Procedural Acne Treatment Options

Procedural treatments are therapies performed by a dermatologist, health care practitioner, or esthetician. They are used in the treatment of mild to severe acne, depending on the treatment. Procedural therapies are meant to be supportive and used in conjunction with topical and/or systemic treatments.
    Comedo extractions - Often performed by estheticians during a facial, comedo extractions involve gently coaxing plugs of sebum and cellular debris from the pore. By removing blackheads, milia, and soft closed comedones the overall number of breakouts can be reduced. Estheticians are not permitted to extract cysts or serious lesions. These may only be extracted by a dermatologist through surgical methods.
    Light chemical peels - Despite the name, light chemical peels do not "peel" the skin. Instead, they deeply exfoliate the skin using an alpha-hydroxy, beta-hydroxy, or glycolic acid. Light chemical peels improve acne by removing dead skin cells and helping to clear pores of debris. Estheticians may incorporate chemical peels into a facial for those with mild to moderate acne. Those with more serious acne should have their dermatologist perform the chemical peel.
    Microdermabrasion - This treatment may be performed at a skin spa or your dermatologist's office. A machine is used to rapidly discharge super-fine crystals over the skin's surface, blasting away dead skin cells. It is not painful. A microdermabrasion treatment deeply exfoliates the skin, loosening debris from within the pore. It is best for those who have non-inflamed acne, with many blackheads and/or whiteheads.
    Phototherapy - Phototherapy is the term used to describe any treatment utilizing laser or light. They work by killing P. acnes, reducing inflammation, or shrinking the sebaceous glands, depending on what therapy is used. There are many different light and laser treatments available including blue light, red light, and photodynamic therapy. Phototherapy can be used to treat all stages of acne, from mild to very severe. Your dermatologist can help you decide which treatment, if any, would be most effective for you.
    Corticosteroid injections - Cysts are serious lesions that damage skin tissue. Dermatologists can inject a cyst with corticosteroid, reducing inflammation and the chance


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