Tuesday, March 5, 2013

An Acne Treatment You May Not Know About

According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, adult acne affects 40 to 50 million people in the U.S., and that number is growing. It is not uncommon for teens to experience acne, but acne can be particularly frustrating and embarrassing for adults. About 20 percent of women and 30 percent of men ages 20 to 60 years old have acne, according to the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.

Greenville Dermatology offers one of the leading treatments for adult acne – aminolevulinic acid (ALA) combined with a light therapy. While many people may not have heard of ALA, this compound was discovered more than a decade ago and is now considered a first-line treatment. ALA is produced naturally in our bodies and has a photo-sensitizing effect, which means that it makes the skin more sensitive to light.

During ALA application at Greenville Dermatology, ALA is applied to the patient’s skin and absorbed by hair follicles and oil glands. The treated skin is then exposed to a light, which kills bacteria in the pores and shrinks the oil glands that produce sebum, an oily substance that clogs pores and attracts bacteria – in other words, the primary cause of acne. The light is significantly more effective in treating acne when the skin has been sensitized to the light through the application of the cream containing ALA. While the ALA treatment shrinks the cells that produce oil, it does so without damaging any surrounding cells.
Adult acne can be difficult to treat because there are so many causes. Treatment with ALA is perfect for patients whose skin produces too much sebum, resulting in clogged pores and inflammation. Another main cause is an imbalance of hormones, which is why women often have breakouts during menstruation, pregnancy and the various stages of menopause.

While ALA is one of the most effective treatments against acne, it is not currently covered by insurance. However, it is an affordable treatment and we invite you to come in today to discuss your options. For more information, call us at 864-242-5872.

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