Acne is what happens when your pores become plugged by natural skin oils. These oils, called sebum are produced by the sebaceous glands under your skin. Sebum production is a natural process that's partially influenced by genetic factors and partially caused by environmental factors.
Wait, hold on, how do I get acne? Acne is created when naturally occurring bacteria, deep within pores, feed on the trapped oil and break it down to fatty acids. These acids attract inflammatory cells creating an acne papule or cyst. Gross, right?
So what are you doing to cause acne? Well your genetics and hormones play a big part. When this is your case, the best we can do is manage your skin and diet to prevent getting acne as much as possible.
Acne is also caused in part, by your diet. Recent studies point to dairy as an instigator of acne. Scientists think that since cow's milk contains growth hormones and anabolic steroids(cows get these so they produce more milk), it can effect humans' sebaceous glands.
People that don't have a westernized diet don't have acne. These people don't eat foods with a high glycemic index like sweets, sodas, and white rice and bread. These foods release sugars into the blood stream quickly and cause an increase in sebaceous oil production.
Basically, the key to keeping acne away is keeping pores open, slowing oil production and sometimes changing your diet.
Here's how we recommend treating acne.
Keep your pores open: This is Annie's area of experties. She would tell you to use a topical retinoid for at least 6 weeks, then keep using it to keep your pores open. Annie can also unplug your pores. She does this by carefully removing each pore's plug with microdermabrasion, salicylic acid or a hydroxyl acid peel.
Kill the bacteria growing in the pores: You need to schedule a visit to Congress Cosmetic to do this part. We might recommend a topical or oral antibiotic or Annie might perform a light-based treatment for you.
Decrease oil production: Again, you need an appointment for this one. Since hormones are a big factor in creating acne, we might prescribe a hormone blocker for you like birth control or Accutane. These work mostly for cystic acne, and they work well.
We may also work with you to create a new diet. Depending on what you eat, your skin problems could be caused by the foods you're eating. We might suggest you cut dairy out of your diet or cut back on the sugary foods.