Acne Treatment Clinic Mississauga
Do you think acne is caused by dirt, diet or poor hygiene? No! Acne is due to hormones stimulating oil glands. The oil glands enlarge, produce oil, and plug the pores causing acne. Blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and cysts can occur, with the face, neck, shoulders, back, chest and upper arms most affected. Although acne usually starts in the teenage years, adult acne occurs also. Monthly hormonal changes, stress, certain medications and oil-based cosmetics can stimulate breakouts.
What we can do- Acne and Blemish Treatment in Mississauga
Mild to moderate acne can often be controlled without prescription medications. Our medical aestheticians can get you started on a skin care program incorporating correct cleansing, use of therapeutic skin care products, acne extractions, acne facials, chemical peel or microdermabrasion.
Severe acne generally requires prescription medications, and a referral from your family doctor is required.
What is Acne?
Acne is the most common skin condition seen by doctors. At puberty, the sebaceous glands begin producing more sebum (oil) in response to the rise in hormones. This excess sebum, combined with dead skin cells, causes the pores in the skin to become plugged. These plugs are seen as blackheads and whiteheads, which a dermatologist calls a comedone. This blockage of the pore, combined with bacteria in the skin, leads to inflammation (swelling and redness) resulting in pimples and pustules. Deeper inflammation causes cysts and nodules.
Most teenagers will get some form of acne. However adults may also develop acne or have their adolescent acne continue into adulthood. Acne is most often seen on the face, chest, shoulders and back. Acne affects males and females, and all skin types and colors. Acne can be disfiguring and emotionally upsetting. At O’Neill Cosmetic Dermatology, Dr. O’Neill who is a board certified dermatologist, recommends early intervention to prevent permanent scarring. Dr. O’Neill will customize an acne treatment program based on the type and severity of your acne, your age and sex, location of the acne, and presence of other skin conditions.
Stages of Acne
At our Mississauga acne clinic, Dr. O’Neill will carefully assess your acne and give it a grade.
Grade 1 Acne = blackheads and whiteheads
Grade 2 Acne = small red bumps, called papules
Grade 3 Acne = pustules (a red bump with a white or yellowish pus filled centre)
Grade 4 Acne = deep cysts, nodules and scarring
The severity of acne determines the treatment program. Milder acne can usually be treated with topical products. Our patients from Mississauga, Oakville and the surrounding areas will be recommended products individualized to their needs. Dr. O’Neill may suggest extractions, medical grade chemical peels, microdermabrasion or a customized acne facial to optimize your daily skincare program.
Moderate and severe acne usually requires a combination of topical and oral therapy. A dermatologist completes five years of specialty training, after four years of medical school and is the best expert to manage your acne. Dr. O’Neill has a special focus in her medical practice on acne, and will tailor acne treatment for her patients from Mississauga and Toronto.
There are several factors which may cause acne to flare up. These triggers vary from person to person. You can help control your acne by avoiding things which you notice cause your acne to worsen:
- Cosmetics -Hair care products and makeup can clog pores. Look for the terms “non-comedogenic”, or “non-acnegenic” or “oil-free” on the label to be certain you are choosing an acne friendly product. Remove your cosmetics every night with a gentle soap or cleanser.
- Sweating -Excessive sweating, especially if trapped under clothing which is damp, may worsen acne. This sweating may occur on the job site or with exercise. Moisture wicking clothing may help this trigger.
- Medications -Certain drugs may cause acne to flare including oral corticosteroids (eg. prednisone), Lithium, some anti-seizure drugs, some oral contraceptive pills with higher progesterone, androgens (eg. testosterone), barbiturates, bromide and iodide.
- Physical pressure -Pressure from a sports helmet, chin strap (think hockey or football), shoulder pads, headband or other tight fitting clothing can cause acne at the point of skin contact.
- Menstrual cycle – Many girls and women notice their acne flares near their monthly period.
- Squeezing or picking acne -When you squeeze, the sebum and bacteria are forced further into the skin surrounding the pimple. This causes more swelling, redness and possible infection or scarring.
- Diet- Acne is not caused by pop, chocolate or fried foods!. However, if a certain type of food seems to aggravate your acne, I suggest you avoid it for a 6 month trial period. A low glycemic diet may help decrease acne for some patients.
- Cleansing -Washing your skin often does not cure acne. I recommend a gentle medical grade cleanser and warm water once or twice a day. Depending on your skin type, I may recommend exfoliating once or twice a week. Your skin type and the climate will impact the cleaning routine you require.
Our Mississauga acne treatment clinic is the best place to help you manage your acne. Controlling acne is an ongoing process and all treatments take time. We will work with you to achieve your goal of beautiful, clear skin but you must be patient as improvement will not happen overnight. Our goal is to eliminate blemishes, improve your appearance and self-image, and prevent scarring from acne. Call 905-820-7546 for the best acne treatment in Mississauga.
Before starting any medication or acne treatment, please inform Dr. O’Neill if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to become pregnant.
Topical Acne Treatment:
Dr. O’Neill may prescribe a topical cream, lotion or gel to decrease bacteria and unplug the pores. Sometimes a topical acne medication may cause peeling or dryness. You may need to use these products less frequently in the winter or may require a light moisturizer overtop.
Topical acne medications include:
- retinoid or vitamin A acid
- benzoyl peroxide
- azeleic acid
Oral Acne Treatment
Oral therapy is typically used for more severe acne (grades 3 or 4). Dr. O’Neill may consider:
- Oral antibiotics such as tetracycline, minocycline, erythromycin or doxycycine. You may need these antibiotics for several months. Dr. O’Neill is not a “pill pusher”, and will carefully consider the risks and benefits associated with oral antibiotics.
- Oral contraceptive pills (aka the birth control pill) may be used to treat acne. Women with acne flare-ups before their period, or irregular periods, or the condition PCOS may find this effective. Your family physician will be involved in this decision.
- Grade 4 acne, scarring acne, or acne unresponsive to other therapies may require isotretinoin (Accutane). Dr. O’Neill is an expert and has achieved great success for her acne patients using this drug. Isotretinoin has many side effects, and requires close monitoring and regular blood work. Women must NOT become pregnant while on isotretinoin, as it causes birth defects to the fetus.
Treatment of Acne Scars
Dr. O’Neill has a number of options to help you with acne scarring.
- Skin resurfacing using Venus Viva or Pearl Fractional laser
- Medical grade chemical peels
- Dermal fillers to elevate some scars
- Intralesional steroids to flatten some scars
- Topical creams to fade brown marks
Our Mississauga Acne Clinic is the top choice in Mississauga, Oakville and Etobicoke for improving your acne scars.
We know skin!
We look forward to helping you achieve control of your acne, and achieve beautiful, smooth skin.
To see Dr. O’Neill for an acne consultation, your family doctor must fax a referral to the office at 905-820-6665.