General information.  Acne is the most common skin problem in the United States.  If you have the condition, you are not alone.  About 40-50 million Americans have acne at this very moment. Acne can occur at any age.  Although it occurs most commonly in teens, the number of acne in women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s is rising.

What causes acne?  The exact cause of acne has not been completely understood.  Hormonal changes and presence of overactive oil glands in our skin could be the contributing factors.  Our skin contains pores, many of which we can see with our bare eyes.  These pores can get clogged by dead skin cells.  Sebum, our natural body oil, can exacerbate the condition by making the dead cells glued together and further obstruct the pores.  Bacteria, trapped inside the clogged pores, can overgrow and cause the pores to become red and inflamed.  If the inflammation goes deep into the skin, an acne cyst or nodule appears.

Why treat acne?  Without treatment, acne can leave dark spots or permanent scars long after it clears.  We understand that acne is sometimes a socially sensitive condition.  Therefore, appropriate control of acne can help boost one’s self-image and confidence.  Never let acne run its course!

What are the signs and Symptoms?  Acne can present with one or more of many signs which include whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules (pimples),  nodules and cysts. Acne can appear more commonly in the face, neck, and upper body.  If left untreated for a long period of time, acne can leave dark spots on the skin or permanent scars even after it clears.  If you get acne early between 8-12 years of age, be sure to seek treatment from a dermatologist sooner.   Permanent scars occur more often in patients with acne nodules and cyst; therefore, treating acne before nodules and cysts appear can prevent scars.

General info about Acne Treatments.  A complete history and physical examination precedes any treatment of any condition, especially acne.  Once the condition has been correctly diagnosed, you together with our doctor will create a treatment plan based on your symptoms, and use the latest research to determine the most effective therapies for you.

Currently, the cure for acne has not been found.  However, to diminish or control acne breakouts, many treatment options are available dependent on the severity of the disease.  These options include topical creams or cleansers which can be applied to the skin, oral medications such as antibiotics, retinoids, and birth control pills that can be taken by mouth, or direct intralesional steroid injection, cyst extraction, chemical peels, or laser therapy.