What is Acne?
Acne is an inherited disorder of the pores causing dead skin cells to shed much faster than normal. Normal pores shed about one layer of dead skin cells per day inside the pore. The acne-prone pore sheds up to five layers of dead skin cells per day creating a plug. This plug is called a microcomedone, the beginning of all acne. Taking up to 90 days, it turns into blackheads and congestion under the skin; or into inflamed pimples, pustules or cysts.
What is Noninflamed Acne?
Dead skin cells and oil (plus other debris) form a plug inside the pore. If this plug does not become inflamed, it can become a whitehead — a non-inflamed lesion under the skin, also called a “closed comedone”. This is also called “maturation arrest” acne, as it has not “matured” into a blackhead yet.
This is another non-inflamed acne lesion called a blackhead, where the pore remains open, also known as an “open comedone.” In the case of a blackhead, the tip of the plug darkens as it is exposed to oxygen in the environment.
What is Inflamed Acne?
As the oil and the dead skin cells build up, they put pressure on the cells surrounding the pore. With enough pressure, the sides of the pore rupture and the contents of the pore leak into the surrounding skin. Because this material contains a lot of acne bacteria, the surrounding skin now becomes infected, creating a red bump that we know as a pimple. The medical term for this red bump is an inflammatory papule.
This is a pustule which is different from a pimple only in that it contains white blood cells. When the immune system fights off the infection, white blood cells, which are soldiers of the immune system — pile up, creating pus in the pore.
A nodule is a solid dome-shaped lesion that extends below the surface, deep into the layers of the skin. Scarring is common with nodules and can sometimes leave an impaction behind, which can flare again and again.
When a group of pustules cluster together under the skin, they form a cyst. An acne cyst can appear similar to a nodule, but is pus-filled, and can have a diameter of 5mm or more across. They are usually very painful and scarring is common with cysts.
How Long Will It Take to Get Clear?
Because it takes up to 90 days for acne to form, you may still have 90 days of acne that will surface. Our acne products and protocol will keep the new acne from forming that would surface 90 days from now. Our Acne Program will have you clear to mostly clear in 3-4 months depending on your type of acne. Some types of acne may take longer to clear.
What Do I Have to Do?
- Home care regimen AM + PM
- Acne Treatments every two weeks
- Home Care Adjustments to boost your regimen as your skin adapts to products
- Lifestyle Adjustments to reduce or eliminate acne aggravating foods, medications, and cosmetics or hair care products.
What Are Adjustments to Home Care?
During each Acne Treatment your skin will be assessed to see if we can boost your regimen. We do not want your skin to get used to products, but also not make the regimen so strong that your skin gets dry and irritated. This method will keep your skin clearing up.
Sometimes this will mean using a product you already have more often or sometimes you will need to purchase a higher strength active product to alternate into your routine.
How Much Does it Cost?
At your consultation expect to invest approximately $140 – $175 for a 2-3 month supply in home care products. This will include a cleanser, toner, exfoliating serum, treatment gel, moisturizer and sunscreen. Using our professional home care products is critical in getting you clear and a requirement in the Acne Program. Acne Treatments can be purchased in a package of 3 for $175 (savings of $20) or individually for $65 per treatment. Acne Treatments are continued bi-weekly until you are clear to mostly clear, from there you may choose to come in monthly or just for a “tune-up” as needed.