Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting 40-50 million people. Although it’s most common in teenagers and young adults, it can occur at any age. Acne can appear on the face, chest, back, shoulders, upper arms, and buttocks. It can also present itself in numerous ways including whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, cysts, and nodules. Besides the emotional distress this condition can cause to patients, severe acne can also lead to hyperpigmentation and scarring.
What causes acne?
Acne is a multifaceted issue that can be influenced by genetics, hormones, stress, and other factors. It occurs when pores become clogged with sebum, hair, and dead skin cells. When these substances build up inside the follicle, it creates a plug that becomes infected and causes acne lesions.
There are numerous approaches in treating acne. The objective of these treatments is to reduce sebum production and bacterial growth, increase skin cell turnover to prevent new blemishes, and reduce inflammation. A combination of topical treatments, antibiotics, oral contraceptives, or isotretinoin can be used to treat acne. Results can take up to 8 weeks and acne can look worse before it improves.
For milder cases of acne, often the first step in treatment includes topical ointments that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. An oral antibiotic along with topical ointments can be used for moderate cases, while severe acne that doesn’t respond to these measures can be treated by Accutane (isotretinoin). Dr. Hayag will take a comprehensive history and formulate the best treatment options for you.