While acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, it is often misunderstood or treated incorrectly. At Worcester and Chelmsford Dermatology Associates, we believe that understanding acne is the first step to getting rid of it.
Interested in scheduling a skin health consultation appointment with a reputable, licensed dermatologist? We can help! Contact either our Worcester or Chelmsford offices today to schedule your appointment.
Contrary to popular belief, the following factors do not directly cause acne:
- Diet. While it’s not true that the foods that you consume cause acne, certain foods can make certainly make your condition worse. While you should try to avoid foods that trigger acne development, changing your entire diet probably won’t affect the condition of your skin.
- Stress. Stress works on the skin in much the same way that food does — while it cannot cause acne, it can make pre-existing acne worse. This in part because of the hormones released during stress, and in part because some people begin to pick, squeeze, or otherwise irritate their acne when they’re stressed out.
- Dirt. Dirt does not cause acne. While washing your face at least once a day with a mild cleanser can help keep your skin clean, this is only a small part of a comprehensive treatment regimen. Excessive washing can actually do more harm than good for the skin, drying it out and irritating pre-existing growths.
Acne forms when the pores of the skin become clogged. This happens when excess sebum is produced, or P. acnes bacteria begins to multiply and clog the area.
Typically, dead skin cells are pushed to the surface of the skin through the pores and expelled from the body. But when too much sebum is produced, these dead skin cells begin to stick together within the pores and become lodged there. This causes a pimple or a pustule to form above the pore.
P. acnes bacteria can also cause skin problems. Occasionally, a large amount of these bacteria accumulate inside the pores and begin to multiply there. This causes the pore to become clogged and inflamed.
These two irritating events can manifest themselves in a number of different skin features, including:
While most cases begin in the teen years, this condition can continue to develop later in life.
There are a number of different kinds of acne treatments, each targeting its different causes. Topical medications come in antibacterial, antibiotic, and retinoid varieties. While some oral medicine is prescribed to help control bacterial acne, it typically takes at least six weeks until patients see any positive changes in their condition. Accutane is another oral medication that is sometimes used to treat severe cases. While it has been known to be effective, it can cause a number of adverse side effects. Patients should not become pregnant while taking this medication.
Interested in beginning a treatment regimen that can help control your acne symptoms and give you the beautiful, healthy-looking skin you’ve always wanted? Worcester and Chelmsford Dermatology Associates can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation appointment, and begin your journey towards radiant, clear skin.