Acne is a multifactorial condition with a hereditary component; it typically begins during adolescence when hormonesstimulate sebaceous gland enlargement and secretion. Although acne is most commonly associated with teenagers, adult onset acne has become increasingly prevalent when treating this inflammatory condition. The condition is due to multiple factors involving an overproduction of follicular dead skin cells, excess skin oil and bacteria.
Presentation of acne may appear as both open comedones (blackheads) and closed comedones (whiteheads), inflamed red lesions (papules) and infected lesions such as pustules and/or cysts. This condition often results in post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and scarring.
Classification – acne is assessed through a grading system
A comprehensive assessment of the acne condition is the first crucial step in gaining control of this multifactorial condition. The initial consultation with the Melbourne Laser & Aesthetic Centre’s expert Dermal Clinicians will provide a suitable treatment plan which reflects the type and severity of acne presented.Traditional Medication
Isotretinoin (Roaccutane), antibiotics, hormone therapies including the contraceptive pill are regularly prescribed for acne treatment. As there are always side effects associated with drug therapies, there is now a growing concern about their use. Unfortunately the use of antibiotics can lead to the development of antibiotic resistance and resulting in an increase of antibiotic resistant bacterial infections.
As teenagers are the main population who suffer from acne, they may become adversely affected by certain drug based treatment due to their emotional volatility. In fact, acne is often associated with depression, so the combined effect may be therefore amplified. Despite its effectiveness, Isotretinoin (Roaccutane) carries the risk of severe side effects including birth defects and depression.Modern Treatments for Acne
Today, the advancements in laser and light therapies and clinical based treatments now offer acne sufferers proven treatment options. Combining treatment modalities and effective skincare reduces the sebaceous secretion, inflammation and reduces post inflammatory hyper pigmentation associated with acne scarring.
At Melbourne Laser & Aesthetic Centre the expert Dermal Clinicians target acne and acne scarring using several advanced Laser modalities. A multifactorial disease such as acne needs a multifaceted approach; Laser treatments using a variety of Laser wavelengths to optimize clearance, topical application of cosmeceuticals as well as a plan for maintenance.
Nd:YAG 1064nm laser; provides flexibility in treatment due to longer wavelength which penetrates deep within the skin, ultimately allowing our experienced Dermal Clinicians to safely treat mild to severe cystic acne on all skin types. The Nd:YAG laser intercepts overactive sebaceous gland functioning and reduces inflammation present within the skin. Whilst the immediate use of this system treats the active acne present by targeting the infection, it further promotes an accelerated healing response and collagen remodelling within the area of concern to reduce scarring. A series of treatments promote with this laser often breaks the Acne cycle and prevents reoccurrence. See Nd:YAG for more information.
Other laser wavelengths are also used depending on the colour of marks left by acne lesions
QS laser 1064nm laser; In addition to the properties of the 1064nm effects this laser system further promotes pore clearing and refinement, as well as improving texture and scarring. See Q Switched 1064nm for more information.
Acne treatment with Medical grade IPL (Intense pulsed light); Broad light from 560 to 645nm filter wavelengths to 1200nm infrared wavelengths can also be used to improve mild acne and redness. It assists in eradicating problematic skin conditions targeting redness and mild acne lesions. See IPL for more information
Acne treatment with Chemical Peels; vary in their natural properties and depth of penetration, with the most common chemical peels utilised in the treatment of acne include; alpha-hydroxy acids, beta-hydroxy acid and vitamin A peels. Depending on the peel used, they can promote;
Acne treatment with Medical Microdermabrasion, is an intense mechanical exfoliation that utilizes a combination of abrasive crystals or organic grains within a suction system. This method allows for the breakdown and removal ofsurface debris and dead skin cells. it is therefore beneficialin assisting the clearance of problematic skin conditions. As Acne is associated with the inability of the Stratum Corneumto naturally desquamate as it should, Microdermabrasion is used to effectively exfoliate and accelerate cellular turn over to improve surface texture and to remove follicular occlusive debris. This stimulation of the skin also enhances repair and toxin removal through the stimulation of blood circulation and lymphatic flow.
See Medical Microdermabrasion page for more information.
In order to clear acne lesions, reduce inflammation and enhance the healing process a preparatory cosmeceutical product(s) is likely to be warranted. Recent advancements in cosmeceutical science have resulted in more effective active skincare. Cosmeceutical active ingredients have been scientifically verified to treat skin effectively.
Post treatment effects depend on the treatment modality used and the severity of the acne condition, however a mild inflammatory redness is common. This can be covered easily with a non-occlusive Jane Iredale mineral makeup, allowing patients to go back to work.
A series of treatments are advised to halt the reoccurrence of the acne cycle. The number of treatments will depend on the acne grade, cause and treatment modality and combinations used. An in depth consultation and acne assessment is necessary to develop an effective treatment plan.