Acne is one of the most common skin conditions reported in the U.S., affecting men and women of all ages and ethnicities. It can appear as pimples, lumps, cysts, nodules, blackheads, or whiteheads, and typically occurs on the face, neck, back, shoulders and chest.
What Causes Acne?
Acne can be caused by a number of factors, including the blockage of hair follicles that release oil, the overproduction of oil from enlarged oil glands, hormonal factors, and certain medications.
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 right acne treatment can heal existing lesions, stop new lesions from forming, and prevent scarring, and can include a wide range of solutions like over-the-counter prescription topical agents, antibiotics, Accutane, or hormonal agents such as birth control. Lasers and cosmetic procedures can also be used in the treatment of acne, or in conjunction with traditional treatments.
Acne can be painful and cause issues with self-confidence, but it almost always responds to the right treatment. When you meet with one of our Dermatology Providers, they’ll start with a thorough evaluation in order to create your ideal plan of care.
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, 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.
We offer acne treatment at all of our MetroDerm locations in the Greater Atlanta area: Alpharetta, Atlanta/Sandy Springs, Buckhead, Hiram and Lilburn.
Book an appointment to discuss treating your acne with a Dermatology Provider today, or to find out about our various skin care products tailored to treating acne.