**Acne** Acne vulgaris, also known as simply acne or zits, is a common skin condition. Acne is not life-threatening, but it can certainly have profound psychological effects, robbing people of their self-esteem and causing depression and anxiety. While acne first occurs in children and teens as they reach puberty, it is not simply a teenage problem. Thousands of adults suffer from acne as well. Indeed, acne afflicts adults of all ages. You don’t need to suffer from this skin condition in silence—acne vulgaris is a treatable medical condition. **What is acne?** Certainly, all teenagers know what acne is, because at one time or another they have seen this skin condition in the mirror. Acne is one or more types of pimples, including whiteheads, blackheads, raised bumps, pus-filled blisters or deep painful cysts, among others. Acne is more than that, however. Acne vulgaris is a skin condition that is caused by a combination of hormonal, immune, and infectious processes. Essentially, hair, skin cells, and oils clump together within pores in the skin. This plug traps bacteria within the pores, which the body then attempts to destroy with white blood cells (AKA pus). This nasty business results in any number of the pimples described above. **Drug treatments for acne** Treatments for acne range from washing and hygiene regimens to powerful hormonal and antibiotic regimens. Mild and non-inflammatory acne can usually be treated with topical retinoids (e.g. Retin-A) or a low concentration of salicylic acid. Benzoyl peroxide may be used to directly destroy bacteria, or topical antibiotics may be used for the same result. The more extensive or severe the acne vulgaris is, the more intense the medical treatment needs to be in response. In extreme cases, people may need to take oral anti-hormonal treatments. **Laser acne treatments** Laser acne treatments have emerged over the last decade as an alternative to more aggressive drug treatments. Intense light and laser energy can be used to destroy acne-causing bacteria and to reduce oil production in skin glands—essentially delivering a one-two punch to acne. Bella Sana uses the versatile Cutera XEO laser system to treat acne vulgaris. The Cutera XEO system contains three hand pieces offering laser and intense pulsed light therapy at various, specific wavelengths. These wavelengths target bacteria and oil glands, heating them and destroying them. The Cutera XEO can be used to treat active acne sites and to minimize the risk of future acne flares. If you are struggling with moderate to severe acne and would like to learn more about laser acne treatments, contact the Bella Sana medical spa today.
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