Acne

Acne is a very common skin condition that occurs when hair follicles (pores) become clogged with oil, dirt or dead skin cells. It is most commonly found on the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders and can be aggravated by hormones, stress, certain medications or diet. Acne can vary in severity and when more severe, can lead to permanent scarring. The exact treatment recommended depends on the severity of the acne.  In addition, acne is often accompanied by mental anguish, embarrassment, and low self-esteem.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Pimples and pustules (pus filled red bumps)
  • Whiteheads- caused by clogged pores closed by skin
  • Blackheads- open clogged pores of oil and bacteria that turn brownish black when exposed to air
  • Cystic/nodular acne – large, solid, painful bumps or nodules under the skin surface

Treatment:

  • Various over the counter acne treatments are available based on type of acne and skin types. Available as lotions, cleaners, soaps, creams, gels, liquids, spot treatments, etc. Use strictly as directed on label as overuse may cause inflammation or skin reactions.
  • Prescription acne treatments are available from a healthcare provider or dermatologist if over the counter products are not helpful.

Prevention:

  • Avoid squeezing bumps as this may aggravate the inflammation by allowing bacteria to enter and cause the acne to worsen and leave scars
  • Use “non-comedogenic” and oil free skin products that do not clog pores
  • Keep skin clean using a mild soap at least twice a day. Wash gently. Excessive scrubbing will irritate the skin.
  • Keep a food diary to monitor if your diet is triggering breakouts