Acne: What You Should Know
Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. Although it's common, accurate information about acne can be scarce. This can make it difficult to get clearer skin. The information on this site can help you understand acne and how to successfully treat it.
Why treat acne?
Myths about acne are as common as the skin problem. One common myth is that you have to let acne run its course.
Dermatologists know that letting acne runs its course is not always the best advice.
- Without treatment, dark spots and permanent scars can appear on the skin as acne clears.
- Treating acne often boosts a person’s self-esteem.
- Many effective treatments are available.
Signs and Symptoms
Acne can appear on the back, chest, neck, shoulders, upper arms and buttocks. Many people think that acne is just pimples, but a person who has acne can have any of these blemishes:
Who Gets It & Why?
Who gets acne?
What causes acne?
Diagnosis & Treatment
How do dermatologists diagnose acne?
When to see a dermatologist
- Topical treatment: Most acne treatments are applied to the skin. Some topicals help kill the bacteria, others work on reducing the oil. The topical medicine may contain a retinoid, prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide, antibiotic, or even salicylic acid.
Acne medication: Medicine that works throughout the body may be necessary when you have red, swollen types of acne. This type of treatment is usually necessary to treat acne cysts and nodules. Your dermatologist may prescribe one or more of these:
- Antibiotics (helps to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation)
- Birth control pills and other medicine that works on hormones (can be helpful for women).
- Isotretinoin (the only treatment that works on all that causes acne).
Procedures: Your dermatologist may treat your acne with a procedure that can be performed during an office visit. These treatments include:
- Lasers and light therapies: These devices reduce the p. acnes bacteria. Your dermatologist can determine whether this type of treatment can be helpful
- Chemical peels: Chemical peels can treat 2 types of acne — blackheads and papules. You cannot buy the chemical peels that dermatologists use.
- Acne removal: Your dermatologist may perform a procedure called “drainage and extraction” to remove a large acne cyst. This procedure helps when the cyst does not respond to medicine. It also helps ease the pain and the chance that the cyst will leave a scar. If you absolutely have to get rid of a cyst quickly, your dermatologist may inject the cyst with medicine.
Tips for Managing Your Acne
Consult a dermatologist if your acne makes you shy or embarrassed, the products you've tried have not worked, or your acne is leaving scars or darkening your skin.
Today, virtually every case of acne can be successfully treated. Dermatologists can help treat existing acne, prevent new breakouts and reduce your chance of developing scars. If you have questions or concerns about caring for your skin, you should make an appointment to see a dermatologist.
Interested in Acne treatment from Choice Dermatology?
Call our Basking Ridge or Union office today!