Acne is one of the most frequent skin diseases that we treat. Practically everyone experiences some level of acne during their lifetime. Acne typically begins around puberty and proceeds through adolescence and sometimes into adulthood eventually clearing whether it is treated or not. We treat acne to make you look and feel better during the time that you have acne as well as to prevent the scarring that acne can create. We do not want a treatable condition like acne to cause a negative influence on your self esteem or self confidence.
One of the main causes of acne is genetics so a family history of acne enhances the occurrence. The other main factor in triggering acne is hormones. Stress and certain medications may also play a role in acne.
Acne appears as hormones start to stimulate the oil glands to produce oil. This leads to the advancement of an abnormally adherent scale in the follicles that plugs the pores and causes the initial sign of acne, blackheads and whiteheads. The activity continues as oil glands produce oil below this plugged pore. Bacteria exist in the plugged follicle and change the oil into more bothersome free fatty acids. The enhanced pressure within the plugged pore ultimately leads to the rupture of the follicle under the surface of the skin. The oil and bacteria that are currently in the skin lead to inflammation that is seen as red bumps, pimples, and nodules.
We treat acne by decreasing the abnormal scale formation that plugs the pores using topical medications that are derived from Vitamin A along with reducing the number of bacteria in the skin using both topical medications and oral antibiotics. Treatment is individualized and normally will require changes in the prescribed medications throughout the course of treatment according to the response to therapy. For patients with extreme or resistant acne an oral form of Vitamin A can be prescribed that can permanently cure a large percentage of patients.