It is the most common skin problem in the country, affecting about 50 million Americans. Commercials hyping miracle acne treatment options and rapid remedies are aired daily over any medium. There seem to be as many acne myths as there are people affected by it, and it is still considered the sole domain of teenagers.
No doubt about it, acne causes more than enough angst. If you have this skin condition – even one pimple – you shouldn’t ignore it, or it likely will worsen. The best acne treatment is to have it treated or managed ASAP with the help of an acne expert at West Dermatology. Contact us today for a consultation or inquiry about your skin blemishes and ways to treat or manage them.
It is so common and has affected so many people, that it’s not always easy to separate fact from fiction. As a result, reliable information about acne treatment is hard to find, which makes clearing your skin up even more challenging. So let’s quickly look at common myths and dispel them.
Let it Run its Course
Without treatment (and there are many effective ones), your blemishes may eventually clear, but not without leaving behind dark spots and permanent acne scars as a reminder.
Poor Hygiene Causes Acne
Cleanliness is important, but it strikes people with impeccable hygiene. In fact, overdoing it (such as scrubbing your skin too vigorously) can exacerbate your condition.
Stress Causes It
It often worsens the condition but doesn’t cause it.
Diet Causes It
An old myth that doesn’t die even though no current evidence supports this.
It’s Just for Teens
This might be one of the biggest myths, as adults who never endured zits during their adolescence but now suffer through it can attest.
Another “myth” is that this skin condition consists only of pimples, but there are other characteristics – blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, pustules, papules, nodules, and more.
Furthermore, the blemishes don’t just mar your face; you can experience a breakout on your neck, chest, shoulders, upper arms, back, and butt.
Causes and Treatment
Your body sheds about a million skin cells every day. If for any reason your body doesn’t slough off enough skin cells every day, your pores will become clogged with your body’s natural oils. Once enough debris builds up, bacteria called P. Acnes begin to proliferate and, with no intervention, will eventually cause a pimple or cyst.
Fortunately, you have many effective acne treatment options from which to choose, and nearly all cases can be managed or treated, although not every treatment works the same for everybody. That’s why, in order to find the most effective acne treatment for you, it’s necessary to have a personalized consultation with the acne experts at West Dermatology.
It’s important to keep in mind from the outset that no acne treatment, even for a mild case, will work overnight, despite all the claims you’ve heard to the contrary. In most cases, you won’t see desired results for at least two weeks.
If you have just a few blemishes – maybe a couple of pimples and/or blackheads, whiteheads, and papules – many over-the-counter topical medications are enough acne treatment to clear your skin right up. These are medications with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or a retinoid.
More Severe Cases
Topical acne treatment options are numerous. Some attack the bacteria causing your skin problems while others work to reduce the accruing oils on and in your skin. West Dermatology offers prescription-strength medications as a reliable acne treatment.
Deeper treatment could be necessary if you have breakouts that include red, swollen cysts and nodules. Such types of treatment include antibiotics to kill bacteria and reduce any inflammation, hormone medicines like birth control pills, and Isotretinoin, a particularly strong treatment.
Acne procedures can be used to treat your condition during an office visit, including the following:
- Lasers and Other Light Therapies: These can reduce the p. acnes bacteria.
- Chemical Peels: These are not the DIY types but the ones only trained dermatologists utilize.
- Acne Removal: A “drainage and extraction” procedure may be employed to remove a troublesome cyst that has thus far ignored any other treatment.
Regardless of the severity of your condition, you can manage and even reduce it by following some or all of the following types of acne treatment:
- Treat your skin gently – use gentle cleansers, cloths, and other products
- Wash 2x day and after exercise – don’t let perspiration dry on your skin, but also don’t be too rigorous in your washing.
- Don’t touch your acne – your skin will heal naturally, so let it. Resist picking at or popping your pimples.
- Avoid tanning – tanning of any kind (outdoors or tanning beds) damages your skin, not to mention increase your risk of skin cancer.
Acne vs Hidradenitis Suppurtiva
If you have breakouts of what you think is acne under your arms, on your groin, or beneath your breasts, it might be hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) instead. HS is a long-term disease of the skin that often looks like everyday acne. Though not life-threatening, thick scars on your skin can develop as a result of HS, affecting you psychologically and even physically. To learn more about hidradenitis suppurativa please visit AAD.org.
Want to Know More about Acne? West Dermatology Has Answers
Acne comes in many forms and, if ignored, can disrupt your life. Although over-the-counter treatments can be effective for mild cases, more severe cases need the attention of a professional medical dermatologist. You have a wide range of acne treatment options to choose from, so don’t hesitate to contact West Dermatology today for a consultation.
Next, read about Acne Scars.