Don’t get frustrated - you are not alone. We understand that acne can be a tremendous emotional, psychological, and physical burden and we are here to help. Although acne affects mostly teenagers, it is not uncommon for adults as well.
These days there is a wide range of treatment options. Just call us (949) 551-1113 to make an appointment or ask questions to be medically evaluated and begin treatment to prevent the development of permanent acne scars.
The following are before and after photos of our actual patients:
Acne and You
Learning about the basic cause of acne and treatment options allows you to be more involved in making decisions about what is the best treatment for your acne.
The more you are educated about acne, the more successful you will be with the treatment. Here are common questions about acne in general.
What is acne?
Acne is just “plugged pores” with or without infection.
What are pores?
Pores are the opening of the hair follicle to the surface of the skin. Pores allow oil and sweat glands to reach the surface through the hair follicle below.
How is acne formed?
Hormonal changes, especially during puberty, increases oil production, that along with natural bacteria of the skin, can cause clogging of the hair follicle. This traps the bacteria in the hair follicle and causes acne pimples. In severe cases, when infection and inflammation of the hair follicle begins to invade deeper tissue of the skin, cystic acne is formed.
When should I see a Doctor for my acne?
As you know, Prevention is Easier than Correction.
Dr. Shafa highly recommends beginning acne treatment as soon as possible to avoid frustration with acne scars. Mild, moderate, or even severe acne treatments are still more rewarding and less expensive than late acne scar treatment.
We advise you to treat your acne before you start developing scars, however; if you already have acne scars click here to schedule your complimentary consultation to be educated about your treatment options.
How can acne be treated?
Acne treatment is a dynamic process that requires patience and consistency. Treatment can range from options as simple as proper skin care and cleanser, hormonal treatment, topical and/or oral antibiotics, injections of cystic acne, extraction with medical grade facial, unclogging and peeling of the skin through chemical peel or topical Vitamin A, to as aggressive, if needed, oral Vitamin A known as “Accutane” (generic is called isotretinoin) or
a combination of these options.
What can we treat with medications?
- Overproduction of oil in skin
- Skin infection
- Skin inflammation
- Dysfunctional hair follicle lining shedding
- Hormonal imbalance
- Skin discoloration
- Skin irritation
- Acne scars
- Acne pain and discomfort control
What is the right treatment for me?
Dr. Shafa considers multiple critical factors in choosing the right acne treatment for each individual patient.
The following are just a few of these considered factors :
- The underlying cause of acne
- Patient skin characteristics
- Severity and type of acne lesions
- Duration of acne
- Type and result of previous treatments
- Cost of the treatments
How fast can I see the results of acne treatment?
Acne does not clear overnight. On average, it takes six to eight weeks to see initial results. Set realistic expectations to avoid frustration and give your acne treatment enough time to do its work. The best results occur after taking medication for at least three months. Of course, a combination of oral and topical treatments are usually faster and more effective.
What are the goals with acne treatment?
- Heal existing lesions.
- Prevent the formation of new lesions.
- Treat and prevent permanent discoloration.
- Prevent scarring and improve old acne scars.
By achieving our goals we can minimize the psychological stress and prevent the emotional and physical scarring caused by acne. Self-confidence and ease in socialization will be regained.
Acne scarring can be treated after disease activity has been low or absent for several months. There are a number of techniques for treating this difficult problem. If you are interested, your treatment options will be discussed in detail when you meet with Dr. Shafa. Read more how to treat acne scar
How Can I Take Care of My Skin at Home?
Remember: proper skin care at home is the most basic and important factor in successful acne treatment!/p>
Acne cannot be scrubbed away but it can be controlled by regular skin cleansing. Acne is caused by excess oil and an imbalance of normal skin bacteria. Proper skin cleansing includes washing your acne prone area twice a day with Dr. Shafa’s recommended cleanser and warm water followed by application of a toner- in addition to any other prescribed treatments.
Only use water based products on your skin. Avoid oily sun blocks or hair products (such as pomades and gels) which can irritate your acne and make it worse. Keep oily hair off your face and wash it daily.
Do not use alcohol-based astringents that can dry and irritate the skin. Avoid tanning spray, which irritates your acne and clogs skin pores. Be aware that sporting equipment that rubs against your skin can worsen your
Mechanical trauma can make acne worse by increasing skin inflammation and introducing bacteria into the skin which can lead to permanent skin damage. Therefore, avoid picking at lesions. When comedone removal is needed, it should only be performed by an expert under sterile conditions.
Use “non comedogenic” products which are non-greasy, oil- free, water based products that do not clog pores. Cream-based cleansers should be avoided.
Follow a healthy, low-sugar and balanced diet and stay well hydrated. Evaluate the effects of dairy products on your acne and avoid or modify the amount and type of dairy products intake. You may find that your acne worsens with certain types of food such as nuts, chocolate, or oily fast foods. Avoid whatever triggers your acne. Studies show that dairy products and high-glycemic- index foods may increase the risk for acne.
Several studies suggest that anxiety and anger contribute to acne, especially in patients with severe acne.
Dr. Shafa recognizes that anxiety increases the worsening of active acne, skin discoloration and, acne scars simply because patients with anxiety are more prone to pick at their face.
Many patients find that participation in regular, relaxing exercise and sports alleviates anxiety and contributes to overall well being and health. If you find that you cannot keep your hands away from your skin, maybe because managing your anxiety is difficult, feel free to share any problems with Dr. Shafa. Her dual training in both medicine and dermatology enables her to provide expert advice and medication to treat anxiety, depression, and related factors.
Contrary to popular belief, tanning does not clear acne – it simply masks acne and causes “post inflammatory hyperpigmentation” called PIH and permanent discoloration. Tanning via sun exposure also increases one’s risk of developing skin cancer and “photo-aging” i.e. premature aging of the skin. It is important to protect your skin from sun damage particularly while you have active acne or you are on acne treatment, since some acne treatments can increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. Ultraviolet light from tanning booths and sunlamps has the same unwanted side effect as sun exposure, therefore it should be avoided as well.