Acne Treatment Options
Acne Skin Care Center — Birmingham, Alabama
At your first visit to our acne care center, we will carefully examine your skin to make the best recommendation for treatment based on the extent, severity and location of your condition. Our Birmingham, Alabama dermatology professionals will create a program to control your acne or treat your acne scars that is right for you and your specific needs.
Many effective treatments for acne and acne scarring are available today at our acne treatment center in Birmingham:
- Prescription Medications
- Laser Treatments
- Surgical Acne Removal
- Chemical Peels
- Deep-Cleansing Facials
- Injectable Soft Tissue Fillers
With the right treatment or combination of treatments, virtually any case of acne can be controlled and acne scars can be reduced or eliminated. Many times, starting treatment sooner rather than later lessens the risk of lasting physical and emotional damage.
Topical and oral prescription medications are used to treat acne in both teens and adults. These medications target acne by reducing oil production, stimulating the turnover of skin cells, fighting bacterial infections or reducing the inflammation caused by acne.
- Topical medications — Most prescription acne medications are applied to the skin as a topical cream and are used to treat mild to moderately severe acne. Topical antimicrobials work by reducing populations of the p. acnes bacteria. Topical retinoids are synthetic derivatives of vitamin A that work to unclog pores and prevent acne lesions from forming.
- Antibiotics — A short course of oral antibiotics may be necessary for people who have moderate to severe or persistent acne to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation. Like topical antimicrobials, oral antibiotics target the p. acnes bacteria that causes acne.
- Accutane (Isotretinoin) — When nothing else works, Accutane is a powerful oral retinoid that is prescribed for severe cases of nodular or cystic acne. Severe acne consists of large nodes or cysts beneath the skin's surface that can be very painful and leave scars behind. While Accutane is the most effective treatment for acne, patients must undergo careful screening due to a number of potential side effects.
- Oral contraceptives — Birth control pills have been shown to regulate hormones and reduce the production of sebum, the skin oil that clogs pores and causes acne when produced in excessive amounts.
While very effective for treating acne, prescription medications do not work overnight. It can take from 1 to 3 months to see improvement and give your skin the time it needs to heal.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Laser PhotoFacial treatments attack acne by reducing the p. acnes bacteria and shrinking oil-producing glands in the skin. IPL reduces pore size and causes the sebaceous glands to produce less oil, limiting the potential for future outbreaks. Patients are comfortably seated during treatments at our Birmingham, Alabama laser center and wear special glasses that protect them from the laser light. Minimal side effects include temporary redness in the areas that are treated.
Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing uses the latest laser technology to treat acne scars. By precisely removing layers of damaged skin, this effective laser therapy stimulates the growth of new collagen and allows bright, glowing new skin to form. Laser resurfacing is a proven treatment for people with acne scarring, facial lines and wrinkles, aging skin, sun-damaged skin, uneven skin tone and other skin imperfections.
Surgical Acne Removal
Some cases of severe acne involve large cysts that don't respond to medications. These acne lesions can be treated with a surgical acne removal technique called "drainage and extraction" or "acne surgery." This minor surgical procedure is performed to ease pain caused by the cyst and reduce the risk of it leaving a scar. Patients should not attempt to remove acne lesions themselves by picking or squeezing, which can cause skin irritation, scarring and the risk of infection.
Chemical peels are very effective in exfoliating the skin, allowing the dead skin cells and excess oil that cause pore blockages to be reduced. This proven skin resurfacing procedure is used to treat skin affected by acne, irregular pigmentation, sun exposure and aging by removing the outer layers of damaged skin. The layer of dead skin then peels off to reveal fresh, rejuvenated skin with a smoother, younger-looking tone and texture.
Microdermabrasion is used to treat acne scars in addition to other light scars, skin irregularities and sun damage. During microdermabrasion treatments, a spray of tiny microcrystals exfoliates the skin and a gentle suction stimulates the dermis. This causes a remodeling process that stimulates the growth of new skin with fresh collagen. Microdermabrasion helps the skin appear smoother, more elastic and healthier-looking.
Regular treatment with deep-cleansing facials at Spa Greystone can reduce the frequency of acne breakouts by clearing the pores of excess oil and dead skin cells. Facials are an important way to deep clean and exfoliate the skin, removing impurities and toxins while adding vitamins and skin hydration. For people with non-inflammatory acne, facials are an ideal addition to your acne regimen, pampering your skin and unclogging blocked pores that are the root cause of acne.
Injectable Soft Tissue Fillers
Soft tissue fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse and collagen can improve the appearance of acne scars by raising the skin to give it a smoother appearance. These injectables add skin volume and provide immediate results for rejuvenating the skin. Dermal fillers are a temporary solution for filling acne scars and are eventually absorbed by the body, requiring repeat treatments. Fillers are also used to restore volume to facial skin, soften facial lines and wrinkles, and enhance the lips.