Acne is a very common skin condition characterized by whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples on the face, chest, back, and other areas of the body. In severe cases, acne can form in deeper, more painful bumps that can lead to scarring and permanent skin damage.
Who Gets Acne
Most start showing signs of acne during puberty. For some, it continues into adulthood and throughout their lives. That said, for most, acne slows, if not completely resolves by early adulthood.
Causes of Acne
Acne maybe caused by several different factors. A few of those factors include:
- Oil glands that produce excess oil, which can clog your pores, producing acne.
- Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells.
- Bacteria (Propionibacterium) overgrows on the skin, causing inflammation.
- Hormones, often found in body-building supplements, can trigger acne.
While commonly referred to in pop-culture, foods, and junk foods, actually do not cause acne.
Prescription Acne Treatments
While there is no “cure” for acne, our dermatologist, Dr. Mary Noël George, can prescribe treatments to prevent the formation of new spots and help improve the ones you have.
After evaluating your skin, Dr. George may prescribe one of the following treatments based on your needs:
Topical treatments are our first choice for those with mild to moderate acne. These come in forms of creams, gels, and lotions that you apply to your skin a few times a week or even daily.
Examples of topical treatments include:
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Retinoids (i.e. tretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene)
For moderate to severe acne, Dr. George may prescribe oral antibiotics. Oral antibiotics work from the inside to reduce bacteria and fight inflammation. Typically, the first method of oral antibiotic acne treatments we use is doxycycline.
We also recommend using oral antibiotics for the shortest amount of time possible to prevent future antibiotic resistance.
Isotretinoin, commonly referred to as Accutane, is highly effective, and powerful option to treat more severe forms of acne.
If Dr. Mary Noël George thinks Accutane is a good option for you, she will customize your treatment and care for you every step of the way to clear skin.
Please note, all acne treatments take a minimum of 3 months to see an effect.