There are certain “coming of age” things you have to go through in high school. Prom. Boring teachers (Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?). Perennial lack of sleep. And raging hormones. It’s that last issue that is the root of the worst part of high school — acne.
What causes acne?
Acne basically comes down to your sebaceous glands. These glands are responsible for producing the oil that keeps our skin and hair from looking like the Mojave Desert. The sebaceous glands release their oil through follicles where it makes its way to the surface or onto the hair. The problem is, when in the teenage years, our hormone production, especially testosterone (girls produce it, too), causes the sebaceous glands to work overtime and produce too much oil. This overproduction, much like OPEC with crude oil right now, causes a glut in the glands that clogs the follicles. Once the follicles clog, they are breeding grounds for bacteria, which cause inflammation. Inflamed clogged pores = a breakout. And once the inflammation pushes upward and breaks the skin you have a whitehead or blackhead, a.k.a. a zit.
Blue light and Levulan to the rescue
At the Laser Center of Maryland we are acne-fighting experts. We use various treatments to address problem acne in our teenage patients. But one new treatment is showing great promise. It combines microdermabrasion — which opens up clogged pores, removes dead surface skin cells, and decreases oil — with Levulan (an anti-bacterial drug) and blue light therapy.
After microdermabrasion has prepared the skin, we apply Levulan to the breakout areas. Next we activate the Levulan with blue light therapy. This causes the Levulan to kill the bacteria in the follicles and on the adjacent skin that is causing inflammation and breakouts. The result is a dramatic decrease in breakouts and their intensity.
Tired of your teenager dealing with acne? Call us at 410-544-4600 and let’s discuss what we can do at the Laser Center of Maryland.