Acne is a condition in which tiny pores beneath the skin surface become clogged with an oily substance called sebum. Bacteria can then grow in these glands which can cause inflammation and pimples. Acne is most common on the face, back, chest, and neck, but can occur wherever there are hair follicles present beneath the skin.
Who Gets Acne?
Acne is most prominent in teenagers, but can begin, worsen, or persist to varying degrees at all ages. While acne is a benign condition, it is important to be treated due to the possibility of scarring in some cases.
What Are The Causes Of Acne?
Stress, genetics, hormones, and occasionally diet and external factors (topical products, exercise).
What are the treatments for Acne?
There are many different treatments available for acne. Factors that go into deciding which treatment include severity and type of the acne, age and gender of the patient, and tolerance, efficacy and duration of past treatments.
Topicals: The first-line treatment for acne will most likely be a topical regimen. This can be a combination of medicated washes, creams, gels, and lotions. Different medications have different properties including, antibacterial, antiinflammatory, and / or exfoliating. They target different components of acne and therefore often have to be used in combination with each other. Your physician may recommend a combination of prescription topicals as well as over-the-counter products. To view the treatment options we carry visit our store.
Oral treatments: For patients with moderate to severe cystic acne, you may be prescribed one of the different oral treatments which often come with an increased risk of side effects and require more regular closer monitoring. There are different types of oral treatments for acne. Oral antibiotics decrease inflammation, a major component of acne and oral contraceptives or Spironolactone may benefit female patients who experience hormonally-activated acne.
Isotretinoin: For severe acne that persists and is resistant to multiple treatments, or cystic acne that has a high risk of scarring, isotretinoin may be recommended as a treatment option. Isotretinoin is a powerful medication that is regulated by the government and its use and side effects are closely monitored by your prescribing physician. Despite the possible side effects, when taken properly and under the care of a physician, isotretinoin can provide significant improvement.
Intralesional Injections: For infrequent, inflamed, painful, cystic lesions, your provider may recommend an intralesional Kenalog injection. These injections are done in office on an ‘as needed’ basis. During the procedure, your provider or nurse will inject a small amount of steroid directly into the affected lesion. Improvement can be seen within 24-48 hours. This makes it a great option before a big event but is not recommended for frequent cystic flares.