Category Archives: Acne

Don’t Let Stubborn Acne Frustrate You Any Longer

teens acne

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.

 

 


Photodynamic Therapy for Actinic Keratosis & Acne

Blu Light Therapy for Acne

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


Dealing with the Frustration of Teenage Acne

Teenage Girl with Acne

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.

 


Adult Acne: Causes And Treatment

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 proceduresliquid 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.


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