One of the most common diseases in the United States is acne. Charleston-area skin professionals at Germain Dermatology regularly see patients suffering from the condition that affects infants to adults, characterized by areas of skin developing redness, blackheads, whiteheads, papules, and cysts. When not treated properly, acne can leave permanent scars and/or dark spots on the skin, and can result in psychological effects, such as low self-esteem.
At Germain Dermatology, our medical professionals specialize in the treatment and diagnosis of acne. There are a wide variety of options for fighting the condition, including prescription medications, products, and laser treatments. Our medical professionals can help determine a customized individual treatment plan for you.
What we typically call “acne” is a blanket term for a variety of inflammations stemming from the presence of specific bacteria in the skin. As these bacteria multiply and interact with oil produced naturally in the skin, anything from mild redness to small plugged pores to deep lesions and hard nodules can form. There are roughly four grades of acne rated via severity. Each grade can be treated differently depending on the individual factors, including skin type, acne type, individual habits, and more.
Listed below are several of the most common treatments used for acne and acne scars at Germain Dermatology.
PhotoDynamic Therapy™ (PDT) involves applying an FDA-approved topical agent called Levulan® to the skin, then activating it an hour or two later by shining a specific wavelength of light on it. This is also known as “ALA/Blue Light treatment.” Once activated, the Levulan® reduces the size of pores and helps curb oil production in sebaceous glands.
Patients may need up to a week of down time for recovery after a treatment session, during which they should avoid sunlight by staying inside for the first 48 hours and using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.