Acne. Stop right there! Your teenager just ran out of the room screaming!
Yes, that single word, clinically known as acne vulgaris, is way scarier to a teenager than Saw V. Acne can ruin a young person’s life, at least in their minds, or surely cause a crimp in their self-esteem.
What causes this scourge of youth? And what can be done about it? At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, we’re acne experts. We can help your teenager get through this phase of life with various treatments to eliminate or at least lessen the outbreaks.
Here’s more information about acne, the bane of every teenager.
What’s behind those zits?
Acne comes down to the sebaceous glands at the base of the hair follicles. The sebaceous glands produce oil, keeping the skin and hair lubricated and moist. Acne forms when the hair follicles under your skin clog, trapping the oil beneath the skin. You know where acne is more prevalent: on the face, back, neck, shoulders, and chest. It appears as occluded pores (blackheads or whiteheads), red bumps (pimples), pustules, or cysts.
The condition isn’t serious — although don’t tell this to your 16-year-old daughter in the midst of a breakout — unless the acne is cystic in nature. Those cysts can scar the skin.
Causes of acne
Acne is still somewhat of a mystery, believe it or not. Doctors believe it’s due to a combination of factors. The rise in the male sex hormone androgen in teenagers of both sexes is thought to be the primary cause. When androgen levels increase, the oil glands enlarge and produce more oil. This overproduction causes the glands to clog, as the oil cannot be dispersed as quickly as it is produced. Clogged glands then allow the p.acnes bacteria to explode, causing a breakout.
Genetics also play a role. Some people are simply more prone to the condition. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can trigger acne outbreaks, even if you got off easy as a teenager. Certain cosmetics and medications cause breakouts for some people, as well.
Contrary to popular belief, research has not shown there is any link between foods such as chocolate or junk food and acne.
At the Center for Dermatology, every acne case is individual, so our treatments are always varying. We employ products that contain active ingredients such as Retin-A and Resorcinol. We also put patients on skin care regimens with various products. Chemical peels and blue light therapy can also be very effective. If these options don’t work, we may work with oral antibiotics or topical antimicrobials such as adapalene, tazarotene, and tretinoin.
A Portland summer is a great time to get your teenager’s acne under control in time for school in the fall. If your teenager is suffering with acne, let’s have a look. Call us at (503) 297-3440 and schedule an appointment.
At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, we treat many patients with acne, both teenagers and adults. Nothing can dash the confidence of a teen quicker than a breakout. And, while it may not shatter the confidence of an adult when they see a couple pimples show up, it’s not a welcome sight either.
We find photodynamic therapy to be very successful in treating acne that isn’t responding to topical medication. Here’s how it works.
What is photodynamic therapy?
Photodynamic therapy for acne involves two steps. The first step is known as “incubation,” where we apply aminolevulinic acid (Levulan) to the patient’s face. This is known as a topical photosensitizer, and it is left on the skin for approximately one hour.
Next, we use a special blue light to “photo-activate” the Levulan. The patient sits with the blue light placed close to their skin (while wearing eye protection) for approximately 10 minutes. The light, combined with the Levulan, will create a mild stinging or burning sensation on the patient’s skin. Afterwards there is no residual pain, but the patient should expect mild to moderate redness and some scaling in the skin, not unlike a mild sunburn. This lasts from just a few hours to up to a few days in some patients.
How it treats acne
This photodynamic therapy can be very effective for acne that is not responding to topical medications. The root cause of most acne is overproduction of oil by the sebaceous glands found in the hair follicles. In teenagers, this is usually a result of puberty. In adults, it can be linked to pregnancy or other hormonal changes such as birth control pills. When too much oil is produced, the follicles clog. P.acnes bacteria, which exist in the hair follicles, then multiply in the clogged follicle. This leads to inflammation and a “breakout.”
The blue light combined with the Levulan kills the p.acnes bacteria that multiply in the clogged hair follicles. It also reacts with the sebaceous glands to decrease sebum (oil) production. This combination provides long-term improvement of acne in our patients.
Patients with moderate to severe acne typically require a series of photodynamic therapy treatments for long-term success. We’ve found that at least three treatments spaced at three-week intervals leads to significant reduction in acne lesions and overall improvement in the patient’s skin. These improvements can last for months.
Do have a teenager suffering with persistent acne? Photodynamic therapy could be a good solution. Call us at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, (503) 297-3440, to schedule a consultation.
Acne is the bane of every teenager, but it can also persist well into adulthood. Actinic keratosis isn’t something teenagers give a second’s thought, while adults need to keep an eye on them. Despite their differences in age and development, we use photodynamic therapy (PDT) to treat both moderate acne and actinic keratosis at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery.
What is an actinic keratosis?
The ultraviolet rays of the sun are no friends of human skin. A precursor to skin cancer, actinic keratosis is a skin lesion that forms as a result of prolonged sun exposure. These growths usually appear as rough (like sandpaper), red patches occurring on areas exposed to the sun such as the face, arms, and hands. Patients often say their actinic keratosis “gets worse in the sun.” While not life-threatening, if left untreated actinic keratosis growths can turn into squamous cell carcinoma, one of the three types of skin cancer.
What causes acne?
Acne has nothing to do with what a person eats; it is all about the sebaceous glands. These glands, located at the base of the hair follicles, are responsible for secreting the oil that keeps our skin and hair moisturized. In puberty, and in some people during adulthood, these glands overproduce oil, and the glands become clogged. The bacteria that naturally exist in the glands then begin to overproduce. This causes an inflammatory response in the body, resulting in a breakout.
What is photodynamic therapy?
Photodynamic therapy utilizes light energy to destroy the abnormal pre-cancerous cells that form actinic keratosis and to kill the bacteria responsible for acne.
How does photodynamic therapy work?
The PDT procedure involves three steps. First, a topical sensitizer is applied to the skin. This is left on the skin for one to three hours, known as the “incubation period.” After the incubation period, the photo sensitizer is activated by the wavelengths of a blue light source. During this 15-minute activation period, patients may feel a tingling or warm sensation. Afterward, the area is treated with an emollient cream.
At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, we’ve had great success with our PDT treatments for removing actinic keratosis and reducing acne outbreaks. Call us at 503-297-3440 to make your appointment.
Your teenager may seem very confident, but all it takes are two words to create a sense of terror and unease.
Yes, acne is the most common skin condition and is the bane of teenagers the world over. June is “Acne Awareness Month,” which could seem unnecessary considering just how aware your teen is of his or her acne. At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, we can help with various acne treatments sure to lessen the acne and its impact on a teenager’s self-esteem.
What causes acne?
For a long time, people linked acne breakouts with eating certain foods such as chocolate or greasy foods like French fries. That was never true — acne is caused by the sebaceous glands. These are the glands that are attached to hair follicles in the skin on the face, neck, back, and chest. Their job is to produce the oil that keeps our skin and hair from being like the Mojave Desert.
The sebaceous glands respond to raging hormones in puberty and also in times of adult hormone imbalance, such as during menstrual cycles or pregnancy. Overactive hormones make the sebaceous glands overproduce oil. When the levels are normal, the oil produced is released through the opening of the hair follicle/pore. But overproduction means the oil can’t exit the follicle fast enough and it clogs things up. Now that clogged follicle is a prime spot for bacteria to multiply and thrive. This causes inflammation in the form of pimples and other blemishes.
In other words, the dreaded breakout.
How we treat acne
Acne treatments have come a long way. Formerly, the idea was to dry out the face with astringents, but that theory has been debunked. Successful treatments are all about trying to keep the skin clean and the bacteria from going nuts in the follicles.
Some patients respond well to a regimen consisting of washes and/or creams. Others need short-term antibiotic prescriptions, oral contraceptive pills, or non-hormonal anti-androgen therapy. Severe acne that is resistant to various treatments may respond to istretinoin (brand named Accutane).
Beyond creams, washes, or medications, at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, we also treat acne with chemical peels, red light therapy, blue light therapy, and other laser treatments. These procedures work to kill the bacteria in the sebaceous glands.
If you or your teen is suffering with acne, there’s no reason to simply slog through it. At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, we can effectively treat it. Call us at (503) 297-3440 and let’s get started.
Brown spots are a common part of aging. Over time, however, they can negatively impact the appearance of one’s skin. At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, our cosmetic providers offer several options for eliminating or diminishing stubborn brown spots in order to keep the skin looking more youthful.
What causes brown spots?
Brown spots, also known as age or liver spots, are flat, painless, and are light brown-to-black in color. They vary in size, but are usually larger than freckles and tend to appear on the parts of the body that are most often exposed to the sun, such as the face, hands, arms and shoulders.
The development of brown spots can depend on several factors, including daily exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, injury to the skin, previous sun damage, as well as one’s skin type and genetics. Brown spots usually start to appear in the late 20s, but depending on the patient, they can show up earlier or later in life.
What are effective treatments?
At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, we offer numerous effective treatments for reducing the appearance of brown spots and skin discoloration to promote a more uniform complexion. These treatments include laser, both resurfacing and non-resurfacing, chemical peels, as well as topical bleaching.
Other procedures that are performed at the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery for the treatment of brown spots include liquid nitrogen and microdermabrasion. Following a thorough skin examination of the area in question by one of our certified professional providers, we can then determine the most appropriate individualized course of treatment.
Remember, it is never too late to get rid of unsightly brown spots to attain clear, blemish-free skin. Those beginning to see the first signs of brown spots may also consult with our cosmetic providers regarding skincare treatments and regimens that can preemptively prevent the development of more brown spots.
Are you interested in learning more about the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery’s various treatments for brown spots? Call us today at 503-297-3440 to schedule a complimentary consultation with our cosmetic providers.
At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, we understand how much acne can impact a person both physically and emotionally. Our providers treat all types of acne every day and our treatment recommendations are personalized based on the type and severity of the specific type of acne.
What is Acne?
Acne is a condition of the sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are attached to hair follicles in the skin on the face, neck, back, and chest which produce oil to keep our skin and hair from drying out. This oil normally comes up to the surface and is released through the opening of the follicle/pore.
When hormones change, sebaceous glands can overproduce oil which can result in the follicles trapping the oil below the skin’s surface. The pocket of oil begins to grow Priopionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) beneath the skin which triggers white blood cells to come to the area creating inflammation. This process ends with the breakdown of the follicle wall as the oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria push upward to form pimples. Now you have a breakout, the frustration of every acne patient!
Our treatment options
At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, we have various approaches to control active outbreaks and ward off scarring and discoloration. There are a number of prescription medications, both topical and systemic, that can be customized for the patient. Procedures like photodynamic therapy, as well as certain lasers and cosmetic peels, can work to kill the unwanted bacteria and reduce inflammation and discoloration in the skin.
There’s no reason to suffer with acne any longer. At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery we can help. Call us at 503-297-3440 to schedule your appointment.
Certain skin conditions such as acne often start in the teenage years while other issues like actinic keratoses develop with age. Fortunately, Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) exists as a treatment that effectively controls both teenage acne as well as actinic keratoses.
What Is an Actinic Keratosis?
An actinic keratosis is a pre-cancerous skin lesion, which forms as a result of prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays, usually from the sun or tanning beds. An actinic keratosis usually appears as a rough (like sandpaper), red patch occurring in areas of sun damage. Often times, patients will describe these patches as “getting worse in the sun.” If left untreated, an actinic keratosis may turn into a squamous cell carcinoma, a type of non-melanoma skin cancer.
What Is Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)?
PDT is a treatment which uses light to destroy the abnormal pre-cancerous skin cells that cause actinic keratoses.
How Does Photodynamic Therapy Work?
The procedure is performed in three steps, starting with the application of a topical photosensitizer, which is left on the skin for a period of one to three hours, depending on what your Dermatology Provider deems is necessary. This first step is known as the “incubation period.” After the incubation period, the photo sensitizer is activated by the wavelengths from a blue light source. During this 15-minute activation period, patients may feel a tingling or warm sensation. Following activation, the area is then treated with an emollient cream and the patient is free to go home.
What Is The Recovery Like?
PDT will cause a reaction in the skin that leads to tenderness, redness, and swelling immediately following the procedure. Peeling occurs for the next 3-4 days, and most individuals have normal skin by 7 days after the procedure. Depending on the severity of the patient’s condition, multiple sessions may be required to achieve optimal results. Photodynamic therapy is a medical treatment that is often billed to insurance for actinic keratosis. Coverage will depend on the patient’s particular plan and benefits.
How Does Blue Light and Photodynamic Therapy Treat Acne?
Blue light therapy alone is a non-invasive treatment that controls moderate acne without the need for antibiotics. This procedure uses advanced blue light technology to kill the bacteria that can contribute to the inflammation found in acne. During this treatment, patients sit with their face close to the blue light source for 16 minutes. There is no recovery period and no downtime as compared to PDT.
PDT (Blue light therapy combined with aminolevulinic acid as mentioned above for the treatment of actinic keratoses) can also be used to treat more persistent and severe acne. Approximately four treatments of PDT may be as effective as a course of isotretinoin. Once again, there is a period of downtime to PDT compared to blue light alone. However, PDT offers a potentially effective alternative to isotretinoin for disfiguring acne.
Call us at 503-297-3440 to schedule an appointment for photodynamic therapy
Acne. Just say the word and watch your teenager run from the room. Dealing with acne is bad, but sometimes the harsh over-the-counter products that people use to deal with it are almost harsher. At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, we are acne experts. Our treatments depend on the type and severity of lesions, along with the patient’s skin type and age.
What is acne?
Acne comes down to the sebaceous glands. These are the glands attached to hair follicles in the skin on the face, neck, back, and chest. These glands produce oil that keeps our skin and hair from drying out. This oil normally comes up to the surface and is released through the opening of the follicle/pore. This is the normal process.
But when hormones start raging, as they do in teenagers, the sebaceous glands can overproduce oil, kind of like OPEC on your face. This overproduction can clog the follicles and the oil doesn’t reach the surface, but is trapped below the skin surface. This glut of oil begins to grow Priopionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) beneath the skin. This triggers a reaction in the body with chemical and enzymes that get the attention of the white blood cells. They come to the scene and cause inflammation. This process ends with the breakdown of the follicle wall as the oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria push upward to form pimples. Now you have a breakout, the frustration of every teenager!
Our treatments for teenage acne
At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery, we have various approaches to treat acne and ward off potential unwanted side effects, like scarring. Procedures such as photodynamic therapy, as well as certain lasers and specific peels, can work to kill the unwanted bacteria and reduce inflammation in the skin. There are also a number of prescription medications, both topical and systemic, as well as various over-the-counter treatments, which can be customized for the patient, which are aimed at reducing or eliminating acne symptoms.
There’s no reason to watch your teenager suffer through the whole acne process any longer. At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery we can help. Call us at 503-297-3440 to schedule your appointment.
Acne is a very common skin problem that affects almost 75 percent of individuals between the ages 10 to 30. Although the condition is most prevalent among teens and young adults, it is by no means restricted to them alone. In fact, you can have acne even if you are in your 50s and to exacerbate the problem, the same treatments that worked for you in your teens may fail to yield results later in life. There are also adults who never had acne as youngsters but develop this skin condition in their 40s and 50s.
Main Causes Of Adult Acne
Adult acne is more common in women and they are at greater risk of developing this condition during menopause. There are, however, many causes of adult acne and they are as follows:
- Hormonal changes: An imbalance in hormonal levels can cause acne in adults. This is one of the reasons why women often have acne breakouts during pregnancy or when they start or discontinue birth control medication.
- Medications: Adults may develop acne because of certain medications that they have been asked to take for other conditions. If your acne outbreak has occurred after you started a new course of medications, check with your physician to determine if is a typical side effect.
Treatment For Adult Acne
At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery we understand how painful and embarrassing adult acne can be. A serious outbreak can impair your social life significantly and damage your self-esteem. We have safe, effective solutions to this problem that can restore your confidence and give you back your normal life. For example, our photodynamic therapy is a treatment method that is very effective not just for adult acne but a host of other skin problems as well as various laser and light procedures, liquid peels are other treatments we offer which can restore your skin’s natural appearance, if acne is flaming or if a severe outbreak of acne has left scars behind.
Do You Suffer From Acne? Contact The Center For Dermatology And Laser Surgery
For more information about acne therapy or any dermatology service we provide, contact the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery to schedule an appointment with any of our providers. We have two offices conveniently located at St. Vincent Hospital in Portland as well as in Hillsboro, and we can be reached at 503-297-3440.