become enlarged and excess sebum is produced
- The skin becomes ‘plugged’ with a combination of keratin and sebum (hyperkeratinazation.)
- The oil becomes bacterial (P.acnes= Propionibacterium acnes)
- The bacteria cause inflammation resulting in inflammatroy lesions (papules, infected pustules or nodules)
- The skin may develop scarring and pigmentation following the inflammation
Why do people get acne?
There are a number of contributors to the formation of acne. These include, excess oil and sebum production exacerbated by hormonal influences on sebaceous glands, as well as dead skin physically blocking pores. A bacterium named Propionibacterium acnes (p.acnes) has also been implicated as a cause of acne. All treatments for acne will address one or more of these issues.
Below is a little more detail on the potential causes.
Hormonal activity, such as menstrual cycles and puberty, may contribute to the formation of acne. During puberty, an increase in sex hormones called androgens cause the follicular glands to grow larger and make more sebum. Several hormones have been linked to acne: the androgens testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), as well as an insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I). Interestingly, the use of anabolic steroids may have a similar effect. Often hormonal acne will present on the chin as sore blind pimples and can last for weeks at a time.
Development of acne vulgaris in later years is uncommon, although is often more severe in older age groups. True acne vulgaris in adult women may be a feature of an underlying condition such as pregnancy, or disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome and Cushing’s syndrome. Menopause-associated acne (known as acne climacterica) occurs as production of the natural anti-acne ovarian hormones estradiol and progesterone fail, permitting the acnegenic hormone testosterone to exert its effects unopposed.
The predisposition for specific individuals to acne is likely explained by a genetic component, which has been supported by twin studies as well as studies that have looked at rates of acne among first degree relatives. The genetics of acne susceptibility is likely polygenic, as the disease does not follow classic Mendelian inheritance pattern. There are multiple candidates for genes which are possibly related to acne, including polymorphisms in TNF-alpha, IL-1 alpha, CYP1A1 among others.
While the connection between acne and stress has been debated, scientific research indicates that “increased acne severity” is “significantly associated with increased stress levels.” A study of adolescents observed a statistically significant positive correlation between stress levels and severity of acne. Often this can be a vicious cycle- people become stressed that they have acne and the acne gets worse. The important thing to remember is that we now have ways and means to treat the skin.
Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is the anaerobic bacterium species that is widely concluded to cause acne. P. acnes can be associated with normal skin health and also with long-term acne problems. It is as yet inconclusive whether P.acnes evolves on-site in the adverse conditions or are all pathogenically acquired, or possibly both depending on the individual patient. P.acnes has the capability of changing, perpetuating, or adapting to, the abnormal cycle of inflammation, oil production, and inadequate sloughing activities of acne pores.
As the saying goes- you are what you eat. Although studies are yet to strongly relate a bad diet with acne, there is no doubt that fatty, greasy food won’t be helping your skin. High glycemic (GI) load diet is associated with worsening acne. There is also a positive association between the consumption of milk and a greater rate and severity of acne. There may be a relationship between acne and insulin metabolism and a dated trial found a relationship between acne and obesity.
How do I treat it?
Acne is a medical problem that should be treated by medical professionals. Acne left untreated can lead to permanent scarring. The main two modalities of treatment are oral medications and medical grade skin treatments including skin care, laser and chemical peels. Using appropriate mineral-make up and sunscreen can also help with acne. In cases that are resistant to the normal modalities of treatment, oral isotretinoin can be used.
Depending on the severity of acne you may be asked by your treating clinician at Body Recon to seek advice from a dermatologist also- we are able to refer you to a specialist if required.
The best treatment option will depend on the severity of the breakouts, the causative factors and also if there is any scarring present. The aim is to re-program your skin to function correctly and at Body Recon, the steps that we follow are:
We need to balance the skin before we look at treating it. Often use of medicated homecare products such as vitamin A, corrective cleansing, niacinamide, antibacterial/inflammatory and sunscreen are required before treatment can progress.
Acne is an inflammatory condition, so we need to be sure that the skins acid mantle is strong enough to tolerate our medical treatment options such as chemical peels or laser therapies.
For mild acne that shows signs of reduced cell turnover we would introduce a course of chemical peels. This will help to slough away dead skin and ensure that the follicles remain clear from keratin and sebum build-up. It is important to note that the majority of acne skins will demonstrate this characteristic. Multiple peels are usually required. For acneic skin we often favour BHA peels such as salyciclic acid that have a resurfacing and drying effect on the skin.
Once the skin is functioning correctly and the breakouts have reduced we can look at treating any scarring that may be present. Vitamin A peels are a good option for superficial scarring but for deeper damage, fractionated laser or Twinlight laser may be a better option. Depending on the depth and severity of scarring, 1- 3 treatments would usually be required.
Icepick scarring may be treated with dermal filler to lightly ‘plump’ the pitted areas.
There are a few simple steps to complement your skin treatments and maximise results:
While most acne sufferers will see a difference in the first couple weeks of their skincare program, it can take longer than 28 days for your skin cells to turn over. Getting your skin balanced requires time, consistency and discipline. Establish a regimen of treating your skin twice a day to eliminate pore-clogging excess oil and cellular debris. Corrective cleansing is an important first step towards clarifying the appearance of problem skin and also prepares the skin for additional correctives, like clarity serums, niacinamide and vitamin A.
Scratching, pinching and squeezing might feel like the right thing to do, but avoid giving into the temptation. “Popping” blemishes can lead to permanent scarring, increased irritation and redness. Additionally, dirt and bacteria from unclean fingers can find their way into pores, making matters worse. Often, the first step is to calm the inflammation of the skin which may be a causive factor to the breakouts and blemishes.
To minimize the spread of bacteria and other impurities, be sure to wash all pillowcases, towels and makeup brushes weekly. Avoid over-cleansing your skin, especially with harsh cleansers that contain sodium lauryl sulfate or alcohol. These common additives can rob skin of vital moisture, prompting it to produce more sebum (natural oil that conditions the skin) than normal, increasing the risk of clogged pores and breakouts. Try to also avoid touching your face, and keep long hair tied back throughout the day.
Don’t Sweat It
After exercise, be sure to use a mild cleanser to wash away sweat, which can attract pore-clogging impurities and lead to body acne. For persistent blemishes we often look for exfoliating cleansers containing AHA’s. An exfoliating back scrub or loofah can also help slough away potentially pore-clogging dead skin and debris; however, exercise caution when using exfoliating products with an abrasive surface to avoid irritating the skin.
What peels are best?
At Body Recon we often like to begin treatment with lactic acid peels (AHA), these peels are great for people who haven’t had a peel before. They help to hydrate and repair the skin as well as giving a light exfoliation. From there we would work up to doing salycilic acid peels if required. Salycilic acid is a BHA that dissolves oil as well as being a stronger exfoliant. Salycilic acid will ‘purge’ the skin and dry out existing breakouts. Vitamin A peels can then be used to reduce superficial scarring.
What does laser do?
For active acne, Body Recon’s Fotona laser treatment reduces acne inflammation through photoselective absorption and controlled heating effects. Fotona’s high powered Nd:YAG laser safely penetrates the skin to an optimal treatment depth to thermally and selectively destroy overactive sebaceous glands. It treats current bacterial acne and hormonal acne, but also helps to prevent and reduce inflammatory acne.
In addition to its thermal penetration effects, the Nd:YAG acne laser treatment also accelerates the healing process and stimulates remodelling, an important step in the long-term treatment of acne.
We often combine our Nd:YAG with our Er:YAG to perform a light-medium peel to remove cell build-up and cleanse the pores. Er:YAG also works by tightening the pores, giving the illusion of a more refined skin.
Do I really need to use products at home?
For acne, most definitely. There is no point in having treatment if you aren’t going to condition your skin at home with correctives. This does not need to be an overly time consuming or confusing process- usually your homecare will include a corrective cleanser, anti-inflammatory/clarity serum, vitamin A and sun block. The treatments offered Body Recon require preparation- you wouldn’t just go run a marathon, you need to train first, and your skin is exactly the same.
Ingredients in active skin care cause changes in the skin cells to help rejuvenate and improve the condition of skin. Products that are not active are more limited in how effective they are in creating changes, and therefore, prove to be less effective in achieving genuine results. Often “acne” skincare products will contain agents to strip the skin of natural oil prompting the skin to go into overdrive and start producing more p.acnes oil.
What’s the first step?
Ring Body Recon Cosmetic Clinic to make an appointment for a visia skin consultation with one of our dermal specialists. This will enable us to establish the severity of acne and to develop an individualised treatment plan.
Why should I have my ACNE treatment with Body Recon?
- We are able to offer you the most advanced laser technology for acneic skin.
- Our technicians are highly trained and knowledgeable in skin rejuvenation procedures and have medical back-up from Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Richard Rahdon.
- We have a wide range of lasers and peels to choose from and are able to combine many different modalities to target a number of different skin conditions and concerns in the one visit.
- Our philosophy is to treat the individual and to provide the best results in the best setting.