Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages and skin types. It can be a source of embarrassment and frustration, leading many to seek solutions for its treatment. Whether you are experiencing occasional breakouts or chronic acne, it is important to understand what causes it and the various treatment options available. In this blog, we will explore the causes of acne, the different types of acne, and the most effective treatment options available. Whether you are seeking relief for yourself or a loved one, this information will help you make informed decisions about your skin care.
What Causes Acne?
Acne is caused by a number of factors, including:
- Hormonal changes/imbalances can trigger an increase in oil production in the skin.
- Overproduction of oil can clog hair follicles and create the ideal environment for bacterial growth.
- Bacterial growth in clogged follicles can cause inflammation and lead to acne formation.
- Clogged hair follicles can trap oil and dead skin cells, leading to the development of acne.
- Certain medications (such as steroids and hormonal contraceptives) can sometimes cause acne.
- Genetics can play a role in the development of acne-prone skin. If one of your parents struggled with acne, you are more likely to struggle with acne as well.
- Poor skin care habits, such as not removing makeup before bed or using harsh skin care products, can lead to acne.
- Stress can also cause hormonal changes that can lead to acne.
- Poor diet, such as high sugar and processed food intake, can increase hormones and contribute to acne.
Different Types of Acne
Acne can manifest in different forms. The most common of these include:
- Blackheads: Bumps that appear as dark or black spots on the skin.
- Whiteheads: Small, closed bumps that appear as white or skin colored.
- Papules: Small, red, inflamed bumps on the skin that are often tender to the touch.
- Pustules: Raised or bulging bumps with a visible yellow pus-filled center. They are often inflamed, red, and tender to the touch.
- Nodules: Large, painful, inflamed bumps that are firmly rooted in the skin.
- Cysts: Painful bumps that are larger than pimples and filled with pus or fluid. They can cause significant pain, swelling, and permanent skin damage.
Effective Treatments for Acne
Acne may not be life-threatening, but it can cause permanent scarring as well as emotional stress. Our dermatologists offer a range of treatments to improve the appearance of acne and prevent future breakouts. These treatments include:
- Topical medications (such as retinoids and antibiotics) in the form of creams, gels, or lotions
- Oral medications (such as antibiotics and isotretinoin)
- Salicylic acid
- Chemical peels
- Steroid injections
- Photodynamic therapy
For those interested in at-home treatments, look for a gentle daily cleanser that you can use twice a day. Other over-the-counter acne products may also be helpful. We recommend you speak to a dermatologist to learn what your unique skin needs, as a product that may help one person’s skin could be useless or (in some cases) actually harmful to your skin. Avoid irritants such as oily cosmetics, protect your skin from the sun, minimize physical contact with acne-affected skin, and shower after physical exertion to reduce the risk of acne breakouts.
If you are bothered by acne scars, treatment options include punch elevation, subcision, and cosmetic treatments. Our dermatologists can recommend the best treatment option for your acne scars.
Acne is a bothersome but common condition that affects millions of people. If you or a loved one is struggling to deal with acne, there are treatments that can help. Our dermatologists can help determine the best course of action for your individual needs and advise you on the best treatments available. With proper management and care, you can achieve clearer, healthier skin.
To schedule an appointment with one of our dermatologists, call Medovate Dermatology at 847.499.5500.