I hate the pock marks and pigmentation left from my acne. I’m 26 and finally most of the pustules are going away. What can I do?

shutterstock_69723952Dr. Dean Kane Q & A. Q. I hate the pock marks and pigmentation left from my acne. I’m 26 and finally most of the pustules are going away. What can I do? A. ​We recognize that acne is genetic and cannot be cured. It has two reasons for developing including:   1. Diminished ability for the skin to exfoliate and therefore trap the oil which causes inflammation, followed by infection and then scar; and 2. An imbalance of hormones which cause more oil production.   Hormones imbalances are diagnosed and treated by your internist, GYN, or endocrinologist. For cystic acne, Spironolactone and Accutane will be offered by your Dermatologist. Smoking, stress and some foods can further trigger hormone changes causing acne. Brown pigmentation and red blemishes develop due to the inflammatory response. Scars are the end result of skin ulceration.   Skin health is what you need. Following an evaluation by a well experienced, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist, the options for improvement may include: 1. Proper cleansing 2. Exfoliation with: glycolic acid, microdermabrasion, retin-A 3. Chemical peels including glycolic acid and / trichloracetic acid 4. Inflamed active acne and pustules maybe improved with Levulan and /or Blu-Light 5. Scars maybe improved with retin-A (“ZO”, Dr. Obagi’s second generation Skin Health therapy), microdermabrasions, fillers such as Restylane / Juvederm, Levulan and / or vascular laser and sometimes surgery such as a mini-face lift to stretch the scars. 6. Many times it is the hyperpigmentation, ie. coloration of the acne blemish and scar that need color blending. With the ZO (Obagi) Skin Health System, lines and excess pigmentation will fade. 7. These at-home cream programs are further stimulated with two different types of chemical peels! Use the TCA or Obagi Peels for superficial exfoliation and deeper skin tightening and the VI Peel for light to medium exfoliation with collagen stimulation and pigmentation control. 8. Consider Laser and Light technologies for those who don’t like the use of creams and acid peels. The IPL will improve red and brown pigmentation while Pixel or erbium laser tightens the skin and softens acne scars. ClearLift is revolutionary in providing 2 non-painful lasers in one to improve texture and soften scarring.   9. For severe acne scarring, the best way to soften the scarring is with a skin redraping ie. skin-only facelift.   You see that there are many options to choose from. Please select your acne specialist with care. I wish you the best!  
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