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Acne Treatment in Lexington Kentucky

Learn About Acne

Acne is caused by Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), bacteria that live on the skin and in the oil glands. These bacteria along with excessive oil gland secretions can lead to acne breakouts. Hormones play an important part in the acne story. Young people start to produce hormones at puberty and this is frequently when acne becomes a problem. These hormones can lead to the oil glands secreting excessive amounts of oil (sebum) that make the skin cells by the oil gland "sticky". This excessive oil production and the sticky skin cells can form a plug that prevents the oil secretions from getting out of the pore. This trapped collection of dead skin cells and the sebum oil becomes a breeding ground for the P. Acne bacteria. The infection and inflammation that follows causes a "zit". To stop this sequence of events, several things can be done.


  1. In females, hormones can be adjusted with medications (usually birth control pills) to suppress the acne cycle.
  2. Antibiotics can be used to treat the bacteria infection. This suppresses the acne infection and can help the appearance of the skin. However, there are potential problems with long term antibiotic treatment.
  3. The sebaceous oil glands can be suppressed. This can lead to a reduction in acne lesions and improvement in future breakouts. Frequently, a combination of agents is used to attack the problems listed above. A young female may go on a birth control drug that helps acne along with an antibiotic and a topical cream, such as Retin-A. This would attack the hormone, the bacteria and the oil problems all at the same time.


Unfortunately, there are conditions and individuals that do not respond well to medications. Medical regimens also are expensive and inconvenient. In many cases insurance will pay for acne treatments, allowing you access to the most advanced treatments without the side effects of acne medications. Drug resistant acne is not uncommon and can be devastating. If the usual medical treatments fail or are inadequate in treating the outbreaks, the person can feel desperate and depressed.


Teenagers are especially prone to depression and social withdrawal from acne related problems. The social isolation and stigma they suffer can have long lasting effects including clinical depression and in some cases, suicidal thoughts. Anything that can be done to help this situation can really affect lives for the better. New light based devices have been developed to treat all types of acne from mild forms to the most severe. They work by different mechanisms but the most successful are those that affect bacterial growth and also reduce oil gland function.


After extensive research, Dr. Hester has chosen to use the Levulan Photodynamic therapy and the LumeOne IPL or Palomar LuxV IPL systems. The LuxV system causes a reduction of bacteria along with the modification of oil gland function. This two fold attack on acne is showing itself to be very effective without the bother of daily medications and lotions and their possible side effects.


The most common side effect is a slight redness that can last for an hour or two. Light based acne treatments such as the Palomar LuxV system are revolutionizing the treatment of acne with easy, quick and effective suppression of acne without the problems associated with daily medical therapies. Clinical studies have shown that the cosmetic impact of even mild acne can cause profound emotional burden for some young people.


The development of these new acne technologies come at a time when clinical studies are showing that even mild acne during the teenage years can be associated with emotional problems as significant as clinical depression and even suicide. Psychiatrists studying the psychological effects of skin problems are encouraging parents to seek medical treatment for their teenagers who have acne. "We found that the cosmetic impact of even mild acne can cause a profound emotional burden for some young people," said Madhulika Gupta, MD, professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Western Ontario and author of new research that was published in the British Journal of Dermatology. Fortunately there is help here now. New treatments that have stemmed from hair removal using light waves have been proven to be effective in treating acne and have recently been given FDA approval. "The pulsed light treatments have produced remarkable results", "We are treating acne and other skin problems immediately and with greater effectiveness than traditional therapies".


Here's how it works. A high energy pulse of light is generated by a laser type machine and applied to the treatment area in a burst that lasts 1/400 of a second. The filtered light is absorbed by the targeted subcutaneous oil glands damaging and permanently disabling them while destroying the bacteria that breed inside the glands. The procedure lasts about ten minutes and although several visits may be needed, the treatment boasts a nearly perfect record and most patients feel only a mild snapping sensation. The effects are nearly immediate and eliminate the need for prescription drugs like Accutane that have been proven to cause birth defects. For patients suffering from the after effects of acne, namely pitting and scarring of the face, there is additional help. Through a combination of Microdermabrasion, Collagen replenishment and filler injections, the cosmetic effects of acne may be greatly reduced.

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