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Acne is a common skin condition that affects most teenagers to some extent. It also affects many young adults into their twenties, thirties and even, as times, forties. Acne can be upsetting and at times disfiguring to the affected person. Left untreated permanent scarring can occur.
Acne is caused by the increased oil production that starts when rising hormone levels occur during adolescence or with hormone fluctuations later in life. This excess oil leads to clogging of pores and excess growth of normal skin bacteria. This combination leads to the bumps of acne. Acne is not caused by dirt and too frequent or vigorous washing can actually increase skin irritation. The foods you eat do not cause acne. Studies show that foods like chocolate, fried foods and colas to not make acne worse. Although a healthy diet is important for overall health, special diets will not cure acne.
Certain cosmetics can make acne worse. If you use a moisturizer or makeup look for ones that are oil-free, water-based and non-comedogenic. Makeup should be removed nightly with a gentle soap and water. If you are using prescription acne medications, over the counter acne washes may cause too much dryness or irritation. We recommend mild soaps like Cetaphil or Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser. Trying to "pop" pimple is not recommended as it causes irritation under the skin that can actually make scarring worse. For mild acne over the counter acne washes containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid or retinoic acid may be helpful. Often these are not strong enough for more severe acne.
We at Premier Dermatology can evaluate your skin and tailor an acne treatment that will be very effective for your type of acne and your skin type. We offer a wide range of topical medications and oral medications, including antibiotics and Accutane.