What are the causes of acne?
Acne can affect both teens and adults, and it can vary from minor to severe. It develops when dead skin cells, dirt, environmental debris, and oil get trapped and clog your pores. Bacteria can colonize those pores, which leads to localized infection, inflammation, and swelling. In severe cases of acne, bacteria can multiply to the point that it causes cysts or nodules in the skin.
Acne occurs most commonly on the face, but may also involve the neck, chest, shoulders and back. It can be upsetting, and even disfiguring, and untreated acne can leave permanent scars and discolorations.
Whether you have an occasional breakout or suffer from acne issues on a regular basis, it could be caused by:
- Excess oil production
- Family history of acne
- Hormonal fluctuations, usually related to puberty, pregnancy, or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Lifestyle factors such as smoking, poor diet, lack of sleep, and stress
- Certain medications
If you wear cosmetics, select oil-free moisturizers and make-up. Choose products that are "non-comedogenic" (should not cause whiteheads or blackheads) and remove your makeup every night with a mild cleanser and tepid water. Acne has little to do with washing your face, but it is best to clean your skin daily with a mild cleanser and tepid water to remove excess oil and make-up. Washing too often, too vigorously, or using harsh products may actually make your acne worse. Your acne may even be linked to your makeup or skin care products. If the products you put on your skin contain oil or harsh ingredients, they can clog your pores and lead to irritation.
When should I see a dermatologist for acne?
If you can’t get your acne under control or if over-the-counter products aren’t effective, you should schedule an appointment with our skin specialists. The team encourages you to book an evaluation if your acne is leading to:
- Frequent breakouts on your face, chest, neck, or back
- Dark spots
- Painful nodules
If acne makes you feel embarrassed or self-conscious, and especially if you are developing acne scars, schedule an evaluation at Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center.
You should also visit us if you just recently started struggling with acne breakouts and haven’t had a history of acne in the past. It is important to get a proper diagnosis, because even if your skin is red and has small bumps that look like pimples, you may actually have rosacea, not acne.
How is acne treated?
Your acne treatment plan is entirely tailored to you and the severity of your acne breakouts. The team may recommend:
- Prescription oral medications for systemic antibiotic benefits
- Topical medications, such as clinical-strength benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid ointment to unblock pores and antibiotics to reduce bacteria
- Corticosteroid injections to reduce cysts or nodules
- Chemical peels or Hydrafacials to deep clean clogged pores and remove build-up of dead skin cells to help prevent further congestion and infection
- Accutane/Isotretinoin may be prescribed in cases of unresponsive or severe/scarring acne. There are a number of potential side effects to this oral medication, and monitoring with frequent follow-up visits and blood testing is necessary. Pregnancy must be prevented while taking this medication, as it causes birth defects.
Click here to see patient results with Accutane
AviClear Acne Laser
AviClear is the newest acne treatment technology and the first FDA-cleared energy device for the treatment of mild to severe acne in all skin tones.
Unlike traditional photodynamic (light) therapy, AviClear is a NEW type of laser treatment. It specifically targets the source of most acne, the oil-producing sebaceous glands, and down-regulates their production. This provides effective and long-lasting (potentially permanent) results, with no harmful side-effects. It is safe for all skin types, tones, and acne severities and requires no medications, antibiotics, chemicals, or harsh topical products. Results are achieved in just three 30-minute treatment sessions spaced 1 month apart, with no downtime after.
This new technology is considered the future of acne therapy and is providing clear skin to many acne sufferers (adults and teens) who have tried everything else unsuccessfully.
Your provider at Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center is knowledgeable about the unique challenges that acne patients face. They can help you even if you haven’t found an effective acne treatment in the past.
If you’re struggling with acne, schedule an evaluation at Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center right away. You can call the office or request your appointment online.