Introduction to Acne Treatment

Dr. Wexler Has a Problem

Dr. Patricia Wexler, a prominent dermatologist with a New York City practice and an elite clientele, was extremely frustrated.

As a top dermatologist who also serves as an attending physician at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, she has dealt with acne and skin disorders on an everyday basis for many years.

Her problem?

She was unable to help her own daughter, whose severe acne was becoming a big problem - and major stressor-for both of them

Dr. Wexler's powerlessness to help her daughter was no reflection of her professional skills. She is well known in the dermatology community and is often quoted in national magazines on any and all issues relating to skin care. She serves as a consultant to Revlon and an assistant clinical professor at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York City. The bottom line: Her credentials are impeccable.

One evening, Dr. Wexler was watching television and happened upon a promotional commercial for Proactiv Solution - a three-step acne eradication system developed by two female dermatologists in Northern California, whose own frustration with prescription and over-the-counter drugs and products had led them to formulate their own topical solutions. Celebrities like singer/former Miss America Vanessa Williams, actress Judith Light, singer Jessica Simpson, and models Stephanie Seymour and Elle Macpherson were committed Proactiv users. Each had provided print and televised testimonials about the product line's effectiveness in curing their acne.

Dr. Wexler, who always approaches new products with a certain degree of skepticism, was at her wit's end, so she decided to do something she would never normally consider: Place a phone call and order the cleanser, toner and lotion that celebrity "regular" patients alike were literally swooning over. Before-and-after photographs seemed to indicate that Proactiv had become a lifesaver for teenagers and adults whose acne was so severe that they had literally become afraid to leave their home. Their degree of embarrassment, humiliation and self-consciousness had crippled their abilities to pursue normal activities, and they were literally afraid to show their faces in public.

"It's All Acne-and It's All Miserable"

According to Dr. Katie Rodan, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, California, and Dr. Kathy Fields, a board-certified dermatologist with a San Francisco solo practice-and the inventors of Proactiv Solution-acne affects nearly 50 million Americans.

As actress and singer Vanessa Williams states in the foreword to their new book, "Unblemished: Stop Breakouts! Fight Acne! Transform Your Life! Reclaim Your Self-Esteem with the Proven 3-Step Program Using Over-the-Counter Medications": "Acne doesn't care who you are or how famous. It's all acne-and it's all miserable."

Williams is a typical acne sufferer: She went "doctor shopping"-from dermatologist to dermatologist, from the age of 16-and endured dozens of prescriptions for antibiotics, took the hard-core drug Accutane, and paid for routine facials, scrubs and beauty treatments. Nothing worked. She discovered Proactiv only when her teenage daughter began to break out. They started using it together, and both no longer worry about their skin.

The "A" Word

According to Drs. Rodan and Fields, patients hate to use the word "acne." They will describe it as anything else: "bumps," "blemishes," "stress bumps," "moles"-anything but "pimples" and "acne." It's a classic example of the embarrassment factor at work. Acne carries a stigma-and no one wants to have it. That's why the doctors describe acne as one of the most emotionally charged skin diseases in the world.

Let's be clear: This book is not about Proactiv or any individual acne product. Dr. Wexler's experience simply demonstrates how desperate acne sufferers can become when their painfully obvious condition simply refuses to go away. As it turns out, Proactiv happened to be the magic solution for Dr. Wexler's daughter, and she has since become a proponent of the product.

Why Another Acne Website?

We cannot promise that Proactiv will work for everyone. This website, and the other products discussed herein, aims to communicate that acne cannot be treated in a "cookie-cutter," one-size-fits-all fashion. Every acne sufferer reacts differently to the hundreds of over-the-counter products, prescription drugs, medical treatments and salon-based services available in the marketplace.

There is, indeed, more than one approach to treating acne-and it is often a matter of trial and error to determine what works best for you. It is vitally important to understand that acne is a chronic condition that can last for years-and, in some cases, decades. This doesn't mean, by any stretch of the imagination, that your acne-regardless of how stubborn or treatment-resistant it has become-will be with you forever.

Surprisingly, 90% of acne sufferers never seek medical attention. They will religiously go to supermarkets and drugstores to purchase over-the-counter products.

This may be sufficient for treating the mildest case of acne, but severe or moderate acne requires stronger interventions. Consider dermatologists-as well as alternative-healthcare providers and estheticians-to be copilots in the battle against acne. As a team, you work together to reach a goal: acne eradication.

That's what makes this book unique. It approaches acne from a multidisciplinary perspective. This means that we keep an open mind when it comes to acne-a chronic problem that requires daily management in order to achieve results. We will examine what acne is, what causes it, traditional thinking about the condition, myths you may have embraced that are actually untrue, and how to determine the best way to clear your skin.

We will approach acne from three different perspectives:

The dermatologist's approach (the trained medical doctor who treats acne patients every day).
The alternative-medicine approach, which favors herbs and natural ingredients over antibiotics and other chemicals.
The esthetician's perspective-the salon professional who administers facials and other treatments to help mitigate acne.


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