Acne is an inflammatory, relapsing skin condition that appears when the pilosebaceous opening (the pore) becomes impacted with dead skin cells. Sebaceous glands produce oil intended to keep hair and skin lubricated and waterproof. When that sebum combines with dead skin cells, environmental debris and certain cosmetics, pores become blocked and bacteria will thrive. The plugged pores become swollen and inflamed, and sometimes fill with infection. If the pore is ruptured in the process (or from picking and squeezing), discoloration and scarring can occur.
These breakouts go by many names – whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, pustules, nodules, cysts, and comedones – depending on their locations and characteristics. However, if you’re one of the 17 million Americans with acne, you probably aren’t as concerned with the name as you are with clearing your skin.
Acne isn’t just an adolescent ailment or specific to women. Males and females of any age can have acne. It commonly occurs on the face, neck, back, buttocks and chest. Friction can result in worsening of the acne.
While medical science continues to learn more about the precise causes of acne, we know that it is often triggered by hormonal changes. Puberty, menstrual cycles, birth control pills, pregnancy, menopause, and stress are common reasons for acne flare-ups. There is increasing evidence that certain foods (especially those with a high glycemic index) can exacerbate acne. There is often a family history in those with severe or early-onset acne.
Acne isn’t generally a threat to your physical health, but it carries a big emotional burden. Here at the Lupo Center, we guide our patients in a three-step program to eliminate it:
- Heal current acne. After a thorough skin analysis and consultation to understand your medical situation and lifestyle, our doctors customize a treatment program to eliminate existing acne lesions. They may begin with an individualized combination of topical treatments (benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or retinol) and oral medications (antibiotics, Accutane®, low-dose contraceptives). Additional state-of-the-art techniques such as chemical peels, dermal infusion, resurfacing, and laser therapy efficiently alleviate even severe breakouts.
- Prevent future acne. An at-home regimen with high-quality products for your specific skin type keeps your complexion soft, refines pores, and minimizes future acne flare-ups.
- Prevent and remediate scars. Professional treatment and excellent home care products greatly reduce the risk of scarring. However, our doctors have a number of minimally invasive revision techniques for patients with acne damage.
You don’t have to suffer from acne or risk a lifetime reminder of an acne-prone period in your life. Talk with our doctors about modern treatment options.