Acne Treatment

Persistent acne breakouts can be frustrating for both teens and adults. Painful, inflamed lesions and blackheads often resist your best efforts to prevent them. But you don’t have to struggle with acne. At Gulf Coast Medical Center Dermatology & Aesthetics, our dermatology providers customize effective acne treatments near Wesley Chapel and Tampa, FL, at our Trinity, Port Richey, and Spring Hill dermatology offices.

What Is Acne?

Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that can appear as whiteheads, blackheads, and pus-filled pimples. Signs of more severe acne include painful cysts and swollen abscesses. The condition commonly shows up on faces, chests, shoulders, and backs.

What Causes Acne?

Acne is caused by excess oil, bacteria, and dead skin clogging hair follicles (pores). Rising hormone levels, typically during puberty, cause sebaceous (oil) glands to become overactive, which is why acne is most common in adolescents. Other hormonal fluctuations, such as those caused by hormonal birth control or pregnancy, can also trigger acne.

In addition to these hormonal changes, acne can be triggered or worsened by external causes, including:

  • Medications, such as drugs containing corticosteroids, testosterone, or lithium
  • Certain foods
  • Stress

Active acne can cause people to feel self-conscious and even depressed, especially teenagers. Left untreated, moderate to severe acne can result in unsightly scarring.

How Do You Treat Acne?

Mild cases of acne often respond well to at-home care using over-the-counter topical treatments and gentle skin care. You want to avoid scrubbing or washing your face too often because it irritates the skin and leads to breakouts. Many people with acne, though, can benefit from seeing a dermatology professional—you don’t have to have severe acne. A customized treatment plan created by one of our dermatology providers can reduce the frequency and severity of acne breakouts by eliminating the underlying causes.

The treatment or combination of treatments will depend on several factors, including:

  • The type of acne (i.e., blackheads, pimples, etc.) you have
  • Where the acne appears on your skin
  • What treatments you’ve already tried
  • When the breakouts started
  • Your age
  • Whether the acne has left you with dark spots or scars

Your provider may initially manage your acne with a medical treatment plan that includes topical medications such as benzoyl peroxide, tretinoin (Retin A), or antibiotics. For moderate to severe acne, they may prescribe oral antibiotics. For very severe acne, isotretinoin (Accutane) is a treatment option.

Levulan Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

One of the highly effective acne treatments our dermatologists use is photodynamic therapy. The 2-step treatment begins with the application of Levulan, a photosensitizing agent that is then activated by blue light therapy. The treatment works to curb acne in several ways. It kills the bacteria that trigger breakouts; it exfoliates the skin, unclogging pores and follicles; and it shuts down the overactive sebaceous glands that produce excess oil. Photodynamic therapy that combines Levulan with blue light is very effective for treating moderate to severe cystic acne.

Forever Clear BBL®

Broadband light (BBL) is an advanced intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment device that delivers light energy to the skin’s deeper layers to regenerate skin cells. The same technology is used in Forever Young BBL™ treatments that reverse signs of aging. The Forever Clear BBL treatment is designed specifically for clearing up acne, combining blue, yellow, and infrared light to target the sebaceous glands, destroy bacteria, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the body’s natural healing process.

Patients typically experience minimal or no discomfort during Forever Clear BBL treatments, which usually take 30 to 40 minutes. There is no downtime, and you can return to school, work, or any other activity you have planned for the day. We recommend scheduling a series of treatment sessions 1 week apart.

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Choose Our Specialists for Your Acne Treatment

Our dermatology team has the experience and training to treat stubborn skin conditions like acne safely and effectively. After discussing your concerns and goals and performing a thorough skin examination, we will create a customized treatment plan for you. Request a consultation at Gulf Coast Medical Center Dermatology & Aesthetics using the online form or call us at (727) 318-5515 to schedule an appointment.

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