As a dermatologist in Tucson, Arizona, specializing in pediatric services, I’ve treated countless teenagers for moderate to severe acne. Additionally, adult patients come to my practice seeking to reduce the appearance of their own acne, as well as scarring caused by acne from their younger years.
Some prescription topical and oral medications get satisfactory results, but acne that’s harder to treat often requires patients to combine medication with other therapy. There are also several excellent options to treat acne scarring. Here are the treatments we typically recommend to our patients at Foothills Dermatology & Facial Plastic Surgery:
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT): Light treatment is a very popular, non-invasive service that begins with the application of a topical, photosensitive agent to a patient’s skin. We leave it on the skin for up to an hour, then remove it and apply a special blue light that targets acne. This treatment may be combined with medications for some patients suffering from acne that resists other treatments.
- Laser treatment: When it comes to treating acne scars, rather than active acne flare-ups, we prefer the CO2 laser. This fractional laser treatment vaporizes acne scars through several layers of skin and tightens surface skins, resulting in a clearer complexion after only a few treatments.
- Microdermabrasion: A technique used to remove the outer layer of dead skin cells, microdermabrasion unclogs pores and treats non-inflamed acne, such as blackheads and whiteheads. Because inflamed acne can actually get worse when scrubbed, microdermabrasion isn’t recommended for those cases.
- Chemical peels: A chemical peel involves applying an acid-based peel to exfoliate the top layers of skin. The strength of the peel varies depending on the skin condition and the level of therapy desired. Like microdermabrasion, chemical peels unclog pores and can help lessen the appearance of acne scarring. Combined with other treatments, chemical peels are an effective tool in the fight against acne and acne scars.
There is typically not a single solution to a person’s acne outbreaks. Consult with a board-certified dermatologist to determine the treatment that will be most effective for specific skin conditions.