Acne is a commonly misunderstood condition. It is stereotyped as a condition that only plagues teenagers and causes them prom nightmares and embarrassing first dates. In reality, acne can (and does) affect people of all ages and it can cause discomfort, self-consciousness, and long-term scarring.
To help you better understand this incredibly common condition, we’re highlighting acne in the latest edition of our Skin Condition of the Month blog series.
What Is Acne?
Acne is a highly common skin condition that is characterized by regularly appearing breakouts of pimples and inflamed pores that are clogged by debris like natural skin oils, dead skin cells, and other particles.
Each person’s acne symptoms can look different. There are four primary types of acne lesions:
* Whiteheads, or small bumps that are usually red with a white center, which occur when your pore is fully blocked with oil
* Blackheads, or flat black dots which appear when pores are clogged with oil but remain open, turning the blockage black because of its contact with the air
* Nodules, or large, deep, painful pimples that are below the surface of the skin
* Cysts, or large, painful pimples under the skin’s surface that look similar to boils
If you have acne, you may have primarily one of these types of lesions or you may have a mixture of several of them.
What Causes Acne?
There are several different factors that cause acne and that contribute to the condition. The causes can vary from person to person because each patient’s acne is unique, but the top causes include:
* Excessive skin oil, or sebum, often due to your hormones
* Specific types of bacteria on the skin
* Dead skin cells shedding off the surface of your skin and falling into pores
The only way to reliably know what is causing your acne is to see a qualified medical specialist such as a board-certified dermatologist or physician assistant.
What Are the Treatments for Acne?
The best treatment for your acne will depend on the causes that are contributing to your acne. That is why it’s so important to see a dermatologist or physician assistant, as these professionals have the knowledge and expertise to determine why you have acne and cater your acne treatments to your specific needs.
Your acne care provider will customize a treatment plan for you, and it may include a combination of products or medications to use at home along with professional procedures. The most common treatments for acne include:
* Specialized prescription or over-the-counter topical medications
* Benzoyl peroxide
* Laser or light-based treatments that reduce bacteria
* Skin treatments to routinely clean pores deeply
Getting Specialized Acne Care from Dermatology Associates of Atlanta
The only way to efficiently treat acne is to identify the causes of your acne and treat those root causes, and that requires an experienced and knowledgeable medical professional. To finally get the upper hand on your acne with a personalized, medically based treatment plan, call Dermatology Associates of Atlanta today to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified dermatologists or physician assistants. For further tips on acne care and other aspects of skin health, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.