What is Acne and How is it Treated?
Blog by Julie Miller, R.N.
When I think about acne, I shutter as I recall my “pizza face” in high school and college. I saw a dermatologist for acne treatment and I struggled with it for most of my adult years until menopause (the only good thing I have to say about menopause). When I started my career in dermatology, the first thing my new boss said to me was, “Well, the first we need to do is get your acne under control.” I ended up on Accutane (isotretinoin) off and on for many years. Both my sons too, sorry guys!
Acne is the most common skin condition in the US. No one is safe, from newborns to 70+ year olds. Even if you escape it in your teens, studies show 50% of women develop acne by the time they are 40.
Fast facts on acne:
- Acne is a skin disease(acne vulgaris) where dead skin cells clog the pores and oil glands at the base of hair follicles act as the glue of the plug, creating acne bacteria on our skin - leading to inflammation.
- Acne affects 3 in every 4 people aged 11 to 30 years.
- Acne is not dangerous, but can leave discoloration and scars.
- Acne treatment depends on the severity.
Risk factors include
: genetics, hormonal changes (out of balance, menses), humid climates, using oil-based products, squeezing pimples, some medications, stress. Friction, exposure to dirt, grime, oils at work, perspiration.
Over the counter treatments:
Adapelene, Retinol, Azelaic acid, Resorcinol, Benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, Sulfur
Dermatology office treatments:
Chemical peels, Acne surgery, Corticosteroid injections, Topical antimicrobials, Oral antibiotics, Hormonal therapy, Isotretinoin (Accutane)
Prevention and Management tips:
- Wash your face twice daily with warm water and a cleanser for your skin type.
- Some may benefit from a Clarisonic type cleanser or acne scrubs two times per week.
- Avoid popping pimples.
- Avoid touching the face with hands or with dirty items.
- Avoid friction: hats, helmets, tight clothing. Wear items that breath or put a dew rag under a helmet and wash regularly.
- Use oil free + non-comedogenic products.
- Use an electric shaver or sharp safety razor and shave with the grain of the hair. Use a shave cream for sensitive skin.
- Keep hair clean and avoid hair products getting on your skin. Wear long hair off your face when sleeping.
- Avoid anxiety and stress.
- Avoid excessive heat or humidity.
Nowadays there are many treatment options available and treating acne often boosts self esteem. Without treatment, dark spots and permanent scars can appear on the skin as acne clears. If you do end up with some scarring there are some treatments available. I have been pleased with the results from micro needling.
If you are struggling with your acne don't go it alone, make an appointment with one of our providers. During the month of August we are offering
FREE back to school skin checks
in our Wilsonville office. We can get you on the right path to clearer skin. Call to schedule an appointment.