One of the most common diseases in the United States is acne. Charleston-area skin experts 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 diagnoses 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 the best 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.
Dr. Marguerite Germain is known for her passion and desire to help others. In addition to her medical training she has long since developed an eye for beauty. Inspired by years spent traveling, particularly in Italy, her artistic talent evolved into inspiring confidence in others through her practice.
Microneedling, such as with the Eclipse MicroPen Elite®, is often used to treat stretch marks, wrinkles, and similar problems with skin texture. Its ability to start new collagen production in the skin makes it ideal for reducing the appearance of acne scars.
The device makes a series of incredibly small punctures into the skin being treated, each of which launches a collagen-based healing process that repairs the injury and also improves the look and feel of the surrounding skin.
Patients who choose microneedling to treat their acne scars will find that the skin in the treated area will resemble a sunburn in the days following their session at Germain Dermatology. This redness will fade as new collagen grows, improving the look of the scarred tissue and other treated skin.
Germain Dermatology takes microneedling to the next level by adding "PRP" to the treatment. Your provider will take a very small amount of your blood, then spin to pull the platelets and plasma out. The resulting platelet-rich plasma (PRP) will then be introduced into the treatment area, further enhancing the results.