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Acne is one of those things you may have been dealing with since your youth and may or may not have gone away. Maybe you need some dermatology help with it or just want to know more about acne so you’ll be more educated to help yourself in the future. Acne isn’t something that should be considered a youth only problem or a face only problem. It can cause bigger issues for those who suffer from it.
What Causes Acne?
Acne can be caused by a variety of issues, and based on that can be difficult to pinpoint. The American Academy of Dermatology states that it is actually the most common skin condition Americans face but it is not considered life threatening. Acne forms when your pores are blocked by oils, bacteria, dirt, or dead skin. It’s not something that happens necessarily because the person affected by it isn’t clean, but clogged pores are the basis of the issue.
What Are the Symptoms of Acne?
The most obvious one is a series of pimples or zits on a section of skin. It’s important to remember that acne is considered to be the series or repetitive instance in the same locations on a person’s body. Acne can also sometimes be painful, especially when it’s severe as the pores and nerve endings near them swell closer together. Acne is not considered life-threatening but it can affect mental health. After it clears up there is a chance of scarring that will require excess treatment.
What Types of Pimples Contribute to Acne?
Most dermatology experts will explain to you the difference between these but you may only know acne as blackheads and whiteheads. They are both the same type of pimple called comedones. The color is based on whether they are exposed to oxygen on the surface of your skin. If they are black then they are open at the surface, if they are white they are closed at the surface. Another type of skin lesions associated with acne include pustules, which are small and red filled with pus. More still are papules which are small, raised, red bumps that can include infecting the deeper hair follicles as well as pores. Nodules are solid lumps that are generally associated with pain. Finally cysts are large lumps containing pus and are generally painful.
Where Does Acne Form?
While a general answer to this can be “anywhere on the body” the most common locations are where more active hair follicles and oil glands are. These areas of the body can include your forehead, face, chest, shoulders, and upper back. These regions are the most susceptible to acne because there are higher concentrations of oil glands than the rest of the body. While these may not be the only places acne can appear your dermatology expert can guide you in the right direction to ensure it does not spread or is not able to spread to other parts of your body.
Who Can Officially Diagnose Acne?
Generally a dermatology expert can give you an official diagnosis and treatment plan. Consult with your doctor in the Southlake area and see if going to a dermatologist is the best course of action for you.
What Treatments May Be Recommended?
First off your dermatology experts may give you specific steps of self care as a first step. This is the easiest way to see if it is a light issue or if more may need to be done. From that they may go over other options in their arsenal like medication. Some common medication compounds include benzoyl peroxide which dries out pores and is an anti-bacterial, sulfur compounds which can help dry the surface of the skin, resorcinol which is used to remove dead skin cells, and salicylic acid which help keep pores clean.
These compounds can be found in many varieties of treatments. Your dermatology expert may recommend different ones based on their usage and your severity. For example oral and topical antibiotics to reduce inflammation are sometimes used in short term trials. You don’t want to be on antibiotics for too long however as you may have a decreased ability to fight infections later on. Topical creams are some of the most common ways that are used to treat acne and may require a prescription from your dermatologist. These generally work for a mass amount of cases and are where most treatments end.
For special cases other medications or treatments may be selected. If you’re a female with acne based on hormonal imbalances you may be given a hormone regulator to decrease skin oil production or be put on birth control to regulate the hormones. More extreme treatments for every person with acne may include photodynamic therapy that uses lasers to reduce bacteria and oil. Chemical peels can also be used, these are generally applied by your dermatologist and remove the top layers of your skin to clear up dead skin cells. Another process is dermabrasion which is a fast spinning, rotating brush used to remove layers of your skin.
What Does Finishing Treatment Look Like?
Most people see success when following a skin clearing plan as prescribed by their dermatologist. It may be done in as little as six weeks. If the problems you have persist or come back after they are cleared you may be prescribed a different regiment or offered an at-home kit that will keep you normal. If your acne was severe enough your dermatologist may present you with options that will help reduce the visibility of acne scarring and make sure your skin pigmentation does not vary because of it.
These items can all be discussed with your dermatology experts at Compassion Dermatology in Southlake, TX. They cover the Southlake area and will answer your questions about your specific dermatologic needs. Visit them at Compassion Dermatology to learn more and get in contact with their Dr. Holly DeBuys, and her staff.