How to Clear Up Acne - 8 West Cosmetic Skin Clinic Vancouver

How to Clear Up Acne

How to Clear Up Acne

Zits, spots, pimples, blackheads, whiteheads – acne is something that affects 99.9% of people, but especially during puberty. For some, puberty is where their acne-woes begin and end, and they carry on through life with only a zit here or there. For many others, acne is a chronic condition that can carry on well into adulthood, and may leave people feeling less confident about their skin and appearance. 

 

Acne is a complex condition, and what causes acne for a person hasn’t been 100% drilled down to one singular contributor. Just like there is no single cause, there is also no single “cure” for acne, but a combination of lifestyle factors, skincare, and medical-grade skin treatments. There are a number of options to help treat and prevent acne, whether it is during puberty, or in your adult years.

 

With summer vacation coming to an end (boo!) and as people return to school, college or work, let’s discuss what contributes to acne, how you can treat it, prevent it, and discuss acne scar removal treatments. 

 

Simply put, acne occurs when a pore, or hair follicle, becomes blocked by oil, dirt, dead skin cells and bacteria. This then clogs the pore and can create either a blackhead, whitehead, papule (red spots) or pustule (pimple). Acne typically occurs on the face, neck, shoulders, back and chest – as this is where our body tends to have the most active sebaceous glands, which produce sebum (oil) to assist in hydrating and protecting our skin. An overproduction of sebum is what causes excess oil to build up and combine with other factors (dirt, bacteria, etc.) to then block the pore and produce forms of acne. 

 

In teenagers, puberty results in an increase in androgens, which are hormones crucial for the development of primary (reproductive organs) and secondary (face and body hair) male sexual characteristics, as well as bone and muscle development and metabolism. Androgens also result in a spike of sebum production, which then results in acne. Females still produce androgens, but this is why acne tends to affect males disproportionately to females

 

For adults and teenagers alike, a consistent and customized skincare routine is a great foundation to help diminish and treat acne, as well as addressing different lifestyle factors (healthy diet, lots of water, exercise, sleep, etc.). 

 

Beyond lifestyle and skincare routines, there are some other treatments available that can help give your skin an extra boost, as well as target the bacteria that gives acne a helping hand.  

 

First things first; whether it’s acne or not, a consistent skincare routine is extremely important to aid the overall health and resilience of your skin. When it comes to acne, a skincare routine that works to clean the face of excess sebum, exfoliate dead skin cells, and kill acne-causing bacteria is a key to clearer skin. This may sound as simple as washing your face daily, but because everyone’s skin is so different, it can be difficult to find the right balance for your skin when it comes to skincare products.

 

Those with more oily, acne-prone skin will find they need to use more powerful oil-removing products, and possibly a very light moisturizer. Some people with very sensitive skin may find it too much to exfoliate the skin daily, and will also need to find a very gentle cleanser. Sometimes, using the wrong mix of skincare products for your skin can either make your acne worse, or may even bring out or exasperate other skin conditions. 

 

This is where the skills and knowledge of a skin specialist is imperative to getting the mix right for your skin. Through booking a consultation with a medical aesthetician, they can assess you skin type, skin conditions and suggest the best routine for your skin, and for your acne. Combine this with medical-grade skincare, such as those by SkinCeuticals or ZO Skin Health, and you will be set up for healthier and clearer skin*.

 

*Remember, when you start a new skincare routine, for the first 3 months your skin will likely start to look worse before it looks better. This is because it takes at least 30 days for your epidermis (top-most layer or the skin) to turn over new skin cells and purge pre-existing congestion. Patience and dedication is the key to this game.

 

Once you have a good skincare routine in place, you will notice a significant improvement in your overall skin health and appearance, but as topical products can only work on the more superficial layers of the skin, sometimes it requires a little extra help. 

 

HydraFacials™ and Acne Chemical Peels are a great way to manually and chemically exfoliate the skin, working to remove a deeper build-up of congestion while infusing the skin with additional acne-fighting benefits. 

 

The HydraFacial™ is a manual exfoliation treatment that uses a small vacuum pen to exfoliate and extract dirt, oil and dead skin cells, while simultaneously infusing a mixture of different serums (such as glycolic and salicylic acid) into your skin.  You also will notice an instant glow to your skin once you have leave, just for a little bonus!  

Note: when you finish your treatment, ask your treatment provider to show you the machine’s vacuum receptacle, so you can see just how much dirt, oil and dead skin was removed! Gross? Maybe. Deeply satisfying? Absolutely!!!

 

Medical-Grade Acne Chemical Peels are a powerful chemical exfoliation treatment that works by applying a customized and potent series of serums, peels and face masks to promote rapid cellular turnover of the epidermis. It will help reduce and remove oil, dirt, and bacteria, while promoting the skin to peel; stimulating collagen and regeneration of the uppermost layer of the skin. This can also help to reduce the appearance of light acne scars and other forms of mild skin damage. 

 

For those with more severe acne, or even those who just wish to give their spots a real kick, we have a treat for you; the Broadband Light (BBL) Forever Clear treatment. Also known as IPL, BBL Forever Clear Therapy uses a highly advanced device that utilizes broad-spectrum light energy. You may have heard of laser skin treatments, and laser resurfacing treatments, and BBL is within this family. 

 

This state-of-the-art technology is incredibly adjustable and customizable, so that it will penetrate a very specific layer of the skin to treat where the specific condition or issue lies. In regards to acne, the device is used to target the part of the epidermis where bacteria aids in the clogging of pores and creation of acne. The BBL therapy literally zaps and kills this bacteria, therefore taking away one of the primary ingredients that cause acne and works to dramatically reduce inflammation. While this treatment is amazing at reducing the development of spots (papule and pustule), at cannot remove acne scars – but we have other lasers for that!

 

Forever Clear BBL - Before and After Photo

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Acne scarring, or acne pitting, occurs when the skin isn’t able to repair itself from acne damage, resulting in superficial scarring to the epidermis and dermis layers of the skin. It is usually the result of severe cases of teenage or young-adult acne, but may affect people who experienced mild-moderate acne as well. Acne scarring can be hard to avoid based on the severity of a person’s acne or hereditary factors, such as weaker or easily damaged skin. 

 

Fortunately there are a number of ways we can treat, reduce and even remove mild-to-moderate acne scars. Microneedling, Halo and ProFractional Laser are resurfacing treatments that work to strongly exfoliate the epidermis and remove surface-level scarring, as well as stimulate large levels of collagen in the dermis. This encourages the skin’s natural healing response, as well as strengthening both the dermis and epidermis. How many treatments, and which you need depend on your skin type and the severity of scarring, and in the hands of a specialist, an expertly customized treatment plan will be suggested for optimal results.

 

Acne Scar Treatment - ProFractional Laser - Before and After Photos

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Acne is something that everyone experiences in different ways, both in an aesthetic and emotional sense. It can be something that is quite upsetting, and while most people are able to treat it, some do find it almost impossible to bring their pimples under control. The true foundation for healthier, clearer skin is about having a comprehensive and informed approach to acne and acne treatment. That’s why seeing a skin specialist is so important, because not only do they have the knowledge to treat a range of skin conditions, they also have an experience to analyze and understand your unique skin type to provide honest options for treatment. 

 

Our Sr. Medical Aesthetician, Suzanne, and Aesthetic Registered Nurse, Sonya, between them have over 20 years of experience in medical aesthetics, and are expertly trained in gold standard industry treatments and cutting edge technology.

 

At 8 West Cosmetic Surgery & Skin Clinic, we offer complimentary skin consultations with our skin specialists so that they can assess your skin and customize a number of treatment plans that align with your desired results and budget. Our specialists provide a 360 degree approach to medical aesthetics, and will discuss your skin goals and how your lifestyle and skincare can help give you the best results to love the skin you’re in. 

 

You can book a consultation by calling us on (604) 733-1669, or we can have a patient care manager contact you by completing this form.