Acne is one of the most common skin diseases that we treat. Almost everyone experiences some degree of acne during their lifetime. Acne generally begins around puberty and continues through adolescence and sometimes into adulthood eventually clearing whether it is treated or not. We treat acne to make you look and feel better during the time that you have acne and also to prevent the scarring that acne can cause. We do not want a treatable condition like acne to cause a negatively impact your self-esteem or self-confidence.

One of the main causes of acne is genetics so a family history of acne increases the incidence. The other main factor in causing acne is hormones. Stress and certain medications may also play a role in acne.

Acne appears as hormones begin to stimulate the oil glands to produce oil. This leads to the development of an abnormally adherent scale in the follicles that plugs the pores and causes the first sign of acne, blackheads and whiteheads. The process continues as oil glands produce oil below this plugged pore. Bacteria are present in the plugged follicle and change the oil into more irritating free fatty acids. The increased pressure within the plugged pore eventually leads to the rupture of the follicle under the surface of the skin. The oil and bacteria that are now in the skin lead to inflammation that is seen as red bumps, pimples, and nodules.

We treat acne by reducing the abnormal scale formation that plugs the pores using topical medications that are derived from Vitamin A as well as reducing the number of bacteria in the skin utilizing both topical medications and oral antibiotics. Treatment is individualized and usually will require changes in the prescribed medications during the course of treatment depending on the response to therapy. For patients with severe or resistant acne an oral form of Vitamin A can be prescribed that can permanently cure a large percentage of patients.