Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in the U.S., affecting around 60 million people each year. While many cases are mild and can be controlled with medication and a consistent at-home cleansing regimen, many individuals have it so severely that scarring can occur. Acne is generally a mixture of pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, small cysts, and other red, itchy, and inflamed areas on the skin. Caused by a combination of clogged pores, dead skin cells, and bacteria, it is most often seen in teenagers but can affect adults well into their 40s. Acne most commonly appears on the face, chest, and back. To return the skin to a healthy, glowing appearance, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Aradhna Saxena and her team at the Dermatology and Skin Cancer Institute can offer numerous treatment options, ranging from custom at-home cleansing systems to medications and laser treatments.
A "flare up" of acne can occur for a number of different reasons, including hormonal fluctuations associated with puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. In addition, certain medications and drugs (such as the birth control pill), as well as stress and a poor diet, can cause acne. Often, acne is caused by insufficient cleansing methods. Once the exact cause of acne is diagnosed, a proper treatment plan can be established.
Acne symptoms vary depending on the type of acne you have and its severity. Blemishes are a common, obvious symptom of acne and come in many forms, such as blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, pustules, papules, and nodules. Each variation of blemish ranges from mild to severe and will need to be treated accordingly. Studies have shown that acne can also lead to emotional symptoms like low self-esteem and depression. Other symptoms associated with acne are dark spots on the skin and permanent scars.
Research shows that over-the-counter medications don't treat severe acne effectively. At the Dermatology and Skin Cancer Institute, we offer numerous treatment options to control and manage acne and clear its symptoms. For milder cases of acne, prescription topical solutions and creams that contain sulfur, retinoids, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide can help. There are also oral antibiotics, such as doxycycline, minocycline, or tetracycline, that can be effective. In addition to topical and oral prescriptions, laser treatments have also shown great results. Not only can a laser treatment help to deep clean and attack dead skin cells under the dermal layer, it can also help reduce redness and other pigmentation issues associated with acne. Chemical peels and extractions may also help, depending on the type of acne you are experiencing.
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If you are tired of covering your acne with makeup or enduring the physical and emotional discomfort that can develop from this condition, we encourage you to call the Dermatology and Skin Cancer Institute in Fort Washington, Lansdale, or Willow Grove, PA to schedule an appointment today. One of our board-certified dermatologists will provide a thorough skin analysis and create a tailored treatment plan to help clear up your complexion as quickly as possible.