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Procedures of Acne Treatment at the Dermatologist

Procedures of Acne Treatment at the Dermatologist Procedures of Acne Treatment at the Dermatologist

Dermatologists typically start your acne treatment with prescription medications that you either apply topically or take orally. There are, however, procedures dermatologists use or are starting to use to treat acne, especially in unique cases where the medicine isn't working or the patient is allergic to it. The Skincare Physicians warn against trying professional dermatological procedures at home, as improper application can lead to infection and cause more acne and acne scarring.

Chemical Peels

Your dermatologist can use chemical peels to loosen blackheads, unclog pores and decrease pimples. A glycolic acid is typically used and only a light surface peel is administered. Glycolic acid is an all natural Alpha Hydroxy Acid found in sugarcane and pineapple, and the Mayo Clinic even recommends it as a natural treatment for acne. When applied to the skin, the acid will cause the skin to peel, revealing new skin underneath. In addition to providing a rich exfoliate, it stimulates new skin cells and promotes collagen production.

Comedone Extraction

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, comedones is the term dermatologists use to refer to blackheads and whiteheads, otherwise known as mild forms of acne. Dermatologists use a sterilized pen-sized device to extract the blackheads or whiteheads individually without pinching or squeezing the skin. Patients who attempt to squeeze and drain comedones on their own often cause infection, tissue damage or scarring.

Drainage and Surgical Extraction

Nodules and cysts are the most severe forms of acne. Nodules are large bumps under the skin resulting from pores being clogged deep within the pore. Cysts are the same as nodules, but contain pus. Cysts can resist other treatments, requiring them to be drained and extracted. This is done under sterile conditions to help prevent scarring and further infection. Nodules and cysts are the most likely form of acne to scar, and picking at them only increases these odds.


Laser and light therapies are relatively new procedures dermatologists use to treat acne. These procedures kill the bacteria causing acne, and are often used for patients allergic to benzoyl peroxide and other antibacterial prescriptions. Laser therapies of course use lasers to kill the bacteria, and light therapies use blue and red lights. The blue light is believed to break down the bacteria causing the acne, and the red light is believed to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Studies are still being conducted to determine full effects of these procedures. Both procedures, however, have made great strides in the treatment of acne scars.

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