Get Treatment One of the Most Common Skin Conditions in Edina andPlymouth

Acne is a nearly universal experience. While the familiar lesions are most associated with the face, they can appear on any part of the body at any time, and they can have a range of appearances. They can also occur at any age and to different degrees of severity—but there are typically more cases of teenage rather than adult acne. Men, women, and teens dealing with the problem can sometimes easily control mild outbreaks with over-the-counter products, but the condition more commonly requires treatment by a dermatologist.

Whether your acne is chronic or sporadic, mild or severe, visiting Zel Skin & Laser Specialists is a great first step toward achieving clear and smooth skin. Each person is unique, which means the treatment that works for one person may not work for another. Our dermatologists and aestheticians are skilled at assessing your individual skin makeup to develop and recommend a strategy that will work for you, from personal skincare regimens to combination treatments.

Acne Causes

Acne is caused by the overproduction of oil (sebum) in the sebaceous gland and the trapping of dead cells within hair follicles. This can trap bacteria normally found on the skin inside the follicle, which then leads to inflammation. Outbreaks range in severity from superficial, as with non-inflammatory whiteheads and blackheads, to deep, cystic lesions.

Some people may be more prone to breakouts than others. This is due to a combination of genetics, hormones, stress, exercise, and other environmental factors.

Acne Symptoms

Acne lesions consist of blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, cysts, and nodules. The type of outbreak you experience will depend on a variety of factors. Any number of these lesions can appear all over the body, but the most common locations are the face, chest, and back. They may also appear on the neck, shoulders, upper arms, scalp, and buttocks.

Acne Treatments

Acne treatment options typically fall into the following two traditional categories:

  • Topical medications and cleaners, which are used to reduce bacteria, remove dead skin cells, unplug pores, and reduce the presence of oil.
  • Oral antibiotics, which are used to reduce bacteria and inflammation. When appropriate, oral medications can also reduce oil production.

Each person requires an individualized acne treatment plan, which will rely on the type of acne you are experiencing, its severity, the duration of the problem, and what will work best for your type of skin. While many over-the-counter treatments advertise overnight results, it will usually take between four and eight weeks to see improvement. In addition to acne medications, some patients may also benefit from acne surgery (excision), chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or laser treatments.

Combination Treatments

For some people, a single strategy is not sufficient to provide clear skin. These patients benefit more from combination treatments, which pair traditional medications with light, chemical, or collagen-inducing strategies.

Combination treatments are especially effective for patients who have a mix of comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) and pimples or other inflammatory lesions. Retinoids, for example, can unclog pores while antibiotics work to address inflammation. When the lesions clear up, patients can cut back to just a topical retinoid to keep their pores open and reduce the chance of future breakouts.

Similarly, medications such as Accutane can work to reduce oil production in the skin, followed by Fraxel or other laser treatments to encourage healing. The timing of specific treatments is critical to maximizing results and minimizing side effects, so it is especially important to discuss long-term skincare goals during the consultation.

With a plan custom-tailored to produce results, many acne patients find that they can enjoy clear skin and avoid long-lasting, severe breakouts that have the potential to cause significant damage to the skin.

Acne Scars

Some forms of severe lesions—including cystic and nodular acne—extend deep enough into the skin that they can leave behind acne scars. These scars may be raised, pitted, and/or discolored, but most types respond well to treatment. Collagen induction therapy and resurfacing can both work to reduce the appearance of certain marks.

If you’re interested in addressing scars, or in treating acne in a way that will limit scarring in the first place, a dermatologist is necessary.

*Results may vary per patient. Services vary by location.