Dealing with Breakouts
Most of us out there are currently either struggling with breakouts, know someone who is, or have a teenager who definitely is. Let’s break down the root of the issue.
ACNE, what is it? A condition where the skin suffers from irritation and inflammation as a result of a clogged pore. Some of the most common types of breakouts include: whiteheads, blackheads, pimples and cysts. It is most common in teenagers but anyone can suffer from it, especially women during hormone surges. There are plenty of at home remedies and skin care regimens to target this problem. It is important, however, to know when it’s the right time to go see your dermatologist or a licensed skin care specialist. Acne is usually classified into essentially 4 categories:
Grade 0: This is your baseline clear skin with no inflammation.
Grade 1: Almost clear with some rare non-inflammatory lesions. Meaning one or two blemishes once in a while. Not very visible.
Grade 2: Mild severity, some non-inflammatory lesions with a few blemishes. Only some showing signs of inflammation. A few sporadic and barely visible.
Grade 3: Moderate severity, many non-inflammatory lesions not including a few that are showing signs of inflammation and maybe one or two of cystic nature. More than a few that can potentially be red and often visible.
Grade 4: Severe, many non-inflammatory lesions and many inflammatory lesions with a few of them being cystic in nature. This is visible, red acne and can be tender or painful to the touch.
Grades 0-2 can be treated at home with some diligent skin care routines. Because of the difficulty in treatment and the propensity for scarring and damage to the skin it’s best to consult your dermatologist or skin care specialist for grades 3-4. The best way to take care of your skin at home is starting with a strong foundation for cleanliness. This is broken down into 3 steps:
Cleansing: A gentle foaming cleanser cleans and degreases skin thoroughly but gently in order to help unclog the pores.
Exfoliating: We typically have a layer of dead skin cells on the surface of our skin and these dead skin cells, when mixed with oils can be one of the biggest causes for breakouts. Exfoliation can help debride that top layer of film contributing to clogging your pores.
Toner: As you wash and exfoliate your skin you begin to disrupt the PH balance. Maintaining this PH balance is essential to product penetration and neutralizing the skin. It also prevents your skin from becoming too dry or too oily.
Once you have cleaned, exfoliated and toned there are several treatments you can use to either help combat an active breakout or to prevent another one from happening. At Gordon Plastic Surgery we carry multiple types of treatments such as:
Salicylic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide: these are treatments that help wash out your pores, cleaning them out on a deeper level and preventing further build-up. Most people tolerate these very well but find that one works better than the other. Both of these are considered chemical exfoliators, meaning they are also helping to remove dead skin cells in the process, further adding to that fresh new skin.
Ascorbic Acid or other Vitamin C derivatives: This type of treatment is an antioxidant. While it has many useful benefits, for acne this is going to even out your skin tone after a breakout and help prevent permanent spots or scarring.
Retinols: Retinols are a great way to increase your cell turnover rate. Your cell turnover rate is the rate at which you produce new cells. As you can imagine, during a break out, not only are you dealing with a potential pimple but then you are left with a spot or mark. The faster you can shed your dead skin cells, the less your pores are clogged leading to less breakouts. Let’s say you already have a breakout, then the faster you’re pushing out nice, new skin cells the quicker you get rid of that spot or mark left behind. Overall it’s a great long term treatment that helps your skin look its best.
Peels: At Gordon Plastic Surgery in The Woodlands, TX we offer a variety of peels ranging from light “lunchtime” peels with zero downtime to deeper chemical peels both help in treating and preventing breakouts but mostly are incredible at making the skin look even and clear. These also treat surface issues that lead to breakouts such as enlarged pores. They help even out texture on the skin which is one of the results of multiple breakouts over long periods of time.
Facials: At Gordon Plastic Surgery we offer Hydrafacial, which is great for people with acne of any age. The facial itself is gentle enough not to cause more damage, and to be able to get them as often as necessary. It is a fantastic way of getting extractions without causing trauma to the skin and is infused with treatments that help clear out your pores. A bonus is you walk out with a super clean feeling and beautiful glowing skin.
All of these products are great, but because of their chemical compositions, they can’t all be used at the same time nor can they all be layered together. For best results come in to have a consultation where we can not only put you on a daily skin care program but also suggest which treatments will give you optimal results.