“WHERE OTHERS HAVE FAILED, WE WILL SUCCEED. HERE AT GOODSKIN DERMATOLOGY WE ARE PORTLAND’S LEADING ACNE EXPERTS.”
CAUSES OF ACNE
Current dermatological research on acne maintains that it is caused by blocked pores in the skin.Unfortunately, individual comedones (whether blackheads or whiteheads) can remain in the skin for extended periods of time.
Sometimes the sebum and bacteria can spread into surrounding pores, which triggers the formation of more acne. For those suffering from severe cases of acne, sebum can form into cysts or nodules deep within the layers of the skin. The appearance of acne may be sporadic, but it can be worsened by a few conditions. For example, changes in hormone levels will affect acne, particularly for adolescents and for women around their monthly menstruation, during pregnancy, etc. In addition, not taking proper care of your skin can increase acne: if you neglect to clean makeup, dirt, or grease off of your face, or if you scrub it too hard or pick at your pimples, it can make conditions worse. Similarly, environmental conditions (such as humidity), sweating without cleansing afterward, and wearing tight clothing can perpetuate acne.
WHO IT AFFECTS
Although we often associate acne with adolescence, this is only because with puberty comes increased production of sebum by the sebaceous glands. In reality, acne affects people of all ages, and it can be very common for adult women. There is also a genetic factor – if your parents had or have acne, it is more likely that you will be affected by it as well.
TYPES OF ACNE
Acne is usually characterized by the severity of the case, including severe, moderate, and mild. Severe acne, as described above, is when the sebum has formed into nodules or cysts deep beneath the skin. Also called cystic acne or nodular acne, severe conditions of acne are usually recognized by the fact that they are very red, inflamed, and extensive, not to mention painful and prone to scarring. Moderate acne is less widespread and includes comedones and pustules that may be red or inflamed. Mild acne includes cases of occasional isolated comedones that rarely become inflamed.
TREATMENT OF ACNE
Even though every person is different and what works for one may not work for another, there is a way to successfully treat almost every person’s acne condition through finding appropriate means of treatment and prevention.
In factoring which treatment will be most effective for you, your medical dermatologist will consider several factors:
Scarring: If your acne condition has already begun to leave scars, it is likely that your dermatologist will recommend aggressive treatment now to prevent future scarring.
Severity of the condition: Severe acne will likely need severe treatment with medications like isotretinoin. Moderate acne may require using a medication or antibiotic as well as a topical retinoid. For moderate to severe conditions of acne, individuals will most likely need to be given prescription strength acne treatment medications. Those lucky enough to have only mild cases may need only topical retinoids or non-prescription medications.
Gender: Because of the frequent changes in hormone levels that women experience in their lives, they may be more prone to acne. To regulate hormones and help fight acne, a doctor may prescribe birth control pills.
READ MORE ON MAXIMIZING YOUR TREATMENT
MORE ABOUT KEEPING ACNE UNDER CONTROL
When treatment proves effective and the acne disappears, it doesn’t mean that you should stop using everything that has worked for you. You will probably want to continue to use topical retinoids in order to maintain your clear skin. In addition, it will be beneficial to follow a few tips.
Be wise in selecting skin care products. Do not be abrasive with your skin. Mild cleansers once or twice a day are all you need; harsh cleansers may be too abrasive and make acne conditions worse. You’ll also want to look for cosmetics that are oil-free or non-comedogenic. Cleansers with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide are made to fight acne, making them a good choice for preventative acne treatment.
Similarly, treat your skin kindly. Do not pick at or squeeze pimples because this is more likely to increase the amount of bacteria and inflammation in the area due to the bacteria on your hands. Limit how often you touch your face so as not to spread germs or bacteria. In addition, wear appropriate moisturizers and protect your skin from the sun.
Sun exposure dries out the skin excessively, leading the sebaceous glands to overproduce sebum (resulting in the appearance of acne). In addition, it can cause serious skin damage. Limiting your exposure to the sun (including tanning booths) is especially important if the acne treatment medication you use is one that increases sensitivity to UV rays.