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Special Back to School News: Zooming in on Acne

Posted on: August 28th, 2020 by Kristen Chang

What could be more awkward and challenging than facing the new school year on Zoom? How about facing it with a face flecked with the blotches and blemishes of adolescent acne?

The good news: Your teen or pre-teen likely isn’t the only one onscreen with acne.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne affects as many as 85% of young adults ages 12-24.

The even better news: Acne is highly treatable.
And, with today’s highly advanced technology, even acne scars can be zapped in a matter of minutes. Given all the other difficulties of navigating this new environment as a young student, acne is perhaps among the easiest to resolve.

What Causes Acne?

Much of the acne during puberty is attributable to one basic cause—hormones. The surge of hormones coursing through the body’s systems causes multiple reactions. One of these is the renewed production of sebum, the body’s natural protective oil, by the sebaceous glands. Although sebum production rises at birth, sometimes evident in a condition known as “baby acne,” it is nearly nonexistent during childhood. However, during pre-adolescence, sebum production ramps back up. By puberty, the increased presence of this natural oil can block pores and hair follicles, leading to a biochemical traffic jam that presents itself as a blemish. This blemish may be a single enlarged pimple, a condition that sometimes appears with menstruation, or a scattering of clustered areas of acne on the face. Although acne can occur in the sebum-producing areas of the chest and back, the appearance of acne on the face tends to cause the most self-conscious discomfort for young adults.

While an ongoing controversial topic, current literature suggests that certain foods may contribute to acne, including fatty and sugary foods and milk.

Treating Acne

While all acne cases share commonalities, no two acne cases are identical. This is why a physical examination is essential to determine the best path of treatment. The board-certified dermatologists and licensed professionals of California Skin Institute specialize in skin conditions and diseases and have years of expertise in diagnosing and developing individualized treatment plans for acne.

To determine the best treatment options for each patient, we start with an examination of the face, chest and back. We also explore the patient’s medical history and what, if any, medication, nutritional supplements and current personal care products and practices are being used. By analyzing all this information, we can then develop a customized treatment plan tailored to the patient’s specific needs.

During acne treatment, it is counterproductive if a patient uses cosmetic products that may contribute to clogged pores or dry out the skin, causing the sebaceous glands to overproduce oil. For this reason, California Skin Institute has created a carefully formulated Acne Solutions Kit, a four-step cleansing and treatment system. Your board-certified dermatologist may prescribe an oral antibiotic to be used in conjunction with this treatment care system. Our acne kit includes a moisturizer designed to provide a light counterbalance to the more drying elements of acne treatment. This moisturizer will help maintain a pleasant glow and texture for the skin as it rebuilds with healthy new cells. Remember, you don’t need to see excessive redness, peeling or dryness for an acne prescription regimen to work!

Healing the Scars

Even after the acne itself heals, blemish scars and reddened or brown patches may linger as distressing reminders that could keep your teen from moving on and building a healthy new self-image. Developing a relationship with your California Skin Institute dermatologist will help in deciding which treatment options are best for your child’s particular acne and post-acne skin. In some cases, your dermatologist may incorporate a variety of treatment modalities to completely eradicate visual reminders of previous breakouts.

California Skin Institute’s roster of acne scar removal procedures includes:

  • Specialized acne facial masks and peels
  • Dermabrasion
  • Microneedling
  • Laser resurfacing

You can find more details on all of these treatments here.

Open for Appointments

You and your teen have enough to take care of right now. Let us take care of their acne. We offer experienced, compassionate care in a high-quality medical setting and comply with the highest standards of COVID-19 protection. Call today to schedule an appointment.