Plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon explains what causes acne and what to do when you have a breakout.
Read the full transcript »
Best Ways to Treat Acne Travis Stork: Our next body fluid has to do with one of the most frustrating body problems we’ve all faced at one time or another, we’re talking about good, old acne. Drew Ordon: And my friend has got some -- Travis Stork: Wow! Drew Ordon: These are caused by fluids that start below the skin. It all starts with sebum which is naturally produced by sebaceous glands. It shows in two forms, either a blackhead which we see here or a whitehead which we see here. Jim Sears: That’s more than a whitehead. Travis Stork: A volcano. Drew Ordon: They all start with sebum. They’re different. The blackhead or black comedone is open to the air and that the whitehead or white comedone is close to the air but the key point is they both start with clogging of the sebaceous gland and you treat them both with acne medications like salicylic acid, retinoic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Now, don’t squeeze your pimples. You really shouldn’t. I have a much better treatment to treat this. Start with a warm compress. Travis Stork: And this goes for both black and whiteheads? Drew Ordon: Correct. Warm compress followed by a chamomile tea bag and I’ve actually done this. Jim Sears: Chamomile tea bag is cold, right? Drew Ordon: Yes, it’s a cold tea bag. Put that on. That will soothe it. That actually will open it up and it’ll actually kill some of the bacteria inside the sebaceous gland. Jim Sears: That probably decreases inflammation too. Drew Ordon: Right. Now, if you have a bad zit like this, if you went to the dermatologist, he would actually open this up for you with a special comedone extractor like so and what he does, he gently pushes on that and -- Jim Sears: There you go Drew Ordon: There is your body fluid. Jim Sears: Nice! Lisa Masterson: Wow! Drew Ordon: But you don’t want to go squeeze it because your fingernails are dirty, you start squeezing, you dig in, you form what we call an excoriation and you’ve seen it, scabs on the face from picking up pimple. Lisa Masterson: Scars. Travis Stork: That’s pus. Jim Sears: It’s pus. Drew Ordon: So, this is a body fluid pus with white blood cells and some dead tissues, some dead cells. Lisa Masterson: And the acne is based to be an abscess. Jim Sears: That’s disgusting Drew Ordon: It is and when it looks like this, yes and if you were to have pimples this bad, you would want to see your dermatologist, things you can do. There are stronger medications, antibiotics that you may want to try and laser treatments nowadays are excellent for acne. Travis Stork: And just to clarify, the warm compress is to open it up. The cool tea bag is to reduce inflammation, right? Drew Ordon: Reduce inflammation. I think it actually has a bacterial static effect as well. Travis Stork: Thank you Doctor Drew. If you want, feel free to pop the other one too because that one is really -- Drew Ordon: It’s not right. We’re going to solve that one.