Affecting more than 40 million Americans each year, acne is the most common skin condition. While many associate acne with teenagers, it can occur in adults in their 20s, 30s, 40s, even older, and most often appearances on the face, back, chest, neck and shoulders. Acne affects both men and women and can range in intensity from a few small blemishes to severe cases requiring monitored medication. Often a source of emotional distress and frustration, even in the most minor of cases, if acne is mishandled it can lead to scarring.
What causes acne?
Acne occurs when the skin’s pores are blocked with bacteria. When the bacteria causes oils in the skin to break down, irritating substances are produced. When this happens, it kicks the body’s immune system in overdrive, resulting in inflammation and redness.
Acne has been related to hormones, stress as well as certain food allergies. The exact cause can be difficult to determine but examining lifestyle factors can lead to factors which exacerbate the issue.
What are the different types of acne?
Acne takes many forms such as pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, cysts or nodules, and can range from mild to moderate to severe.
Mild acne can present with a few scattered white or black heads and is generally managed with over the counter or physician recommended products.
Moderate acne demonstrates a denser concentration of whiteheads, blackheads, as well as inflamed, red pustules seen as yellowish raised nodules on a red base.
Severe acne is the occurrence of multiple cystic (or nodular) acne lesions that are deeper in the skin, inflamed, red and can be painful.
What acne treatments are available?
Fortunately, virtually every case of acne can be lessened and/or resolved. Dermatology and Laser Center of Charleston employs a variety of treatment options from product recommendations to prescription topical medications such as topical antibiotics, Retin A and benzoyl peroxide. For moderate to severe cases of acne, oral prescriptions such as antibiotics, hormonal therapy and isotretinoin (formerly referred to as Accutane) are available. Advances in topically applied medications have been made in recent years allowing better control of acne with fewer side effects such as dryness and flaking that were seen in the past. Additionally, a variety of lasers, light sources and other progressive treatments are offered to complement your treatment regimen and to correct the appearance of the skin once the acne has been cleared.
Maintenance treatments such as the HydraFacial, Customized Facial and Vibraderm all assist in keeping your skin free from bacteria buildup and can work to reduce the appearance of acne blemishes.
Learn about current opportunities for clinical trials with our Clinical Research Department.
How can a dermatologist help me with my acne?
The key to successfully treating all types of acne is selecting the treatment option which best suites your skin. All too often we see cases of acne worsen due to using the wrong products or misusing proper products. A board-certified dermatologist works with you to create a treatment regimen that not only works to clear up your acne, regardless of how severe, but fits your lifestyle and budget as well.
If you’re ready to get your acne under control, contact our office to schedule an appointment. Don’t let acne leave you walking around feeling subconscious or holding you back. There’s no case too mild or severe our team of providers won’t work to treat. You deserve happy, healthy skin and it is our goal at Dermatology and Laser Center of Charleston to make that happen.