Acne Treatments at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta
As of January 1, 2020, all Acne Surgery patients must see a provider (Physician or Physician Assistant) at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta, P.C. yearly to receive Acne Surgery treatments filed to insurance. After a series of treatments, patients must follow up with a provider (Physician or Physician Assistant) within the practice to determine whether the Acne Surgery is still medically necessary. If you have any questions, please contact the Insurance and Billing office at 404-256-4457 ext. 205.
Acne is the single most commonly diagnosed skin condition for both adolescents and adults in the US. While it may not pose any serious health risks, the cosmetic symptoms of acne can be troublesome and untreated acne can also lead to physical scarring over time (known as acne scarring).
There are many different kinds of acne that can be caused by a wide variety of factors. The most common types of acne typically fall into one of two different categories; hormonal acne or bacterial acne. Inflammation in the skin can also cause acne for some people.
Our bodies naturally produce an oil called sebum that is important for moisturizing and protecting the skin. Hormonal acne includes acne blemishes that develop as a result of a hormonal imbalance which causes the body to produce more sebum than it needs. This excess sebum can clog the pores, cutting off oxygen and leading to the inflammation that makes the skin look red, puffy, and bumpy.
Bacterial acne can occur when certain types of bacteria enter and infect the pores, creating blemishes on the skin. The combination of bacterial overgrowth, inflammation, and increased sebum production to an inflammatory reaction in the area surrounding the pores and hair follicles.
Understanding whether your acne is hormonal or bacterial in nature (or a combination of both) is the first step in diagnosing and treating your specific acne condition.
Types of Acne:
Blackheads— Occur as a result of a pore being clogged by a combination of excess sebum and dead skin cells. Blackheads appear as small black markings on the skin’s surface.
Whiteheads— Occur when the pore becomes completely blocked with sebum and dead skin, causing the top of the pore to close and leading to inflammation and an eventual rupture. Whiteheads appear as small bumps beneath the surface of the skin.
Papules— Occur when severe inflammation causes walls surrounding the pores to break down, resulting in hardened, clogged pores that are tender to the touch. Papules cause the skin around these pores to appear inflamed and pinkish.
Pustules— Similar to papules, pustules can also occur as a result of when the walls around the pores break down. However, unlike papules, pustules are filled with pus. Pustules arise as reddish bumps on the surface of the skin that often have yellow or white heads on top.
Nodules— occur when a whitehead becomes severely infected, leading to clogged, swollen pores that become more irritated and grow larger. Nodules appear as large, round bumps beneath the skin’s surface. Unlike pustules and papules, nodules exist deeper underneath the skin and will only respond to more intense treatments like prescription medications.
Cysts— Occur when a pore becomes clogged deep within the skin by a combination of bacteria, sebum, and dead skin cells. Cysts appear as raised red or white lumps that can be sensitive or painful to the touch. Cysts are the largest form of acne, and their development often results from a severe infection.
Acne Treatment Methods
Identifying the cause of acne is imperative for determining the most effective treatment for each patient’s unique condition. Here at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta, we always begin by evaluating our patient’s skin and discussing their medical history in order to fully understand the cause of their acne. Once this is done, we will then recommend one of the following acne treatments that we offer:
Oral or topical medicines used in less severe cases that include ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid that address acne by clearing pores, limiting bacteria, and protecting the skin from additional flare-ups.
Oral or topical medicines prescribed by our providers to help patients in more severe cases, or instances where over-the-counter alternatives have not been successful. May include antibiotics, diuretics, retinoids like Isotretinoin (Accutane), or customized prescription compounds based on each patient’s specific skin and acne type. In some cases, birth control pills may be able to help women manage certain types of acne.
We perform a wide variety of cosmetic treatments that are highly effective for addressing both acne and acne scarring. This includes cosmetic laser treatments, IsoLaz™ deep pore laser treatment, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and more. All acne treatments at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta and our sister centers are performed by licensed expert cosmetic providers. In some cases, these treatments may be combined with certain medications to provide the most comprehensive and effective treatment.
Skin Care Products:
We also offer a large selection of skin care products from top cosmetic brands that can often be extremely helpful for treating and managing acne symptoms. We always perform a skin care consultation first to determine the most beneficial products for each of our patients.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can adults have acne?
Yes, acne can affect individuals of all ages, gender, and ethnicities. Women are especially prone to acne during their menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and/or during menopause. Our treatment options are effective for women and men regardless of their age.
Will bacterial acne look different than hormonal acne?
No. The main differences between these two categories of acne are what causes the flare-ups to occur and how they can be treated. Our experts have extensive training and experience diagnosing and treating all kinds of acne.
Is Rosacea a type of acne?
While rosacea is sometimes referred to as “adult acne,” it is not actually acne at all. Rosacea is a chronic facial skin condition that appears as redness, inflammation, and irritation that can look similar to acne. Although it is not technically acne, we do offer various treatments for rosacea including prescription medication and laser therapy at the Laser Institute of Georgia.
Can the sun exposure help minimize my acne?
While sunlight can occasionally improve acne temporarily, it increases your risk of premature aging, sun damage, and skin cancer. Many acne treatments can actually make the skin more light sensitive, so acne patients should avoid extended UV exposure before and following their treatment.