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The Best Ways to Prevent Acne

What causes acne?

Acne is basically a problem having to do with inflammation, irritation, congestion or even infection around hair follicles.

I thought that acne involved oil glands and skin pores – why focus on hair follicles?

Everything centers around a hair.  Basically, there is one skin pore for every hair on your body.  And there a lot more hairs on your body than you think – about 5 million, the same as an ape, but the majority of yours are so fine they are practically invisible.

But there’s more – each hair also has an oil (sebaceous) gland and a sweat (apocrine) gland nearby.  And the sweat and oil glands do not open directly onto the surface of the skin; their secretions follow the hair-shaft through the follicle canal.


Acne is caused when a follicle canal, or the oil gland itself, gets blocked by a plug of oil (sebum), dead skin cells and/or fibrous hair protein (keratin).  This plug may enlarge to become a blackhead or whitehead.

Note that bacteria is not the cause of this process.  However, the process leaves the plugged pore vulnerable to bacterial infection, especially by propionibacterium acnes, which leads to redness and pimples.

So what’s the best way to prevent all this?

The problem usually originates from within due to increased oil production, especially during adolescence or somewhat later.  This has to be accepted to some degree, because it is a natural part of hormonal balances.

However, there is a lot that you can do:

  • Healthy eating and exercise.  For example, excessive consumption of starchy and sugary foods, or of iodized salt, can cause an acne breakout even in adults.
  • Wash your face twice a day or whenever it becomes dirty or greasy.
  • Avoid skin and hair products that are oily or greasy, or that may clog your pores. Look for products labeled “noncomedogenic” or “non-occlusive.”  Both terms mean that the product supposedly will not contribute to clogging your pores.

And skin and hair products are another potential cause of adult acne, as well.

  • To avoid exacerbating latent acne or incipient acne symptoms, use clean towels and change your pillowcases.  If possible, hang them in the sun between washings – the UV radiation of the sun is an excellent germ-killer.

What if I do all these things, and I get acne anway?

Don’t get discouraged.  Acne treatment has come a long way in the past couple decades. You can try over the counter remedies – certain of these may help, but be aware that some can irritate the skin and cause further problems.

At Innovative Vein, we’ve treated many different types of acne successfully by diagnosing each case individually and applying the right treatment for each case.  We offer many treatment modalities, including new options such as laser and light therapy.

Call our office today to learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation. We are here to help. 316-425-7980
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Botox Myths

What is Botox?

Botulinum toxin is a protein that is produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria.  It is referred to as a “toxin” because it is can be a component in food poisoning, most commonly due to improperly handled meat products.  The illness caused by such poisoning is called “botulism,” which can be life threatening because it impairs the nervous system and can eventually paralyze vital functions such as breathing.  About 15% of botulism cases in the U.S. are fatal.

With this background, it is not hard to understand why a number of fears and myths have spread about cosmetic and therapeutic uses of Botox.

Myth #1:  Botox injections are toxic to the body

Botox injections are a purified version of the botulinum toxin protein.  The solution is very dilute.  The concentration of the protein is so low that ordinary antibiotics are of comparable toxicity.

Second, the injection is made to pinpoint areas, and because of the low concentration it is generally incapable of spreading throughout the body.

For cosmetic use, a typical dose is 20-70 units.  A life threatening dose would be about 100 times the average dose.  (Even some common non-prescription drugs would be fatal if you took an overdose of that magnitude.)

Out of millions of cases, there have been less than 30 deaths linked to Botox over a 15 years period, and none of them were related to cosmetic injections.  Cosmetic Botox has an excellent safety record.

Myth #2:  Botox injections distort or freeze facial expressions

Well, this isn’t entirely just a myth.

Normal Botox treatments allow the muscles to relax for a period of time, but this is generally  beneficial and the ultimate result is a natural and expressive appearance.

However, misadministered Botox injections can cause exaggerrated facial immobility or a disturbingly long period of paralysis of muscles involved in facial expressions.  This will eventually clear up, but it can be very distressing.  This is caused either by an overdose, or by injecting the wrong muscles, or by both.

This won’t be an issue with a competent clinician.  For this reason, avoid Botox ‘mills,’ salons or mall shops.  Consult a qualified physician for your Botox treatments to avoid such awkward outcomes.

Click here to read more about how Botox works to reduce facial wrinkles.

Myth #3:  Botox is just cosmetic – it has no genuine therapeutic use

Botox has been used to treat muscle dystonias, such as writer’s cramp, as well as migraine headaches and cerebral palsy, among other therapeutic uses.  It is also being studied for it’s potential to help chronic back and neck pain.

Myth #4:  Botox injections are painful

Again, not totally a myth, because there can be some sensation or irritation.  But there is generally no or insignificant bruising, and many patients compare the overall annoyance to a mosquito bite.  Any more serious side-effects usually resolve within a couple days.

Have a question?  The physicians at Innovative Vein are highly trained and experienced in many types of Botox treatments.  Give us a call today at 316.425.7980, or use our easy Contact Form.
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