Acne is certainly one of the most prevalent skin concerns facing many of our clients. It is a tricky thing to treat and requires a detailed thorough treatment plan to address active acne breakouts as well as post acne scarring. Here are our topic picks for acne treatments that work and will get your clients loving their skin again:
But first what is acne and why does it occur?
Acne is essentially an infection within the skin which aggravates our immune system and produces those pesky inflamed acne bumps. It typically occurs when there is a build-up of sebum which is the oil produced by our sebaceous gland. When this oil combines with an accumulation of dead skin cells and environmental pollutants it clogs our pores and induces this inflammatory skin response. There are many contributing factors to acne including hormonal fluctuations, air pollution, weather conditions, stress, medication, genetics, and topical products. Therefore, as always, we suggest that you undertake a thorough skin consultation with your client prior to introducing any new treatments. This will allow you to first address any of these triggers before getting into a treatment plan.
Where to from here?
After you have adequately diagnosed acne triggers and have put a plan in place to address these lifestyle, genetic or environmental factors, the next step is a rigid corrections plan to get active acne breakouts under control. There are a range of proven and effective treatments which work to diminish acne breakouts, these include:
There are many acne fighting ingredients on the market which can be prescribed to control active acne flares. Salicylic acid for instance works by penetrating the skins pores to deeply exfoliate and clear out debris and oil. Benzoyl peroxide is also a commonly found ingredient which targets surface level acne bacteria and helps to draw away excess oil. Certain clays such as bentonite and kaolin clay can also help to soak up excess sebum to dry out pores. And of course, we have our vitamin A family or retinoids which are the most researched and respected topicals used to fight acne. So, make the most of your in-clinic skincare range and put together a workable clinical and at home skincare routine for your clients.
LED therapy, specifically Blue LED, is a proven acne fighting treatment which works in two ways to ward off acne. Firstly, it directly targets our oil producing sebaceous gland by minimising its activity and reducing the amount of oil it can produce. Secondly Blue LED has antibacterial properties which kills acne causing bacteria. Excess oil and acne bacteria are the main contributors to acne breakouts so by addressing these root causes we are well on our way to preventing acne flareups.
So, your client’s acne appears to be clearing up and their skin is beginning to return back to a healthy state, now we focus on maintenance! Keeping up with the topical skincare regime and regular clinic LED treatments is crucial but this is also the time to be introducing other maintenance treatments to the program, including:
Whether it be through microdermabrasion or hydrodermabrasion both exfoliating mediums work to effectively clear away built-up dirt and debris to ensure pores remain decongested and healthy. Keeping the skin clear and cleansed is a routine treatment clients will need to continually follow to maintain their incredible treatment results.
A Carbon facial is a diverse treatment which has numerous benefits for acne maintenance. The carbon works by deeply penetrating pores to soak up accumulating oil and dirt, the laser will then blast out the carbon along with these contaminates to revitalise and refresh the pores. It also works to exfoliate away the superficial dead skin layers which can contribute to congestion. Lastly the heat from the laser also reduces sebaceous oil production.
What about scarring?
We have got the active acne under control, maintenance is working well, acne has cleared up and now we face our next hurdle…acne scarring. Clients are likely to be left with two forms of scarring, physical scarring as well as pigmented scarring. Physical scarring appears as indentations or depressions within the skin. They occur as a result of the wound heal process attempting to inadequately repair the damaged acne site. Essentially the skin fails to sufficiently produce enough skin tissue to flesh out and remodel the wounded site. The dermal collagen and connective tissue produced during the wound-healing process have inadequately compensated for the amount of tissue lost. Pigmented scarring on the other hand appears as red or brown spots remaining after inflammation has cleared. Typically, this is a response of our protective melanocytes flooding to the area in an attempt to protect our skin. So, what treatments can we use to revitalise this scarring:
Skin needling works by gently puncturing the skin in a fractionated pattern to create small micro wounds. These wounds are not visible to the eye, but your skin recognises that trauma has occurred and wills itself to produce more collagen to remodel the area. With multiple sessions this treatment can somewhat flesh out pitted scarring and also speed up our skin cell turnover which will result in the desquamation of pigmented damaged cells. Overall, the client will see a more even skin texture and tone.
Er:YAG or Co2 Laser Resurfacing:
Laser Resurfacing works to strip away the damaged top layers of skin to reveal the healthier more evenly textures skin below. This can be a more invasive treatment however the dramatic minimisation to pitted acne scarring are well worth the downtime.
Q-switched laser Pigment Removal:
A Q-switched Nd:YAG laser is also an effective treatment tool for the correction of pigmented scarring. It works by applying short pulses of energy onto the treatment site, this causes the pigment scars to shatter into smaller pigmented fragments, which the body’s immune system identifies as waste and worst to clear away.
Chemical Peels are a very popular and traditional treatment for the correction of pigmentation and scarring. Peels utilise specialised chemicals to speed up the skins exfoliation process. When we remove the top layer of damaged skin, the new skin that grows in its place is smoother and evenly pigmented providing a more even skin complexion and texture.
So, as you can see acne is a very long journey and requires a very logically thought out procedure to give your clients the results that they deserve.