By Leigh Summer, MD
Are you afraid to get help with your acne management? Many people fear high-cost or overly aggressive treatment options when considering acne care for themselves or their teens. Concerns about overuse of oral medications for acne often prevent parents from seeking help for their teens. Many people fear escalated costs of treatment alternatives, particularly after spending buckets of money on all of the over-the-counter treatment options that have already been tried.
Managing stubborn acne can be very tricky. Not all acne is the same, and some types are more likely to respond to a certain treatment than others. Also, acne sufferers usually want to avoid aggressive treatments and minimize costs when possible. Recommendations for ideal treatment should be influenced by the severity and type of acne that you have. Navigating treatment options on your own is complicated by inconsistent labeling on drugstore products and unclear directions on product usage.
Full Spectrum Acne Help. When you do decide to get help with acne, consider what your goals are and where those goals can be met. At Lewisville Laser, we offer all levels of intervention, from home care to in-office treatments. Our Physician, Dr. Leigh Summer, is available to enhance treatment protocols with prescription topical and oral medications when needed. We always strive to manage acne at the lowest possible level of aggression and cost to the patient.
Home Care. When our team first assesses an acne patient, we begin by reviewing the home care already in place and any other topical or oral treatments that have already been tried. The home skin-care program is the foundation that will support the results of any other treatments that we do, and is critical to maintaining results. Typical home-care programs will include a customized program of a cleanser, a therapeutic serum or lotion, dekeratinizing agents and/or antibiotics, and a spot treatment option. Specialized exfoliating scrubs or brushes are sometimes recommended as well. As a rule, we try to optimize the use of topical treatments before using oral medications, in order to minimize exposure. We do use oral therapies when indicated, reserving aggressive treatments for truly resistant cases. Steps are always minimized where possible to keep the routine simple.
Office Treatments. With the foundation in place, we then look at treatment options to shut down the active acne. These treatments are done in the office by our aesthetician, Hannah Allen, and will include options of microdermabrasion, noninvasive peels, and other pore- purging therapies. In the beginning of treatment, most individuals will require a series of these sessions to get the acne under control, and then later will only use these therapies as needed. Don’t let the sound of these treatments scare you! There is only minimal, if any, discomfort, with lots of yield.
After the Acne: Scarring. Some clients come in with scarring already in progress from their acne. After any active-breakout concerns have been addressed, we begin to work on healing the scars. Microneedling is an in-office treatment that has very good results with scarring. In older patients with deeper scars, fillers can sometimes be used to minimize the appearance. Scars with pigment changes can be helped with topical therapies or laser treatments.
Costs Contained. Many people are afraid of the expense that may be associated with this level of treatment, but most will end up spending similar amounts to what they are spending in their product-hopping searches at the drugstores. When you look at that tradeoff, as well as the huge benefits of good results, well-managed treatment is well worth pursuing.
We really enjoy helping people feel their best. We can help at any stage of acne, but we really encourage parents to get teens involved in good skin care as soon as any breakouts begin. This helps minimize both physical and emotional scarring from breakouts. To encourage early intervention, we offer a free consultation at which we can review treatment options and concerns. Even though we are talking about teens today, adults who struggle with acne should consider this as well.