Understanding Acne and Treatments for Acne

Many people fight a daily battle to control acne, a skin condition that affects between 40 and 50 million Americans at any given time.

Understanding the various types of acne that exist and their underlying causes can help determine which treatments will be most effective for you.

Types of Acne

Acne describes specific skin conditions that may appear on the face, back, chest, neck and shoulders. These blemishes vary in type and cause and often require different treatments to control.

  • Whiteheads are non-inflamed, closed, clogged pores caused by bacteria, oil and dead skin cells. They remain just below the surface of skin and create small, noticeable bumps that are flesh colored or white.
  • Blackheads are similar to whiteheads. They, too, are clogged pores caused by bacteria, oil and dead skin cells, except that the pore has remained open. The opening allows the oxidization of the follicle and results in a black appearance.
  • Papules are inflamed pores that have become irritated causing the blemish to enlarge. Papules are raised red bumps typically having a hard outer surface.
  • Pustules are blemishes similar to papules with a defined white or yellow point, as they are fille with pus.
  • Nodular acne is defined as any acne that includes inflamed, tender swollen lumps in the skin. There can be as little as one or two, but in some cases, can involve the entire face and be very severe. These nodules are the type of acne that are most likely to leave permanent scarring.

For help with acne treatment, call the Skin and Cancer Center of Scottsdale today at (480) 596-1110.

Common Causes of Acne

When there is a build-up of oil and dead skin cells on the body, an environment is created in which bacteria can infect pores leading to various types of acne. Acne can be triggered or worsened due to many factors:

  • Stress
  • Hormones
  • Genetics
  • Certain medications
  • Friction, pressure, or occlusion of the skin

Does my diet affect acne?

There is much controversy around this subject, but more recent research suggests that refined carbohydrates, dairy products, and saturated fats may flare acne. The best advice you can follow, is to have a healthy balanced diet. Consider increasing your vegetable and fruit intake, and use fish as often as you can as a protein source.

For help controlling acne, contact the Skin and Cancer Center of Scottsdale at (480) 596-1110.

Who is susceptible?

Acne is the most common skin disease and affects people of all races, ethnicities and ages.

Teen Acne and Young Adult Acne

As hormones increase during puberty, teenagers are more prone to developing acne. Most acne can be controlled with the implementation of regular cleansing.

Effective cleansing routines may require the use of over-the-counter or medically prescribed cleansers.

If regular cleansing does not effectively treat acne, the services of a dermatologist may help alleviate symptoms. There is an arsenal of medications that work extremely well. Non-treatment may lead to worsening of the acne, and the potential for long-term scarring.

For help controlling acne, contact the dermatology specialists at the Skin and Cancer Center of Scottsdale today at (480) 596-1110.

Adult Acne

Men and women can continue to have acne, or develop it for the first time, as adults. Stress and changes in hormone levels are the most likely causes.

Adult acne is often more difficult to treat and regular cleansing may not be enough to control adult acne.

If you have struggled with acne throughout your life or have developed acne for the first time as an adult, a dermatological consultation can help you find the treatment options that work best for you.

Call (480) 596-1110 today for a consultation with the dermatology specialists at the Skin and Cancer Center of Scottsdale.

Acne Evaluations and Consultations

Dermatologists are medically trained skin treatment experts who can examine the skin to determine types of acne and severity level, assigning a grade to each level of acne.

  • Grade I is the mildest grade of acne, consisting primarily of whiteheads and blackheads.
  • Grade II is labeled as moderate acne in which pustules and papules appear.
  • Grade III acne is considered severe and exhibits a larger number of more painful pustules and papules. Infection typically spreads and there is a risk of scarring.
  • Grade IV is the most serious, containing painful nodules and cysts.

Available treatment for Acne

There are a variety of effective treatments to help control acne depending on the type and severity.

  • Non-prescription treatment – A doctor may present various types of non-prescription treatments. These can include over-the-counter cleansers, soaps and facial cleansing routines.
  • Prescription treatments – Topical and oral antibiotics can be prescribed to control acne.
  • Chemical peels – A chemical solution is applied to skin, which helps exfoliate the old skin making it peel off. This type of treatment can prevent pores from getting clogged.
  • Laser and light therapies – The bacteria that causes acne can be eliminated by exposing it to different forms of light. While usually spanning over multiple sessions, laser and light therapies include blue light, red light, pulsed light and heat energy.
  • Surgical procedures – Drainage and extraction procedures can be performed to remove large, painful cysts and nodules.

If you or someone you know has been struggling to control acne, contact the dermatology professionals at the Skin and Cancer Center of Scottsdale at (480) 596-1110 for an examination and consultation.

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