Acne is a very common skin condition that affects many people during their teenage years. However, the condition is not restricted to any age group. It may continue into or may even start in adulthood. Acne includes problems such as clogged pores (blackheads & whiteheads) and pimples on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulder and upper arms. Although acne is caused by several factors, medical acne treatment can drastically improve the appearance of this skin condition. Even though you might think that frequent washing is good for your skin, acne is not a disease that is caused by dirt. Frequent and vigorous cleansing techniques may even worsen the condition. There are over 3 million acne cases a year in the US, and this condition can be treated by a medical professional such as a dermatologist.
Which Treatment Is Best for Acne?
The best treatment for acne can vary from person to person, depending on the type and severity of acne, as well as individual skin characteristics. Common treatments include over-the-counter topical products containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. For more severe cases, prescription medications such as topical or oral antibiotics, retinoids, or hormonal therapies may be recommended. In some instances, dermatologists may suggest procedures like chemical peels, laser therapy, or extraction of cysts. It’s important to consult a dermatologist to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your specific acne condition.
What Is the Main Cause of Acne?
According to The Mayo Clinic, there are four main factors that cause acne, which include excess oil production, clogged hair follicles by oil and dead skin cells, bacteria, and excess activity of a type of hormone. 1 Pimples on the skin are raised red spots with a white center that are formed when blocked hair follicles become infected with bacteria. This blockage typically produces cyst-like lumps under the surface of your skin.
There are many outside factors that can contribute to the increase in acne. These factors include hormones, diet, and stress. Androgens are a type of testosterone hormone that increases during puberty. This hormone can overstimulate oil glands, which in turn can cause acne to form. The connection between stress and acne also comes down to hormones. When you are stressed, your body produces certain hormones that cause glands under your skin to make excess oil. While there are many factors that cause acne to worsen, there are treatments that can help clear up your skin.
What Kills Acne Bacteria?
Acne bacteria, primarily Propionibacterium acnes, can be effectively targeted with various treatments. Benzoyl peroxide is a commonly used over-the-counter product that kills acne bacteria by introducing oxygen into the pores, creating an inhospitable environment for the bacteria to thrive. Topical and oral antibiotics are often prescribed to combat bacterial infection in moderate to severe cases of acne. For particularly stubborn cases, a dermatologist might recommend combination therapies or stronger prescription medications like isotretinoin, which works by reducing oil production and eliminating bacteria.
How Do I Know if My Acne Is Bacterial or Hormonal?
Distinguishing between bacterial and hormonal acne can be challenging, as acne can have multiple contributing factors. Bacterial acne often presents with pustules and papules, and it tends to respond well to antibacterial treatments like benzoyl peroxide and antibiotics. On the other hand, hormonal acne is characterized by deeper, cystic, or nodular lesions and typically appears around the jawline, chin, and lower cheeks. It may coincide with menstrual cycles and is influenced by hormonal fluctuations. If your acne seems to be persistent, recurrent, or linked to hormonal changes, consulting a dermatologist is essential for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan, which may include hormonal therapies or birth control methods for hormonal acne.
How to Treat Acne
Visiting an acne dermatologist will allow you to be properly treated with what works best for your skin type. At our Delray Beach Dermatology center, Dr. Wassef uses the latest techniques, medicines, and chemical peels to treat acne and its unwanted effects. Acne treatments also include specific creams and cleansers that are recommended based on skin type and other factors. Dealing with pimples and blackheads as a teenager is very common. However, many people experience a lack of confidence and embarrassment due to the unwanted appearance. We understand the hardships one faces as a result of acne, and we will make sure to provide you with the best acne treatment possible for long-term results.
At DCSI, we will provide all new patients with a full assessment to determine the route one should take when treating the acne that’s present. Through specific medications and creams, we make sure that your treatment will provide you with your desired results. For more information on our acne treatment in Delray Beach, contact Dermatology & Cutaneous Surgery Institute today! Scheduling an appointment with Dr. Wassef is the first step towards clear skin.
 Mayo Clinic, Acne