Acne Deserves No Quarter

Acne Deserves No Quarter 2

Acne is caused by the sebaceous glands. Nothing more, nothing less. People mistakenly look for culprits such as food, but the guilty party can be found down at the bottom of your hair follicles.

It’s the sebaceous glands.

You may never have heard of the sebaceous glands. Your teenager’s broken out face sure has, though. The sebaceous glands can be found at the bottom of the hair follicles. And, while you may think of hair follicles and the top of your head or your underarms, you may not think of them on your cheeks and forehead. Hmm. The human body has about five million hair follicles, with men having a few hundred thousand more than women. Whoa. That makes for a lot of sebaceous glands living in the basement apartments of those hair follicles.

So, here’s the problem. The sebaceous glands are responsible for keeping us from being like the Gobi Desert. They send sebem (a fancy word for oil) up through the follicle and to the surface of the skin. The job of this oil is to keep the hair and the skin moisturized.

When you’re a teenager, the problem is the amount of oil. Puberty tends to make the sebaceous glands go a little nuts, overproducing sebum. This overproduction can create a clog in the follicle, which is also thought of as a pore. Now you’ve got acne nirvana. Why? Because we have the Propionibacterium acnes (P.acnes) bacteria all over our skin. It usually just lives, leading a non-descript lifestyle. But when the follicle gets clogged, the P.acnes bacteria down in the basement go into party mode and multiply. This causes inflammation and that shows itself in an acne lesion, more aptly called a zit.

See? No chocolate has been harmed in the description of why you get a zit. It’s just the oil and the sebaceous gland.

Zap the P.acnes

People has resorted to all sorts of medieval tortures to try and get rid of acne. They dry their skin until it resembles a park strip in Phoenix on a 118-degree day. They scrub with grit that would take the paint off a car. All for naught.

At Northcoast Laser we stick it to that P.acnes bacteria with laser bursts. That’s right, we get all phaser-y (if you’re into Star Trek) or blaster-y (if you’re into Star Wars) on that unwanted bacteria. We set our laser wavelengths to the precise numbers that the P.acnes bacteria are not very fond of. Then we zap away. The laser energy kills much of the P.acnes bacteria, and limits its ability to multiply. The laser energy also works to calm down those overactive sebaceous glands, bringing the oil production into more OPEC-like normalcy.


Each acne-zapping session takes just 30 minutes. The typical course of treatment is five weeks, with two treatments per week. The results are cumulative and last for months after your last treatment session.

So eat all the chocolate you want. And then come to Northcoast Laser and let us teach your acne who’s the boss. Call us at 440-NEW-FACE to schedule your appointment.