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Medical Dermatology

Acne

At any one time, between 40 and 50 million Americans suffer from acne. Although acne is most common in teenagers, acne can affect men and women at almost any age. Approximately 50% of men and women in their twenties and 35% in their thirties suffer from acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Acne has many forms. It can consist of blackheads, whiteheads, inflamed pimples, pustules, and/or deeper cysts. Acne may be distributed on the forehead and cheeks, around the mouth and chin or on the chest, shoulders, and back.

Causes of Acne

Acne results from a combination of hormones, dead skin cells, and bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes. Changes in hormones lead to the production of skin oils called sebum which acts like a sticky glue trapping dead skin cells in pores. As pores become “clogged,” bacteria proliferate and pressures build under the skin. Eventually, if the pressure becomes great enough, the clogged pore can burst to cause an inflammatory reaction associated with redness, pain, and pus bumps.

Treating Acne

Treating acne is important for improving self-confidence and preventing scars and skin discolorations. Treatments may consist of topical medications, oral medications, and/or light-based treatments. Medications are often selected based on the type and extent of acne a patient has. Importantly, it can take several weeks for medications to start working, and acne may even become worse before it improves. Hudson Dermatology and Laser Surgery understand that acne is stubborn and are committed to creating a personalized treatment plan for you that works.