June is Acne Awareness Month and an opportune time to look at new clinically proven options for acne sufferers. Acne is the most common skin condition in the U.S. and affects more than 50 million people of all ages.
At EVOLV, we believe in the comprehensive benefits of creating and maintaining optimal skin health as the most effective method to reduce inflammatory skin conditions and disease such as acne, as well as to lower skin cancer risk and reduce signs of aging. Acne is not merely an appearance concern but can cause significant and long-term scarring in the skin, hyperpigmentation (dark spots), and most importantly cause severe anxiety, social distress, and loss of self-confidence for many young adults. Fortunately, there are new, scientifically proven therapy and product options not only for the treatment of active acne, but also for the restoration and ongoing prevention and maintenance of healthy, non-inflamed, and beautiful skin.
What is Acne?
Acne is a skin condition involving inflammation and infection of the oil (sebaceous) glands and connected hair follicles of the face, neck, chest, and back. The oil or sebaceous glands become active at puberty with the circulation of sex hormones and are also greatly influenced by hormonal fluctuation or imbalance as well as by stress, diet, and overall skin health. Although more common in the teenage years, acne can also be a problem at any age after puberty and during the peri-menopausal years due to changes in hormonal balance. Plugging and congestion of oil and cells in the follicle may lead to bacterial infections and inflammation as the body’s immune system is activated. Deeper cystic acne infections can also result in tissue damage and permanent scarring of the skin.
What are the problems with traditional acne treatment?
The common practice of using harsh or drying skin products and long-term antibiotics may have a short-term benefit but also have several significant limitations. Over-drying the skin with products such as high-dose hydrogen peroxide can lead to more irritation and stimulate more sebaceous or oil activity which increases acne activity and damage. Long-term antibiotics may have an initial benefit but eventually, result in promoting resistant and more aggressive bacteria in the skin and follicles which are more challenging to treat as well as cause disruption of GI function by disturbing the normal flora of the gut which are essential to immune function and health. Perhaps most importantly, antibiotics do not improve skin health and new research supports the concept of restoring and optimizing overall skin health as one of the most effective methods to reduce or prevent acne infections, redness, and reduce the risk of scarring.
EVOLVing Concepts in Acne Treatment and Prevention – Holistic and Comprehensive Programs
At EVOLV, we have always believed in the holistic healthcare concept that preventing disease is far more effective than treating it. This fundamental concept is especially relevant in acne treatments where traditional therapeutic options are typically long-term antibiotics or topical drying agents such as high dose benzoyl peroxides which often have associated negative side effects and fail to improve overall skin health. Clinical research has revealed compelling data supporting the benefits of reducing inflammation and restoring optimal skin health with personalized medical skincare programs, products, treatments, and services that are comprehensive and have global benefits for skin function and result in significantly reducing the frequency and severity of acne breakouts, lowering the risk of scarring, and restoring healthy and non-inflamed skin. Here are some of our favorites:
Reducing inflammation and restoring healthy skin barrier function with antioxidants, oil control, hydration, and calming using ZO Skin Health’s proprietary products, masks, and gentle peels are essential in long-term acne reduction. The program is based on years of clinical studies and utilizes state-of-the-art natural products to improve skin health. Non-comedogenic sunscreens and medical-grade makeup that calm irritation and do not block pores are also essential for acne-prone skin and reducing breakouts.
Medical HydraFacial MD
HydraFacial MD is a unique and non-irritating cleansing and exfoliating technology supported by years of research and thousands of successful patient treatments. The fluid-based system gently cleanses, peels, hydrates, exfoliates and extracts excess oil and debris without irritating even the most sensitive skin. HydraFacial treatments can also be enhanced with ‘booster serums’ specifically developed to reduce inflammation and excess pigment and restore skin vitality and health which uniquely benefits all skin, especially acne-prone.
Forever Clear Broad Band Light (BBL)
Forever Clear BBL is an exciting, office-based treatment using therapeutic light energy to directly reduce acne bacteria, calm irritated breakouts, and stimulate natural healing. This is an FDA-cleared, non-invasive, and no downtime treatment that has three unique steps:
- The skin is initially treated with pulsed blue wavelength energy which directly eliminates acne-causing bacteria within the pores where it matters most.
- The 2nd step involves yellow/green wavelength pulsed light to reduce inflammation and redness directly resulting in healthy and luminous skin.
- The 3rd and final step in the Forever Clear BBL utilizes rapid and gentle infrared energy pulses to stimulate the natural healing process within the skin.
- The Sciton BBL is the world’s most powerful pulsed light energy device, and these comfortable and no-downtime Forever Clear treatments can dramatically clear inflamed and acne-prone skin without chemicals or antibiotics.
Nutrition and Supplements – Like most diseases, acne is essentially an inflammatory condition created by bacterial infection and irritation within the oil (sebaceous) glands. Numerous clinical studies have confirmed the fundamental role of nutrition in inflammatory processes like acne. Processed and refined foods, dairy, carbohydrates, and sugars increase inflammation and can exacerbate acne signs and symptoms. That is why EVOLV strongly advocates an anti-inflammatory diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables, fatty fish with increased Omega 3 fatty acids, as well as a more plant-based nutritional program. Metagenics and VitaMedica are 2 of the world leaders in medical-grade supplements and have several options for improving gut health with probiotics and high potency antioxidants that can reduce acne inflammation. We encourage everyone to speak with an EVOLV professional provider to learn more about these options.
At EVOLV Plastic Surgery and Medical Aesthetics, we believe in a holistic and comprehensive approach to skin and aesthetic care because improving overall wellness and quality of life impacts general health. Our skin is no exception as skin health is strongly influenced by the body’s general health from nutrition, exercise, stress, and overall wellness. This fundamental concept is especially impactful in acne prevention and management as improving health and wellness reduces inflammation and acne outbreaks. At EVOLV, we also embrace cutting-edge products, services and techniques, and ongoing education and then design personalized comprehensive programs for each patient and their concerns. Applying this concept to acne care is particularly exciting and effective. It can improve overall skin health, reducing the severity and frequency of acne outbreaks without chronic antibiotics or other medications that often have significant side effects. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology such as Forever Clear BBL, HydraFacial MD, and ZO medical skincare programs are especially effective in long-term acne control and in achieving more beautiful and healthy skin!