The Art and Science of Beautiful Skin.
WHAT IS ACNE?
Acne is a skin disease, and while it primarily targets adolescents, many adults also develop acne. The most common area of the body for acne to appear is the face, but it may also appear on the upper arms, back, chest, neck, thighs and buttocks.
Acne is actually caused by a mixture of skin oils that are produced naturally by the body and dead skin cells. The mixture of oil and dead skin cells can clog skin pores and hair follicles. Once clogged, skin pores serve as ideal environments for bacteria growth.
The bacteria may exacerbate whiteheads, pimples, and various acne symptoms. Acne doesn’t really discriminate against men, women, or race.
Blackheads, otherwise known as comedonal acne, are caused by plugging of the pores. In order to unplug the pores and prevent this from occurring, dermatologists often prescribe a group of medications called retinoids. These are usually applied in a small amount at bedtime and are excellent at clearing the comedones.
Also see Acne entry above and our article: What Causes Acne?
For more information, visit the American Academy of Dermatology at www.aad.org/skin-conditions
Acne cysts are a severe form of acne where larger, pus-filled bumps appear. These cysts can last for months, cause scarring, and be painful. Attempting to pop them can lead to a deeper infection and more inflammation.
Also see Acne entry above and our article: What Causes Acne?
For more information, visit the American Academy of Dermatology at www.aad.org/skin-conditions.
Depending on a person’s age, acne can be caused by a wide range of problems. In most cases, acne appears during teen years because of hormone changes that occur during puberty.
However, it can also be caused by poor hygiene, such as not cleaning the skin often enough. The exact cause doesn’t really matter.
The end result is that skin pores become clogged with excess sebum oil, which is natural oil that lubricates the skin. When pores get clogged, it causes whiteheads, red pimples, and blackheads to form.
Specific acne symptoms are different for every individual. The severity of the symptoms is also different for everyone. Some individuals suffer from significantly more blemishes than others.
Severe blemishes are called papules, firm lesions, nodules, and pustules. In some cases, these blemishes occur only in localized areas, or they may appear on the buttocks, upper arms, shoulders, neck, chest, back and face.
Out of the global population, about 650 million individuals suffer from some degree of acne. It’s actually the most prevalent skin condition in the world, and ranks #8 on the list of the top diseases in the world.
About 90 percent of teens that are part of the western population will suffer from some level of acne. Acne occurs in 40% of individuals 25 and older. Acne is less common among rural societies.
In the United States, far more Caucasians suffer from acne than African Americans. At any given moment, roughly 40 million Americans are suffering from some degree of acne. Studies show that environmental factors also play a role in the development of acne, and the occurrence of the problem is not directly caused by age.
Most acne is not preventable, but daily treatments can be very effective for controlling moderate pimples. Both laser and prescription treatments may also be effective against acne. There are also products that deploy medical grade cleansers, which can help to prevent the accumulation of acne causing bacteria. By cleansing daily, you may reduce the frequency of acne outbreaks.
An effective cleansing routine will also reduce infection and prevent scarring. Sudden onset of acne could be related to change in diet, environmental make-up, skin care products, or medication. If the trigger can be identified and avoided, then acne can be prevented. We can discuss triggers and your options during your appointment.
Most people will experience some degree of acne during their lifetime, but others are living with a chronic condition, which means they always have acne.
Anyone who has acne should understand that there are several treatments available for it. We have very experienced, board-certified dermatologists and certified PAs, so they know how to effectively treat acne in both teens and adults. After a thorough exam, they’ll tell you what form of treatment they feel is best for you.
If you’re currently suffering from acne, our experts can develop a safe and effective treatment plan for you, personalized for your specific needs. We offer many of the latest, most effective acne treatments available:
- Acne extraction – also known as acne surgery, is an effective procedure to remove blackheads and clogged pores if you don’t want to wait anywhere from four to eight weeks for medication to kick in.
- Topical retinoids – These include Differin®, Retin-A® and Tazorac®, these treatments help to stop skin cells from sticking together, which prevents pores from getting clogged.
- Benzoyl peroxide – Works to open up pores that have become clogged while also killing the bacteria inside of the pores.
- Topical antibiotics – These treatments will kill the bacteria responsible for causing superficial acne or red pimples.
- Oral Antibiotics – Might be needed for deep cysts and acne. These include, Doxycycline, Minocycline and Bactrim™.
- Oral Retinoids- Isotretinoin known as Accutane. These provide the ultimate care for acne and are important to treat recalcitrant scarring acne.
- Oral Hormonal Acne Treatments– Include certain birth control pills and spironolactone
The location and extent of acne are two major factors that will determine how much it will cost to treat the acne. The exact skin condition is also a factor. Our staff can help you find out if your health insurance will cover some or all of the cost.
First, you need to schedule a private consultation so that we can examine and evaluate the condition of your skin. Once we have this information, we can recommend a specific treatment.
The staff and physicians at Dermatology Affiliates give our patients personalized care. We can offer our patients the latest, most effective technologies, which can help patients to maintain optimal skin health. Our treatment options can restore the self-confidence our patients have lost due to acne. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.