Acne is an extremely common condition that affects teenagers and adults. Although this condition is most common in teenagers, it can appear in adulthood as well. It is characterized by papules, pustules, comedones (whiteheads and blackheads), and sometimes cysts. The most troublesome aspect of this condition is the potential for scarring to occur, as this can be extremely difficult to treat in some cases.
Treatments can be broken down into internal therapies and external therapies. Internal therapies include treatments such as oral antibiotics, birth control pills. and Accutane, while external therapies include topical antibiotics, Isolaz, and photodynamic therapy (PDT).
Isolaz is a popular treatment which uses a combination of suction and light therapy to kill acne bacteria and clear pores. This decreases the number of lesions and the amount of sebum produced.
PDT is an effective therapy that uses a special wavelength of light to activate a topical medication that is absorbed by acne-causing bacteria to clear the bacteria and treat the acne. One of the downsides of PDT therapy is that it may cause redness and peeling, which could last up to one week following therapy.
Treatments for acne scars include carbon dioxide laser resurfacing, fractional laser resurfacing, and percutaneous collagen induction (PCI) using microneedling. Each of these scar treatments has its own advantages and disadvantages–some are more aggressive than others causing a longer period of social downtime, but are also more beneficial.