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What is acne?

Acne, whether in teens or adults, can be a very upsetting condition. Though acne often clears up after several years on its own, untreated acne can leave permanent scars, which have a lasting effect on self-esteem.

The condition of acne includes the symptoms commonly called pimples, clogged pores, plugged pores, blackheads, whiteheads, and zits. In dermatology and skin care, we call whiteheads “closed comedones,” blackheads “open comedones,” and pimples “pustules.” Also, when acne is severe, and forms deep, pus-filled lumps under the skin, it is called “cystic acne.”

What causes acne?

Acne is a condition caused by the hormone testosterone. Testosterone is present in both males and females, and increases during puberty and other hormone cycles in both sexes. Testosterone stimulates the sebaceous glands of the skin, which in turn become enlarged, produce oil, and plug up the pores. Acne is not caused by dirt or diet, though it may be aggravated by these things. If you are concerned about acne, it is best to wash your face with a mild cleanser and warm water at night before bed. Overwashing or vigorous washing may actually make acne worse.

As for diet, if certain foods seem to make your acne worse, try to avoid those foods. And wear as little cosmetics as possible. When choosing cosmetics, look for products that are “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic.” These terms just mean that the products should not cause acne. Remove cosmetics every night with mild soap or gentle cleanser and water.

What procedures or products are recommended for acne?

Control of acne is an ongoing process. Acne treatments work by preventing new breakouts. It is important not to pick, scratch, pop, or squeeze pimples yourself. When you do this, you increase inflammation, and the chance of bacterial complications or scarring.

Our providers perform acne surgery to remove whiteheads and blackheads. They may also prescribe things like topical creams/gels, benzoyl peroxide, or oral antibiotics. They may also recommend regular blue light therapy for acne or SilkPeel treatments. Blue light therapy clears acne by targeting the bacteria in the pimples, and SilkPeel is a gentle microdermabrasion treatment for acne that removes the outer layers of skin, pulls out impurities, and infuses a clearing and soothing solution into the skin.

Most importantly, continue proper skin care and recommended treatments for acne. Our providers will help create the best skin care routine for you, but the only way to keep acne under control is to follow that skin care plan diligently.

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