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What Are the Most Common Causes of Acne?

Woman in a bath robe checking her skin in the mirror.
When it comes to
acne, there are several factors that can cause a flare-up. Generally, there are four things that can cause someone to develop acne: excess oil, clogged hair follicles, bacteria, and inflammation. This can happen on any part of the body, but is most common on areas that have a lot of sebaceous glands, including the face, chest, back, and shoulders. Here are some of the conditions that can trigger the development of acne.

Hormonal Changes

During puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, the production of androgens increases dramatically, causing the sebaceous glands to enlarge. As they expand, the sebaceous glands make more sebum, the natural oil of your skin. This excess oil can create blockages in your hair follicles, leading to the formation of acne. 

Diet

Some studies have shown that eating foods high in refined sugars or carbohydrates—such as candy, soda, or white breads—can worsen acne. Since these foods have a high glycemic index, they can increase your blood sugar, causing an increase in hormones. While the correlation between diet and acne needs more research, many people find that their skin health improves when eating foods with a low glycemic index. 

Pomades

This is a possible culprit for the development of acne in patients with skin of color. Since the oil in pomade blocks pores on the forehead and scalp, it often leads to blackheads or whiteheads. In rare cases, it may lead to a bacterial infection in the scalp called folliculitis. If using pomade, only apply it one inch behind your hairline.

Certain Medications

Any drug that affects the production of hormones can cause you to develop acne. This includes corticosteroids, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, B vitamins, and testosterone.

Need Help Controlling Your Acne? Dr. Steven Greene Can Help

Acne can be difficult to treat on your own, especially if there is an underlying cause. If you want to achieve clearer skin and explore the different treatment options available, call Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle at 206-402-4797 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Steven Greene. With over 40 years of experience, Dr. Greene can create a personalized treatment plan that meets your goals. We welcome patients living in Bellevue, Seattle, Kirkland, Mercer Island, and the surrounding areas of Washington.

What Causes Hyperpigmentation?

A woman smiling in a field of yellow flowers.
Hyperpigmentation is caused by the excess production of melanin in your skin. While sun damage is one of the most common reasons for hyperpigmentation, there are other factors that can cause increases in melanin production. At Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle, Dr. Steven Greene can evaluate your skin and determine the ideal treatment for your poikiloderma, melasma, or other pigment changes.

Hyperpigmentation usually occurs as spots on the skin that are darker than the surrounding tissue. The extra melanin in these spots can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Sun Exposure: Over time, excessive exposure to UV rays can create sunspots or darken freckles. Around 80% of all skin aging and hyperpigmentation is caused by too much sunlight. To help prevent photoaging, make sure to wear sunscreen if you are outside for prolonged periods of time.
  • Inflammation: Any inflammation in the skin can cause hyperpigmentation. The most common culprits for post-inflammatory pigmentation changes are acne, scars, and stretch marks.
  • Hormonal Changes: Major hormonal changes can cause hyperpigmentation such as melasma to appear on multiple areas of the body. This condition mostly affects women who are pregnant or starting/stopping birth control. It also affects those undergoing hormone replacement therapy.
  • Medications: Some medications may lead to hyperpigmentation like patches or dark spots. This includes drugs for malaria, antibiotics, and antiarrhythmics.

At Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle, we have several treatments available for patients looking to correct their skin pigmentation. Some lesions may be successfully treated with laser therapy, chemical peels, or HydraFacial. While not all types of hyperpigmentation respond to treatment, Dr. Greene can help determine if there is a safe, effective solution for you.

Learn More About Our Hyperpigmentation Treatment Options Today

If you want to know what treatment options are available for hyperpigmentation, call Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle today at 206-402-4797 to set up an appointment. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Steven Greene and his team can carefully evaluate your condition and create a custom treatment plan that addresses your concerns. We are proud to serve patients living in Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Mercer Island, and other nearby Washington communities.

Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?

Cropped shot of a young woman caressing her legs
If you want to remove unwanted hair from your face or body, laser hair removal is a great way to reduce the need to shave for the long-term. With a thorough treatment, you can reduce the frequency for shaving, plucking, and waxing. At Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle, we use advanced FDA-approved laser systems to give you exceptional results. While we cannot guarantee results will be permanent, we do know that our laser hair removal patients experience long-lasting hair reduction.

Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure that works by targeting and eliminating the cells that contribute to hair growth without damaging the surrounding skin. During the treatment, our staff uses a concentrated beam of light that is absorbed by the melanin of the hair. The energy from the light gets converted into heat and deactivates the hair follicles, which helps inhibit hair growth.

Best of all, the treatments only take a few minutes and work for a variety of skin colors and hair types. Laser hair removal is a fast, easy way to reduce unwanted hair on the:

  • Legs
  • Arms
  • Chest
  • Back
  • Face

In addition, laser hair removal treatments will leave your skin feeling softer than before and help prevent ingrown hairs. 

For those who want to remove hair from an area of their body with the best chances of long-lasting results, we recommend having more than one treatment. After a single treatment, hair can take weeks or even months to grow back. Every treatment following the first procedure extends the growing process further. While some hair may grow back, it is usually sparse or thin. Eventually, many people find that their hair almost never grows back.

The good news is that treatments last only between 15-30 minutes and you can immediately resume your regular activities after the procedure. The recovery period is minimal, so you can get back to your day with your skin looking smooth and beautiful.

Schedule a Laser Hair Removal Consultation Today

If you don’t want to deal with unwanted facial or body hair, call Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle today at 206-402-4797 to schedule a consultation. Led by Dr. Steven Greene, our experienced team can help you decide if laser hair removal is right for you. We welcome patients living in Seattle and nearby Washington communities.

 

Skin Cancer Risk Reduced With Daily Oral Nicotinamide

As the saying goes, “You are what you eat” and hence, if there is a simple supplement that has no significant side effects and prevents skin cancer, then this is a major practical addition to our skin health regimens. Nicotinamide, also known as Niacinamide is a water-soluble form of Vitamin B3 that has been found naturally in meat, fish, nuts, grains & legumes, and is a key component of the glycolysis pathway, by generating Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production. It has been known to have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects improving acne, rosacea, melasma and some blistering disorders. 

In a landmark study published by The New England Journal of Medicine 2015: 373:1618-26, the authors showed convincingly that over a 12 month period taking Nicotinamide, 386 study patients experienced a 23% reduction in developing nonmelanoma skin cancers (basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas) and actinic keratoses (pre-skin cancers) versus those on placebo. The study participants took 500mg twice daily and there did not appear to be any adverse side-effects. However, it is not recommended for those with chronic kidney disease nor those who are pregnant. 

Nicotinamide should not be confused with Niacin, sometimes recommended for lower cholesterol which has been associated with flushing, headaches and elevation of liver enzymes. 

This skin cancer-reducing supplement is not an oral sunscreen and does not replace other sun protection guidance (sunscreens with an SPF of over 40, protective clothing, hats, yearly skin exams and avoiding the hot, mid-day sun.) These are all the mainstays to protect yourself from the sun and skin cancers. Given the safety profile of Nicotinamide, and its protective effects and positive feedback from our patients, I wholeheartedly recommend since it can significantly reduce the incidence of both actinic keratoses and nonmelanoma skin cancers.

Steven L. Greene MD, Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle.

What is Botox?

In the mid-1980’s, Dr. Jean Carruthers, an Oculoplastic Surgeon from Vancouver, BC first observed the cosmetic benefits of lessening the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes in her study patients who she was treating for eyelid twitching (blepharospasm) with Botulinum Toxin (later named Botox). After she and her husband, Dr. Alastair Carruthers, a prominent Cosmetic Dermatologist, realized that she had discovered a new “disruptive” therapy, they performed the groundbreaking evidence-based research that paved the way for its cosmetic place in history for temporary reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
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Pimple Popping and Cyst Drainage Videos

Pimple popping and drainage of cysts in the skin is a video obsession shared by many individuals. Some who are attracted to these programs admit to a kind of addiction because the satisfaction of an exploding zit outweighs its gross factor. Some are driven by a curiosity and fascination of medical procedures while others find them more relaxing than sleeping pills. 

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Restore Your Skin’s Former Glory with Laser Skin Resurfacing



Your skin can really take a beating. Over the course of your lifetime, your skin has to deal with several issues, leaving it worse for wear. But fractional laser skin resurfacing with the Cynosure Icon 1540® can give your skin its former glow in as little as one treatment. This fractional, non-ablative laser covers a wide range of skin problems, including sun damage, scarring, and the signs of aging.

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How Are Different Skins of Color Treated for Acne?

Close-up self portrait of smiling young multiethnic female friends taking selfie in the park - women taking a selfie in the park on a bright day
Acne is a common condition that typically affects areas of the face, back, neck, and shoulders. Despite being commonly associated with adolescence, acne outbreaks can happen to women and men of any age. Due to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, while starting birth control pills, or just before a menstrual cycle, women are particularly prone to acne.
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The Benefits of a Chemical Peel

A young woman in a white tank top purses her lips and looks off camera

Think of it as gently peeling away the signs of aging. Chemical peel treatment at Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle can beautifully improve the tone, texture, and overall health of your skin with a convenient, in-office treatment.
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Mole Removal – Medical or Cosmetic?

image of a mole on a person's shoulder
Surgical mole removal is an effective medical dermatological procedure that can simultaneously improve your appearance and address suspicions of skin cancer.

If you’re bothered by the appearance of a new mole on your skin, call Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle today to schedule a full skin exam with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Steven Greene. Dr. Greene has more than twenty-five years of proven experience diagnosing and treating every type of skin cancer.
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