Acne Treatment in Albuquerque
Solutions for Breakouts and Scarring
Acne is a reality for many residents of Albuquerque and beyond. An estimated 40 to 50 million U.S. citizens deal with it every day, and it follows no age boundaries. The bumps it causes can lead to embarrassment and even physical discomfort, while more serious cases can result in scars that are a constant reminder of their struggle with the skin condition. Fortunately, acne treatment in Albuquerque is available.
People dealing with acne have a lot of options available to them, including medications to treat the problem and skin treatments to help minimize its negative aesthetic impacts. Western Dermatology Consultants' providers, for instance, are prepared to assess the severity of an outbreak and prescribe medications as necessary in an effort to prevent it from becoming a more severe issue, while the spa offers lasers to handle acne scar removal in cases that have progressed to that point.
Find the best acne treatment for your specific problem in Albuquerque at Western Dermatology Consultants. The spa also offers acne scar removal options. Call us at 505-855-9267 to schedule an appointment.
What Causes Acne?
Our skin is covered with pores that keep it healthy and moist by producing oil, known as sebum. Sometimes, however, the system is thrown off balance. Dead skin cells may block the pores' openings and cause a buildup as oil–producing glands continue to generate sebum that has no way to get out. This excess oil and pore blockage can lead to the formation of the earliest signs of acne: blackheads (which stay open) and whiteheads (which are sealed off).
If left untreated, the condition can worsen as bacteria multiply in the closed environment and create inflammation. Papules and pustules erupt. From there, painful cysts can form, making the problem worse — visually and medically. Acne can ultimately lead to the development of tough nodules that feel like small lumps beneath the skin.
Any lesions that develop can result in acne scars, as they extend far enough below the surface layer of the skin to create permanent marks. Such scars tend to be deep divots or depressions and result from inflammation, so it's important to not pick at or squeeze any pustules that arise.
While these symptoms can be caused by hormone shifts common to teenagers — who almost universally deal with acne to some degree — there are many reasons why it might also impact an adult. Acne can be a problem for people of all ages and skin types around the world. In fact, women from their 30s to their 50s are increasingly experiencing breakouts, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Facial acne is the most common presentation, though it also frequently develops on the chest and back.
Acne Treatment Options
Patients looking to treat their acne, from early inflammations to severe flare-ups, can consult with Western Dermatology's staff in Albuquerque. Some patients will benefit from simple skin cleansers that keep pores open and oil under control.
Lasers may be a good choice for people looking to clear their skin. Special light treatments can kill the bacteria that would otherwise aggravate the condition and lead to increasingly worse symptoms.
While antibiotics can also help, tougher cases might require medication, such as Accutane, to combat severe nodular acne. Providers can prescribe topical and oral medications as necessary, though they may do so only in the most stubborn and damaging cases, after other treatment options have been tried and found to be unsuccessful.
As noted above, it is important to not pick at pimples or other visible signs of acne outbreaks, since disturbing the plugged follicles with your fingers can increase the inflammation and worsen the problem, leading to more severe forms of acne or scarring.
Also, though cleaning the skin can encourage pores to stay open and allow for the proper flow of sebum and sloughing of dead skin cells, harsh cleansers or overly vigorous scrubbing can dry out the skin and damage it, leading to other problems.
As tempting as it may be to literally take the problem into your own hands, acne treatment is best handled by professional dermatologists who can diagnose the severity of the condition, who understand the nuances of the various treatments available, and who have experience in dealing with a wide range of skin types and acne presentations.
That said, there are a few things acne sufferers can do at home to help mitigate the problem. Non–abrasive cleansers should be gently applied twice a day to clean the skin, hair—especially oily hair—should be kept clean, and scrubbing should be avoided.
Acne Scar Treatment Options
Not all cases of acne leave marks, and not every mark left behind by acne is a scar. The skin condition can also create discolorations that take half a year to a year to fade. If unusual redness or hyperpigmentation persists beyond that window, however, the mark is generally considered to be a scar.
Just as there are multiple types of outbreaks, there are numerous types of scars they can leave behind:
This acne scar gets its name from the way it resembles a mark that could have been left by a long, thin, pointed object, such as an icepick. These scars are deep and appear as a circular hole on the surface. Because they extend so far below the surface, they respond best to treatments that work well below the top layer of skin, or that remove it entirely and stimulate new collagen growth beneath.
While icepick scars are narrow and deep, boxcar scars are more broad, and have relatively straight, clearly defined edges. They may be shallow or deep, though they do not extend as deep as icepick scars. A range of treatments can work to smooth out these marks.
Similar to boxcar scars, rolling scars are also broad, but their edges are rounded instead of angular. They also differ in that they are frequently more shallow, due to being caused by subsurface damage. Like their boxcar counterparts, their appearance can be reduced with any of a number of treatment options.
Hypertrophic and keloid
Unlike the other three scars listed here, which are all depressions in the skin, keloid and hypertrophic acne scars are raised above the surface, often appearing as discolored bumps. Hypertrophic scars form as too much collagen builds up in response to a wound, and a similar process causes keloid scars, which are commonly caused by chicken pox and traumatic injuries, such as punctures and burns. There are multiple ways these scars can be treated, including with surgery. While they can appear on the face, these scars are often found in cases that impact the back or chest.
Since acne scar treatment is a cosmetic procedure, Western Dermatology Consultants handles it at the spa, where a variety of skin–rejuvenating options are available. The team is skilled at assessing the type and degree of scarring to develop a course of action that will yield the best results based on each individual's unique case.
Scars develop if your body heals a wound by producing too little or too much collagen, so there is not one single way to treat scarring — though laser therapy can help with divots and raised scars alike.
In particular, lasers can target scarred areas to remove the outermost layer of skin while stimulating the production of new collagen, which leads to healthy, younger–looking skin overall. The appearance of depressions can also be reduced by the use of fillers, which may produce temporary or permanent results.
While treatment for acne scars is available and often quite effective, the best strategy for maintaining clear skin is getting help from a dermatologist who can coordinate treatment to minimize the risk of scars developing in the first place. With the right treatment, outbreaks can be controlled and halted before they cause visible damage to the skin.
You Are Not Alone
Acne is a common problem. The highly experienced team at Western Dermatology Consultants regularly sees patients seeking treatment for every level of severity of the skin condition, so there's no reason to not ask for help if you are not satisfied with your skin. A consultation can allow a dermatologist to make an honest assessment, and suggest the best acne treatment available, starting a journey that can lead to clearer, healthier skin.
Talk about your acne-related problems — from pimples to acne scars — with the staff at Albuquerque's Western Dermatology Consultants. Call us at 505-855-9267 to schedule an appointment.