Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. Though common, accurate information about acne can be scarce. Today, virtually every case of acne can be successfully treated. We can help treat existing acne, prevent new breakouts and reduce your chance of developing scars.
Many people think that acne is just pimples. But a person who has acne can have any of these blemishes:
- Pustules (what many people call pimples)
WHAT CAUSES ACNE?
Acne is caused by several factors:
- Abnormal maturation of the skin
- Hormonal influences
- Oil overproduction
Acne appears when a pore in our skin clogs with dead skin cells. Normally, dead skin cells rise to surface of the pore, and the body sheds the cells. When the body starts to make lots of sebum (oil), that normally keeps our skin from drying out, the dead skin cells can stick together inside the pore.
Hormonal fluctuations that happen during puberty, menstrual cycle or pregnancy many influence the sebum production.
Diet plays a role as well, since diet high in carbohydrates and dairy raises glycemic levels which in turn raises insulin levels. This contributes to higher male hormone and oil production. Higher male hormone production contributes to increase levels of sebum or oil production. Sebum makes the cells sticky, so the cells become trapped inside the pore.
Sometimes bacteria that live on our skin, p. acnes, also get inside the clogged pore. Inside the pore, the bacteria have a perfect sticky environment for multiplying very quickly. With loads of bacteria inside, the pore becomes inflamed (red and swollen). If the inflammation goes deep into the skin, an acne cyst or nodule appears.
WHY TREAT ACNE?
Dermatologists know that letting acne runs its course is not always the best advice. Here’s why:
- 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.
WHO GETS ACNE?
If you have a bad case of acne, you may feel that you are the only one. But many people have acne. It is the most common skin problem in the United States. About 40 to 50 million Americans have acne at any one time. Most people who have acne are teenagers or young adults, but acne can occur at any age. Newborn babies can get acne. Men and women get acne. Some women get acne well into 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and even 50’s.
HOW WE TREAT ACNE
Today, there are many effective acne treatments. This does not mean that every acne treatment works for everyone who has acne. But it does mean that virtually every case of acne can be controlled.
Since acne is caused by multiple factors, treatment of acne may require both topical and oral medications.
WHAT OUTCOME SHOULD YOU EXPECT?
Waiting for acne to clear on its own can be frustrating. Without treatment, acne can cause permanent scars, low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. Your acne will most likely get worse before it gets better. You should expect 50% improvement by 3 months of treatment! Treatment of acne is not easy. So please be patient and use your medicine as prescribed. When the skin clears, treatment should continue! Which means you shouldn’t stop any treatments without instruction by your physician. Treatment prevents new breakouts. Your dermatologist can tell you when you no longer need to treat acne to prevent breakouts.