Acne occurs when the sebaceous glands — the oil-producing glands — make extra sebum (oil). The cells lining the skin follicles continually shed, and when skin sheds too quickly, it combines with the extra oil to clog your pores. This, in turn, causes acne.
Acne is most common on your face, but it can also develop on your:
It's a common myth that only teenagers develop acne. Many adults continue to have at least occasional acne breakouts well into middle age. Acne is most common in adolescents, but no one is immune from developing acne.
When acne becomes inflamed, the pore will swell significantly. This results in a broken follicle wall. The extra oil and dead skin then exit your body, but the damaged skin remains. This can eventually result in a scar. The best way to avoid acne scars is to:
Acne treatment depends on the:
Treatment may include options such as:
These include antibiotics like tetracycline or minocycline or acne-specific medications such as Accutane®. While oral medications can be highly effective, they're not designed to be used for long periods of time. You may opt to alternate an oral medication with a topical medication, for example.
These may include liquid antibiotics like:
These prescription topical medications are much more effective than those you can purchase over the counter.
Some lasers may be used in the treatment of acne. Laser treatments work by inhibiting bacterial growth and encouraging healing of damaged skin.
The best acne treatment for you may be one of these options or a combination of treatments. Dr. Michael J. Freeman, David Kosiorek, PA-C, Dave Runyon, PA-C, and Sue Schmeltz, PA-C will work with you to devise an individualized treatment plan.