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About Acne

What is Acne?

 Acne is skin condition that causes pimples to develop and affects most people at some time or another. Pimples can vary in severity, from clogged pores (blackheads and whiteheads) to inflamed papules and pustules to deeper cysts or nodules. While it is most common in teens and preteens, acne can unfortunately be a significant problem in many adults, too!

Where does Acne occur?

  • Face
  • Back
  • Neck
  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Upper Arms
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How is acne treated?

While very mild cases of acne can sometimes improve with over-the-counter treatments, most acne medicines require a prescription. There is no one treatment or combination of treatments that works best for everyone. Evaluation by a dermatologist is important to determine the type of acne you have and get you started on a treatment regimen that is tailored for you. Treatment of this medical condition is important to prevent discoloration or permanent scarring of the skin.

Other tips for acne

In addition to seeing one of our board-certified dermatologists or certified PAs for an individualized treatment plan to get you or your child started on the path to clear skin, we recommend the following:

  • Avoid touching your face, and do not pick at or try to squeeze or pop your pimples. This can lead to scarring and spread the bacteria that causes acne.
  • Protect your skin from the sun and wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 every day. Some acne treatments can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, and the sun can cause the discoloration left by acne last longer.
  • Use products that are labeled “non-comedogenic” and “oil-free.”
  • Avoid toners, astringents, rubbing alcohol or alcohol-based products, harsh cleansers, scrubs, exfoliants, washcloths, etc. as these can irritate the skin, spread bacteria, and make your acne appear worse.
  • Wash your face twice a day with lukewarm water and the cleanser(s) recommended by your dermatologist. Use your fingertips to apply the cleanser.

What treatments are available for acne?

  • Benzoyl Peroxide: Kills the bacteria that causes acne.
  • Topical Retinoids: Promotes healthy sloughing.
  • Topical or oral antibiotics: Kill bacteria and reduces inflammation.
  • Oral Contraceptives: Help regulate hormone levels.
  • Anti-Androgens: Inhibit the body’s production of acne-causing hormones.
  • Isotretinoin (Accutane®): Treatment for severe cystic or nodular acne.
  • *Note that many of these options are not safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. All acne medications should be approved by your dermatologist and obstetrician prior to use.
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