How Acne Happens

Acne is caused by enlargement of the oil gland (which is stimulated by genes, stress, diet & hormones), which leads to oil gland overproduction.  When oil is overproduced, the channel that delivers the oil, the skin pore, becomes enlarged. This leads to natural bacteria on our skin to “fall” into the open pore and cause an inflammation/infection. The excessive oil overproduction also causes the top epidermal cells to get clogged, leading to the skin pore to trap dead skin and bacteria in the oil gland. When the pressure is too much, the oil gland and pore can rupture, leading to big cystic acne and lead to severe scarring. So the treatment should be directed at the cause of the acne: 1. Enlarged oil gland (with topical tretinoin aka  “retinol”) 2. Sterilizing the natural bacteria on the skin (with topical antibacterial ie: benzoyl peroxide or topical antibiotic), and 3. Exfoliating off the top layer of clogged skin cells (with monthly peels/microdermabrasion & at home “peel pads”).

“Filters are great, but great skin is better.”

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Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) for Acne

The most popular option that we recommend to most of our patients with Acne is Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)  It is a  treatment used mainly for the decrease of skin pre-cancers (called Actinic Keratosis) But it is also commonly used off-label for facial skin rejuvenation, as well as the treatment of mild to moderate acne. PDT utilizes Levulan (Aminolevulinic acid), a naturally occurring photosensitizing compound, to create a photochemical reaction that selectively destroys the rapidly over productive oil glands that cause acne to occur on the surface of the skin. cells. When PDT is done on an acne patient, we apply a BHA peel to help get rid of the fine top layer of any dead skin. Once the chemical peel is applied, we use the medication that penetrates deeper into the oil gland and then activate it by using our Red/Blue LightStim ProPanel. Typically 3-6 sessions is normal for mild-moderate acne.

Microdermabrasion/Chemical peels


Chemical peels

Are you unhappy with the tone and texture of your skin? Would you love to rejuvenate your skin? Do you want to remove age and sun spots, improve pigmentation, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and lessen the appearance of enlarged pores and acne scars? Do you want to even out your skin color and gain healthy glowing skin? At Pure Dermatology Cosmetic & Hair Center in Newport Beach, CA, we can help you achieve your goals.

Lifestyle Tips

We all know Acne can be a difficult thing physically and emotionally, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Here are some Lifestyle Tips that can help you on your journey through healing acne:

  1. Go on an anti-inflammatory diet (ie: Avoid Dairy & Sugar; Organic grains & Meats only)
  2. Consider taking oral supplements: Probiotics (Garden of Life), Turmeric, and Niacinamide or Nutrafol
  3. Avoid Dairy Milk: switch to almond, coconut, or oak milk instead; dairy free/pea protein shakes only! 
  4. Avoid any facial products that contain oil! Use water-based products only (including makeup)

Cortisone Injections

Cortisone Injections, also known as Cortisol (a naturally occurring chemical in our body) is used to help with inflammation of deep cystic acne on the face or body. A Cortisone Steroid injection is injected into the pimple to give you relief of any pain associated with the pimple, and helps to break down the tissue around it to give you more comfort and shrink the pimple. Although Cortisone doesn’t cure acne overall, it is a great and quick option if your blemish is uncomfortable and swollen. Be cautious because too much of the steroid can leave you with a divot in the injected area. Make sure to consult with your provider before and seek a trusted practitioner. If you have acne that covers more than 30% of your face/body, read more into PDT for Acne under our Esthetician services


Extractions are done for patients who have clogged or congested cystic acne or milia (trapped pockets of an oil gland). Extractions can sometimes be covered through insurance but most of the time are not. Extractions take anywhere from 10-15 minutes. Most of the time our esthetician can extract anything on the face manually, with their hands. In some cases, our providers need to use extracting tools to help get the deeper congested areas unclogged.