“I’m not a teenager anymore, why do I still have acne?” This is a common question we hear from our patients. The truth is, it is relatively common for acne to continue or even start in adulthood. Although acne is commonly thought of as a problem of adolescence, it can occur at any age. Here are some of the best treatment options to help treat stubborn active acne and also residual acne scars after the acne has cleared.
1. Radiofrequency microneedling
Radiofrequency microneedling has been shown to reduce active acne, redness and acne scars.
The glands in our face, called sebaceous glands, are responsible for the oil production that leads to breakouts. These glands are easily impacted by heat. RF microneedling uses tiny needles to deliver heat energy directly into these glands, thus damaging them. Once gland activity is diminished, patients experience less acne as the pores experience less build-up.
A single session of radiofrequency microneedling, can result in a reduction in oil secretion of 70-80%. 2 treatment sessions have been shown to result in a up to 50% reduction in acne blemishes, and three treatment sessions have been shown to result in up to a 76% reduction in blemishes.
How long do these results last? Radiofrequency microneedling keeps acne at bay for up to 8 weeks, at which time another maintenance treatment should be performed.
At SLK, we have developed a radiofrequency microneedling protocol especially for patients prone to acne. We also utilize a blue LED light during acne treatments. This wavelength of light is particularly effective at killing one of the main bacterial culprits of acne: Propionibacterium acnes.
2. Chemical Peels
Some chemical peels address both acne and hyperpigmentation. Acne is inextricably tied to inflammation in the skin. Inflammation stimulates pigment production in the area causing noticeable increased areas of discoloration.
Certain types of medical-grade skin peels contain prescription-doses of active ingredients that simultaneously lift pigment and clear acne. Usually only a medical professional is licensed to use these types of peel. A peel is the quickest way to remove years of acne and damage caused by acne. During the peel, the top layer of skin is exfoliated off targeting hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and acne. Results take about 1 week to see.
At SLK we use a peel specifically formulated for acne patients called the Acne Purifying Peel. This peel combines the power of micronized silver and salicylic acid to banish acneic bacteria from the skin.
Occasionally I recommend that individuals who battle hyperpigmentation, scarring, or rough texture caused by acne receive a combination of a peel with microneedling.
Microneedling is used to treat scarring, smooth depressions, and improve the overall look and feel of your skin. The procedure will rebuild collagen, plus the microchannels can be used as an entryway for PRP which is especially effective at combatting acne and acne scars.
At SLK, we use the newest version of SkinPen Precision -Series 4. SkinPen is FDA approved and is the only pen on the market that uses smart technology to detect skin resistance and intuitively increase the motor speed when working on denser tissue. SkinPen ensures the needles insert all the way into any tissue, no matter the density. This is especially important when treating tough tissue caused by acne damage.
4. Home Skincare Routine for Acne
We highly recommend consulting with a skincare professional who can design a proper skincare regimen for you (and weed out the products that aren’t helpful, or a waste of your money). Here are some of the key products often recommended for acne patients:
- 10% Benzyol Peroxide face wash: kills acne bacteria
- Salicylic acid pads: reduces buildup of dead skin – exfoliates and unclogs pores, reduces inflammation and redness.
- Vitamin C: helps lighten and brighten hyperpigmenation from acne scars.
- Retinol: increases cell turnover so pores do not clog, improves healing, lightens dark scars.
- Growth Factors: your ticket to scarless, accelerated healing if an outbreak does occur. They are also anti-inflammatory.
At SLK, we are experts in designing customized skincare plans that incorporate both acne treatments and skincare products. To book your skincare consult, follow the link below: