Acne is a skin condition that affects the hair follicles (pores) of the face, chest, and back, plugging the pores and often causing inflammation as the acne bacteria multiplies. About 20% of all patient visits to dermatologists are related to acne. Nearly everyone suffers from some degree of acne at some point in life, usually in the teen years of puberty but some adults suffer with acne throughout life. Dr. Sikorski’s goal in your acne care is to stop breakouts, prevent future breakouts and restore your skin to a smooth healthy condition.
Early and consistent Acne Therapy will help minimize or prevent scarring and psychological effects. It’s important to give yourself or your teenager the tools to manage a common yet potentially devastating disease. Left unattended, acne may eventually go away, but the long term effects of acne on self esteem, social interaction, academic performance and activity choices can have a life long consequences.
Will I “outgrow” acne?
Acne is a chronic disease that affects a majority of those 12 to 24 years of age and may continue to afflict some patients well into adulthood. The effective early treatment of acne in sufferers of all ages and types is critical and the acne patient or parents of a child or teen with acne should not “wait it out”. The key to treatment is consistent control since acne is not “cured” as are other skin diseases.
What causes my skin to develop acne and what does not?
Many patients have various beliefs and perceptions regarding the cause of acne. It is only natural to think that acne results from something you did or didn’t do, something you ate or didn’t eat, or something that you came in contact with. The worry list is almost endless and most of them are totally without basis. In reality, acne happens for reasons that for the most part are out of our control. We can’t control changes in the cells of our pores, the fact that P. acnes lives on the skin, or the fact that our oil glands produce oil. During puberty normal hormones in the body cause the oil glands to grow and secrete more oil on the face, chest, back, and scalp. The P. acnes bacteria live on all skin – both the skin of teenagers and adults who have acne, and also on the skin of those not affected by acne.
What can I do about my acne?
Skin health benefits from a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet that contains fruits, vegetables, and whole grains with limited refined sugars in addition to exercise, adequate sleep, and management of stress. Beginning to lead a healthy lifestyle as a teenager can have long-term benefits into adulthood. Proper skincare is geared to the type of skin that you have. In all cases, it is important to cleanse the skin gently and avoid unnecessary rubbing or scrubbing of the acne. Using a soft washcloth or just the fingers is ideal. If the skin is oily, mild soaps or acne washes work well to remove the surface oils. If the skin is dry, gentle cleansing should be followed by the use of a moisturizer.
It is a good idea to consider a moisturizer that contains sunscreen. Some residents are concerned that moisturizers or other makeup could cause or aggravate acne. In most cases, this is not true. Most products from major companies are now tested in advance to show that they are non-comedogenic (won’t cause acne). Some people have used the strips designed to remove debris from the pores. There is no harm with gentle use of these strips, which some people feel improves the appearance of their skin.
Dermatology Foundation – www.dermatologyfoundation.org
American Acne and Rosacea Society – www.acne.org
The American Academy of Dermatology – www.aad.org
National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
(English) – https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/acne
(Spanish) – https://www.niams.nih.gov/es/informacion-de-salud/acne
Medline Plus (National Library of Medicine) – www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/acne.html
Acne.Org – https://www.acne.org