Acne can occur at any age and to different degrees but may be seen more frequently in teenagers and young adults. Occasionally mild acne may be controlled with over-the-counter products, but more commonly, acne will require treatment by a dermatologist.

Causes: Acne is caused by overproduction of oil (sebum) and trapping of dead cells in the hair follicle. Bacteria normally found on the skin, can lead to inflammation in the hair follicle in the presence of increased oil and dead skin cells. This process may be superficial, or deep as in cystic acne.+

Certain people may be prone to acne breakouts due to genetics, hormones, stress, or exercise.

Symptoms: Acne lesions consist of blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, cysts and nodules. The most common locations for acne are the face, chest, and back, but may also be seen on the neck, shoulders, upper arms, scalp, and buttocks.

Treatment: Basic formula for treating acne:

  • Topical medications and cleansers to reduce bacteria, remove dead skin cells, remove plugging of pores, and reduce the presence of oil.
  • Oral antibiotics to reduce bacteria and inflammation, and when appropriate, oral medications to reduce oil production.

Your individualized treatment plan depends upon your type of acne, severity, duration, and what will work best for your skin type. Despite claims, acne treatments do not work overnight and it may take 4-8 weeks to see improvement. In addition to medications, some patients may benefit from acne surgery, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or laser treatments.


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*Results may vary per patient. Services vary by location.