Understanding Acne

Acne. Stop right there! Your teenager just ran out of the room screaming! 

Yes, that single word, clinically known as acne vulgaris, is way scarier to a teenager than Saw V. Acne can ruin a young person’s life, at least in their minds, or surely cause a crimp in their self-esteem. Sure, it may have been less of an issue during the past year of COVID craziness and school from home, but now that everyone’s back in the classroom, acne is back at the top of the mind of your teen. 

What causes this scourge of youth? Here’s a little background, along with how we can help at Creative Image Laser Solutions.

What’s behind those zits? 

Acne comes down to the sebaceous glands at the base of the hair follicles. The sebaceous glands produce oil, keeping the skin and hair lubricated and moist. Acne forms when the hair follicles under your skin clog, trapping the oil beneath the skin. You know where acne is more prevalent: on the face, back, neck, shoulders, and chest. It appears as occluded pores (blackheads or whiteheads), red bumps (pimples), pustules, or cysts. 

The condition isn’t serious — although don’t tell this to your 16-year-old daughter in the midst of a breakout — unless the acne is cystic in nature. Those cysts can scar the skin. 

Causes of acne 

Acne is still somewhat of a mystery, believe it or not. Doctors believe it’s due to a combination of factors. The rise in the male sex hormone androgen in teenagers of both sexes is thought to be the primary cause. When androgen levels increase the oil glands enlarge and produce more oil. 

Genetics also play a role. Some people are simply more prone to the condition. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can trigger acne outbreaks, even if you got off easy as a teenager. Certain cosmetics and medications cause breakouts for some people, as well. Research has not proven any link between foods such as chocolate or junk food and acne. 


At Creative Image Laser Solutions, every acne case is individual, so our treatments vary with the patient. We have great success with both Intense Pulsed Light and with photodynamic therapy for our acne patients. IPL kills the bacteria living it up in the clogged hair follicles. For photodynamic therapy we simply apply a chemical called Amino Levulinic Acid prior to applying the IPL energy. This activates the acid for a slightly stronger bacteria-killing treatment than standalone IPL. 

If your teenager is suffering with acne, let’s have a look. Call us at (325) 641-1927 and schedule an appointment.

Posted in: Acne Therapies, blog

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