Acne Treatment in Ottawa
We all recognize that acne isn’t just for teenagers.
45% of women aged 20-29, 35% of women aged 30-39, and 20% of women aged 40-49 suffer from acne in some form. Adult acne can be tricky and difficult to treat using standard acne treatments.
Along with acne, we are also battling the signs of aging, and often, the two counteract each other, both in occurrence and treatment. As we age, typical over-the-counter acne treatments become too harsh for our mature skin, causing it to dry out, and potential scar, while many anti-aging creams are too heavy for our acne-prone skin, causing more breakouts.
Worse, as we age our cells turnover at a reduced rate, upping the risk of scarring from breakouts.
It’s a vicious cycle, but with a little understanding of what causes acne, you can better find a treatment plan that’s right for you.
A chemical peel is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck or hands. A chemical solution is applied to the skin that causes it to exfoliate and eventually peel off. The new, regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.
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A MicroPeel is a form of chemical peels, the lightest form, mostly used to treat superficial fine lines, pigment issues, and acne. MicroPeels differ from traditional chemical peels in that they use a three-step process that involves dermaplaning and cryogenics in combination with a light chemical peel using AHAs.
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TriFractional is a 1-pulse fractional technology that removes pinpoint size spots of tissue on the epidermis and penetrates 0.2 mm deep. This creates micro-wounds which trigger the body’s natural healing response mechanism and produces healthy skin tissue.
What Causes Acne?
All forms of acne – adolescent, adult, cystic acne – are caused by a buildup of oil and dead skin cells in hair follicles that build up faster than your skin can renew itself. When we’re younger, this is often caused by an overproduction of oil, but as we age, our cell turnover rate slows way down, causing the oil to get trapped under the dead skin that has not sloughed off.
It’s not an overproduction of oil in our later years that causes acne, but rather, a slowing down of our bodies’ natural exfoliation process. This is why it is not uncommon to start experiencing acne around the age of 25.
What is Cell Turnover Rate?
Cell turnover rate refers to the cycle your skin goes through from a new cell to dead skin. These new cells travel up through the epidermis and eventually die and are shed off to reveal healthy skin below, In our teens, our turnover rate is between 21-28 days. In our thirties, it slows down to 28-35, and in our fifties, it almost twice as slow at 45-84 days.
In both cases, adult acne and teenage acne, the problem exists when oil is being produced faster than the skin can shed dead cells and reveal new ones.
What Are the Risks of Acne?
Acne can be emotionally damaging as much as it is physically damaging. The stigma around it causes emotional trauma to those who suffer from it and can lead to depression, anxiety, withdrawing from social activities, and self-confidence issues. It can also be costly to treat and time-consuming to try and cover up.
There are risks of certain types of acne treatments as well. Using a product that is too harsh for your skin can cause damage to the dermis. Using products that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, like most acne treatments do, can cause thinning of the skin, which makes you much more susceptible to UV rays.
Acne Scarring: Causes and Types
One of the biggest long-term risk with acne is scarring. Scarring is caused when the skin becomes damaged from deep inflammation such as nodules, papules or cysts – those painful, deep pimples that pop up from time to time. The inflammation causes the pore to swell, breaking to follicle wall. If the break is deep enough in the dermis, the infected material spills out and infects healthy skin.
To combat this injury, collagen fibres form to repair the damaged skin. The problem is that the repair never looks as smooth as the original skin.
Atrophic and Hypertrophic Scars
Sometimes, the body produces too much collagen and the skin forms a raised scar called a hypertrophic or keloid scar. These can often be seen with deep cuts. Acne often causes atrophic scarring – which are depressed scars, referred to as icepick or box scars.
The biggest indicator that scarring may occur is inflammation. The bigger the inflammation, the higher the risk of scarring. Picking at pimples is another big risk factor to scarring. Picking pushes debris deeper into the dermis, increasing inflammation and heightening the risk of a follicle tear.
Treating Acne Scarring
The biggest factor in treating acne scars is patience. Over time, surface damage, hyperpigmentation, redness, and swelling will improve. But that isn’t always the case…and we also don’t always have time to wait.
For deeper inflammation, damage may not heal on its own and scarring may be permanent. When this happens, it’s time to turn to professional treatments. Medical spa services such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels, micropeels, and IPL photofacials can exfoliate the skin to reveal new, healthy cells and smooth the appearance of scarring. These services are also highly effective in treating current acne breakouts.
What are the Best Treatments for Acne and Acne Scarring?
Acne treatments vary in use and effectiveness, but the most important step in treating acne at any stage is exfoliation.
All of our products and services are built around the use of exfoliation to treat the skin. Like we mentioned above, the biggest cause of both teenage and adult acne is that the skin is not shedding dead cells fast enough. Only through routine exfoliation can you combat this problem.
Types of Exfoliation
Exfoliation of the skin can come in many forms such as manual exfoliation, like microdermabrasion systems that use small diamond flakes to slough off dead skin cells, or chemical treatments such as AHAs (retinol, glycolic acid) to chemically slough off dead skin cells.
Whether you’re treating a current breakout or treating acne scarring, exfoliation should be the most important step in your skin care routine to both aid your body’s natural cell turnover rate, and help reveal healthy, new skin cells.