Making Your Skin First Priority
Acne is the most common skin disorder seen in dermatology offices across the US. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne affects about 85% of teenagers. While acne is usually thought of as a skin problem for teenagers, it is estimated that 15% of adults are still affected by acne into their 30’s and 40’s. So what causes someone to get acne and what kinds of acne treatments are available? (Hint: there are lots of acne treatments available and most are covered by insurance).
What causes acne?
Acne occurs when the sebaceous glands in your skin become clogged. This happens when the oil (sebum) produced in the sebaceous glands moves up the hair follicles and mixes with dead skin cells. When the hair follicles become clogged, bacteria on the skin grows inside the follicles, leading to inflammation, pimples, and breakouts. Your face, neck, chest, upper arms, and upper back are very susceptible to acne where there is a large concentration of sebaceous glands.
Who gets acne?
Acne usually develops during the teenage years and that is due to changing hormone levels.
Androgenic hormones increase the size of the skin’s oil glands and cause more oil production. There are other times during a person’s life when hormone changes occur and may cause someone to develop acne, such as pregnancy in women.
We know that acne tends to run in families. Diet and lifestyle choices also can affect someone’s tendency to develop acne. Stress, use of oily or greasy personal care products, air pollution, high humidity, certain medications (lithium, corticosteroids, testosterone, some birth control pills, just to name a few), and, of course, fluctuating hormone levels all can cause acne.
There are some things you can do to help with acne. Squeezing acne pimples makes acne worse, so keeping your hands off your face is crucial. Using non-comedogenic cleansers and moisturizers when taking care of your skin can help manage acne.
What treatments are available?
There are many acne treatments available and most acne treatments are covered by insurance. Some of these acne treatments include:
Topical antibiotics, azalea acid, retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid
Spirnolactone (for female patients with hormonal acne)
Oral retinoids (Accutane)
When should you see a dermatologist of your acne?
While acne doesn’t pose any serious health risks, the embarrassment and emotional stress of acne and acne scars can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression. It is best to see a dermatologist when at-home acne treatments just aren’t working anymore.
Here at Clear Skin For You, we specialize in acne diagnosis and treatment. To see how we can help you, schedule an appointment today.