William Callaghan. MD (Acne Surgery)
Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It usually appears on your face, neck, chest, back and shoulders. Though there are effective treatments, they tend to recur.
Acne is most common among teenagers, occurring in approximately 70-90%.
Signs and symptoms vary depending on the severity of your condition: whiteheads (closed plugged pores), blackheads (open plugged pores — the oil turns brown when it is exposed to air), small red, tender bumps pimples (pustules), which are papules with pus at their tips, large, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin.
Four main factors cause acne:
- • Oil production
- • Dead skin cells
- • Clogged pores
- • Bacteria
This creates an environment, which is ripe for bacterial growth resulting in an inflammatory response and infection.
Certain factors may worsen acne.
- 1. Hormones, such as androgens. These are hormones that increase during puberty causing sebaceous glands to produce more sebum.
- Medications containing corticosteroids, androgens or lithium can worsen acne.
- 3. Diet: such as carbohydrate-rich foods.
- 4. Stress can make acne worse.
- • Hormonal changes.
- • Family history.
- • Greasy or oily substances.
- • Friction or pressure on your skin.
- • Stress. This doesn't cause acne, but if you have acne already, stress may make it worse.
Treatment is directed mainly in controlling acne. Such as topical antibiotics, and avoidance of damage to the skin. There are promising results from lasers. There is also data to show that heat, generated under the skin, may help control acne.
The most common topical prescription medications for acne are:
- • Retinoids.
- • Antibiotics: Such as vclindamycin with benzoyl peroxide (Benzaclin, Duac, Acanya) and erythromycin with benzoyl peroxide (Benzamycin).
- • Dapsone (Aczone).
- • Antibiotics. For moderate to severe acne tetracyclines, such as minocycline and doxycycline.? usually a combination of topical and oral antibiotics help reduce the severity of acne.
- • Combined oral contraceptives. Combined oral contraceptives are useful in treating acne in women and adolescent girls, such as estrogen and progestin drugs (Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Estrostep and Yaz).
- • Anti-androgen agent. spironolactone (Aldactone)
- • Isotretinoin. This medicine is reserved for people with the most severe acne. These drugs may have severe side effects and must be taken with close follow up by a physician.
- • Light therapy.
- • Chemical peel.
- • Steroid injection.