Managing Acne

Acne occurs when skin pores become clogged with sebum (oil produced by the skin) and dead skin cells. This blockage leads to the formation of whiteheads, blackheads, pimples and cysts. The sebum in the blocked pores may also attract bacteria, creating inflammation. Hormonal fluctuations can increase sebum production and lead to acne flares, which is why acne commonly begins during the teenage years. That being said, hormonal alterations may also lead to acne in adulthood.

Contrary to popular belief, acne is not caused by diet. Eating greasy foods or chocolate will not cause breakouts. Acne also will not go away by scrubbing or using harsh cleansers – in fact, this can be irritating and actually cause acne to worsen.

Other things that can lead to acne flares include:

There are many effective acne treatments, and the product you choose should be based on the severity of your acne. Mild cases of acne may respond to twice daily washing with mild soap and water along with an over-the-counter product containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.

Moderate to moderately severe acne usually requires treatment by a dermatologist. Prescription medications including retinoids, antimicrobials, antibiotics and/or oral contraceptives may be beneficial.

The large cysts seen in severe acne may need to be surgically drained to speed healing and prevent scars from forming. This procedure should be performed in a sterile setting by a dermatologist. Some cysts can be treated with a mild corticosteroid injection or prescription oral medication. Do not attempt to drain or “pop” your own lesions, as this could lead to permanent scarring.

If not properly treated, severe acne can cause serious scarring and disfigurement. The condition can also be damaging to self-esteem and lead to shyness or embarrassment. Even mild acne may require a visit to the dermatology clinic, if non-prescription treatments are not effective.

For the best results, be sure to use all treatments exactly as prescribed, and don’t add additional products on your own. Other tips to getting the most out of your acne treatment:

If you are experiencing persistent acne, try not to be discouraged. No one treatment is right for everyone, but all acne can be treated.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Help! I'm Embarrassed by This Mole

If you have an embarrassing mole, getting it checked out and removed by an expert can go a long way in providing emotional ease. Mole removal may also help protect you from serious health consequences, such as advanced skin cancer.

4 Ways to Treat Hair Loss

Patches of baldness or larger amounts of hair in your brush can be pretty upsetting. We can help treat these signs of alopecia through several noninvasive treatments, including light therapy and different types of medications.

When Should I Seek Help for a Rash?

While some rashes are quite mild and temporary, others require swift medical care. Getting care from a dermatologist when rash symptoms set in can help determine the underlying cause and your ideal treatment.

Can Anybody Get a Chemical Peel?

Chemical peels can enhance your appearance by bringing about new, healthy skin — but are they for everyone? Before scheduling a chemical peel, consider whether you’re a good candidate.

Got Age Spots? We Have Solutions

Do you notice unsightly age spots on your face, hands, and elsewhere? Your skin sustains sun damage that can result in age spots. Keep reading to learn about your options for professional cosmetic treatment to remove or reduce your age spots.

Why Do I Still Get Acne and What Can I Do About It?

Have you tried face wash after face wash but still struggle with adult acne? You’re not alone. Thankfully, your dermatologist can provide comprehensive care. Keep reading to learn about the common causes of acne and what we can do to help.