Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. It refers to blackheads, whiteheads, pimples or cysts on the face, back or chest. Acne can not only cause painful lesions and emotional stress, but it can also lead to scarring in the affected areas. While teenagers are most commonly affected, acne can affect people at any age.
Acne occurs due to clogged pores. It can present as blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, pustules and cysts on the face, back, chest and shoulders.
Acne is thought to be due to excessive oil production, clogged hair follicles/sweat glands, bacteria and increased hormonal activity. Stress, diet, and certain skin products may worsen acne for some patients.
There are many treatments for acne, however they can take 2-3 months to start working. Because of the many options for treatment and causes of acne, please discuss the best treatment for you with your physician.
It is important to use gentle oil-free cleansers and moisturizers daily along with a sunscreen to prevent scars from worsening.
- Over the counter topical treatments include cleansers and spot treaters with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
- Retinoids – Medications such as topical tretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene, and similar medications can help to treat whiteheads and blackheads. It is also a great preventative medication.
- Antibiotics – topical clindamycin and minocycline can help red, inflamed acne lesions.
- Other topical agents include topical dapsone (Aczone®) and azelaic acid.
- Oral antibiotics such as doxycycline, minocycline or Seysara® can help moderate inflammatory acne.
- For women, oral contraceptives or spironolactone may be recommended to treat the hormonal cause of acne.
- For treatment resistant acne, your doctor may recommend isotretinoin.
- Chemical Peel – Salicylic acid peels can help with whiteheads, blackheads and some inflammatory lesions. These are most helpful if administered once a month for 3-4 months.
- Our GTZ (glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid and zinc) peel can help with redness, scarring and inflammation due to acne. This peel is performed every 2 weeks. Approximately 6 peels are recommended for best results.
- Intralesional steroid injection works well to treat isolated, painful nodules and cysts. It is injected directly into the lesion to provide rapid pain relief.
If you have any questions about your condition, please call our office at 704-784-5901