What is acne?
Acne is a common skin condition that is characterized by inflammation, whiteheads, blackheads, and inflamed cysts. It is most commonly seen in teenagers, but can persist through the adult years as well. Acne occurs when the pores of the skin become clogged with oil, dirt, and dead skin cells. Skin pores play an important role in healthy skin function, but when acne occurs, these glands become obstructed and inflamed. Nearly 75% of teenagers will suffer from acne, as acne is usually caused by an increase in testosterone, which increases in both males and females during puberty.
What factors contribute to the development and severity of acne?
There are many factors associated with the development and severity of acne. These factors include age, gender, hormonal makeup, genetic influences, stress levels, diet, and the presence of a certain bacteria (P. acnes).
What can be done to prevent acne?
Dr. Paul Frank advocates proper skincare to prevent acne. Maintaining proper skin hygiene and moisture levels by using the correct type of cleansers and moisturizers for your skin is critical. In many cases, however, proper hygiene alone will not be sufficient. In these cases, it is important to consult a doctor who is experienced in treating acne, such as Dr. Frank, to determine what medical treatments could help improve the condition. There are several treatment options available today that can help heal active acne, while reducing the likelihood of future outbreaks.
What acne treatments are available?
There are many ways to treat acne. The effectiveness of each treatment will depend on the severity of the condition, the factors that trigger an outbreak, and each individual’s skin type and biological makeup. The traditional approach to acne treatment typically involves face washes, creams, and oral medications. There are a variety of face washes and creams, which commonly contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, that can be purchased over-the-counter. Your doctor may prescribe topical creams or oral antibiotics to treat acne that doesn’t respond to initial treatment. In some cases, doctors may recommend that the patient try taking birth control, but in some individuals this can actually worsen the condition.
Why is it important to treat acne?
Suffering from acne, whether mild or severe, can be quite damaging to the self-esteem. During puberty, the body undergoes a number of changes, which results in self-consciousness in most teenagers. Acne can exacerbate the problem, and may even lead to depression in severe cases. Additionally, acne can cause permanent scarring, which will not heal without later medical intervention. Acne scars, which commonly manifest as small indentations on the skin’s surface, are caused by skin inflammation that occurs as a result of acne. In order to prevent psychological repercussions and subsequent scarring, it is crucial to seek medical treatment in moderate to severe cases of acne.
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DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is solely for educational purposes and is solely the opinion of Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, which may differ from other medical professionals.
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