Our Dana Point dermatologist, at Advanced Dermatology, Inc., knows how stressful acne breakouts can be and educates our patients on proper treatment of all the different types of acne. Acne occurs when the pores on the surface of your skin become clogged. Each one of your pores opens to a follicle that contains a hair gland and an oil gland. The oil that is released by the gland keeps your skin soft and helps to remove old skin cells. The pores may become blocked by a build-up of dirt, bacteria, and cells, however, when your glands produce too much oil. This blockage is called a plug, or comedone. A whitehead occurs when the top of the plug is white, and a blackhead is when the top of the plug is dark. If the plug breaks open, swelling and red bumps will be the result. Cystic acne is deep in your skin and can cause hard, painful cysts. Even though acne is more common in teenagers, acne tends to run in families and even infants and adults can get it.
Hormonal changes can cause your skin to become oilier and when linked to puberty, may trigger acne. Other causes of acne are stress, pregnancy, birth control pills, certain drugs (such as steroids, testosterone, and estrogen), menstrual periods, hair products, greasy or oily cosmetics, humidity, and sweating. Our Dana Point dermatologist has found no evidence that proves chocolate, nuts, or greasy foods cause acne, however, diets that are high in refined sugars may be related to acne.
When treating your acne at home, our Dana Point dermatologist recommends you thoroughly clean your skin with a non-drying, mild soap to remove all traces of makeup and dirt. Wash once or twice daily, especially after exercising, but try to avoid scrubbing or over-washing. Over-the-counter acne medications that contain benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, sulfur, or salicylic acid, can be applied directly to your skin for speedier treatment. These medications work by killing bacteria, drying up the oils on your skin, and sometimes causing the top layer of your skin to peel. If pimples remain a problem, we can prescribe stronger medications, such as Accutane, and discuss oral antibiotics such as tetracycline, erythromycin, and amoxicillin. Some topical antibiotics, such as clindamycin, are also sometimes recommended. For our patients with cystic acne, there are laser procedures that work very well. Whatever type of acne you have, and whatever treatment option you and our Dana Point dermatologist decide on, know that it will take patience and persistence to give you the clear, healthy skin you deserve.