Acne, which mostly affects teens, is a common skin condition in the United States. Girls first develop it at approximately ages 14-17 and boys from 16-19. Famous folks such as Tina Fey, Kendall Jenner, Moon Unit Zappa, Jillian Michaels, and a host of other celebrities have shared memories of this dreaded adolescent disease which also has an adult counterpart. Unfortunately, some experience the agony of the condition in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. The dermatologists at MetroDerm, P.C. in Atlanta, GA, use the most advanced technology to treat acne.
Mild to Severe But Not Contagious
Acne mostly manifests itself on the face, but it can also be located on the back and chest. In some cases, all three areas may be affected. The condition can range from mild, where blackheads, whiteheads, and a few inflamed spots are present, to severe where there may be large, deep lesions that can take weeks to settle and may cause scarring. Acne is not contagious; it cannot be passed from one person to another.
Treatment Is Advisable
Some say this condition needs to run its course and that treatment is unsuccessful and unnecessary. This could not be further from the truth. Besides the psychological stress, permanent damage to the skin can result if the condition goes untreated. It can last for years and cause scarring if left untreated.
Diet Is Not a Cure For Acne
Acne is not caused by poor hygiene or dirt and cannot be cured by washing more frequently. There is no evidence that eating chocolate or sweets can cause or worsen this dermatologic condition. However, some individuals may find that certain foods make their acne worse. It may help to avoid these foods, but a strict diet alone will not cure it.
Inflammation Is The Culprit
The sebaceous (oil) glands are small glands surrounding the fine hairs on the skin. These glands produce sebum (oil), which is released via the hair follicles. Acne is usually triggered by puberty when rising levels of male hormones (androgens) in both boys and girls cause the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. This excess sebum causes the lining of the hair follicles to become inflamed, making them narrower and resulting in the formation of plugs at the surface of the skin. Bacteria can then grow causing redness, swelling and the formation of pus. The “black” in a blackhead is not dirt but dried oil and shed skin cells.
The choice of treatment depends on the severity. All acne should be treated. It will not improve if left untreated and could become worse. At MetroDerm, P.C., the dermatologists understand the psychological stress of acne and related skin conditions. They work with patients to develop a treatment plan that may include medication and aesthetic treatments. The dermatologist will take a patient history and examine him or her then prescribe a treatment plan to prevent dead skin cells from blocking the oil glands, reduce excessive oil production and reduce acne-causing bacteria. If the condition is mild, the doctor can prescribe topical lotions, creams or gel for the skin. If it is severe, there is a variety of proven treatments available to treat this distressing condition. Prescription strength medications and doctor supervision of acne treatment are preferable to over-the-counter products and a hit or miss treatment regimen. Please be sure to inform the dermatologists if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This will affect the protocol the doctor prescribes for treatment.
Recommendations For Sufferers
- Use good quality doctor recommended products to clean your face morning and evening.
- Avoid squeezing or picking pimples. This may cause scarring or worse inflammation.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Avoid foods that cause your acne to flare.
- Drink plenty of water and exercise regularly.
- Avoid tanning beds due to the long-term risks of sun damage and skin cancer.
- Humid weather may worsen the acne due to excess sweating.
- Long hair may irritate acne. Pull your hair back to avoid friction and oils from causing problems.
With the right treatment, acne can be managed and scarring avoided. The dermatologists at MetroDerm, P.C. have the right experience and disposition to work with teenagers to get on top of this condition, manage it, and minimize the stress it causes. Whether you are a teen who has acne or an adult with acne, there is help available. Call MetroDerm, P.C. today to make an appointment. If you live in Tucker, Chamblee, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Cumming, or Lilburn there is a MetroDerm, P.C. location close to you.