Acne

Treatment

Acne is a very common skin condition that affects many people worldwide. It occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria, leading to the formation of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and, in some cases, deep painful cysts. Acne usually appears on the face, but it can also affect the chest, back, neck, and shoulders. Although it is most common during adolescence, people of all ages can experience acne.

The symptoms of acne can vary from mild to severe and may include:

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Whiteheads

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Blackheads

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Papules

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Pustules

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Nodules

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Cysts

On occasion, acne can be painful or itchy and may leave lingering discoloration or scarring.

These can develop in any combination. Larger lesions can be painful and scarring can develop in susceptible patients.

Several factors contribute to the development of acne. These factors include: excess oil production, hormonal fluctuations, bacterial overgrowth or imbalance, clogged hair follicles, family history, certain medications, and even cosmetic products.

Acne is usually diagnosed based on its appearance and symptoms. A dermatologist will inquire about your medical history and perform a physical examination of your skin to determine the severity of your acne and identify contributing factors.

The treatment for acne depends on its severity.

Over-the-counter (OTC) products may help improve mild acne. Products containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or sulfur can help unclog pores and reduce bacteria and are generally well-tolerated.

Prescription medications are typically needed for moderate to severe acne. A dermatologist may prescribe topical or oral medications such as retinoids (vitamin A products), antibiotics, or hormonal therapy (for females) to control inflammation and reduce bacteria.

Alternative or additional treatments could come in the form of procedures such as chemical peels or laser therapy to reduce acne and improve skin texture.

Home Remedies:

1. Gentle cleansing with avoidance of over-exfoliating

2. Avoidance of picking or squeezing lesions

3. Maintaining a well-balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and trying to minimize stress

*For some patients, minimizing carbohydrates and dairy in their diet may be helpful to reduce acne

It is essential to follow a consistent skincare routine and continue any prescribed treatments. Regular follow-up visits with your dermatologist can help monitor progress and adjust the treatment plan if needed. It can take a minimum of 6 weeks to see improvement with any treatment regimen, so consistency and patience is key.

Although it may not be possible to prevent all cases of acne, you can take steps to reduce its occurrence. Use non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) products suitable for your skin type to maintain cleanliness without stripping natural oils. Avoid touching your face frequently to prevent the transfer of bacteria and oil from your hands. Choose oil-free, non-comedogenic makeup and hair products. Remove makeup before sleeping. Practice good sun protection measures as sun exposure may flare acne and could contribute to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Includes but not limited to:

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Oral Antibiotics (Docycycline or Minocycline)

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Topical Anti-Inflamatories (Azelaic Acid or Dapsone)

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Topical Antibiotics (Clindamycin or Erythromycin)

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Topical Vitamin A Cream (Tretinoin or Adapalene)

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Hormonal Therapy (Spironalactone) 

Subscription service: if appropriate we can send oral antibiotics for a maximum of 3 months. Subscription includes evaluation of acne, updating the treatment depending on the patient's response, adding topical treatment options, or changing oral antibiotics if ineffective. A discussion with our dermatologists for expectations on results. Discuss complimentary cosmetic options where appropriate and suggestions on acne bundles that would compliment their care. 

Acne Overview

How It Works

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Step 1
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Step 1
Answer questions about your health

Enter patient information and medical history as well as answer questions relating to your symptoms. This should only take about five or ten minutes.

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Step 2
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Step 2
Our providers will review your visit

Our board-certified medical providers will create a custom treatment plan based on your condition and medical history. You can follow your treatment status with our consultation tracker any time after your visit has been submitted, this is located in your patient dashboard.

answer questions about your symptoms
Step 3
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Step 3
Get Rx delivered to your pharmacy or doorstep

Pick up your prescription at your pharmacy of choice within 1-2 hours.  After you receive your treatment plan, connect with your pharmacy to see when they will have your Rx fulfilled. For some medications we offer home delivery options for your convenience.

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FAQ

A board-certified Dermatologist is a medical doctor (MD or DO) that has completed 4 years of medical school as well as 1 year of internship and a minimum of 3 years of dermatology residency. They are the experts in over 3,000 conditions affecting hair, skin, and nails. They can see patients of all ages and are able to address medical, surgical, and cosmetic concerns.

Most people see a Dermatologist once yearly for an overall skin check. If there is a personal or family history of skin cancers, abnormal moles, or other conditions such as acne, eczema, or psoriasis, the frequency of visits can be increased.

Dermatologists recommend performing a once-monthly self-skin examination to check for new or changing spots. You should examine all aspects of your skin, using mirrors or a partner as needed. Do not forget to try to examine your scalp, look between fingers and toes, check the bottoms of your feet, and examine the groin area. Please have any new or changing lesions examined by a Dermatologist to determine if any treatments are needed.

UV damage is the biggest skin aging culprit. Daily sun protection measures (even in thewinter) is the best preventative step. Avoiding smoking, excessive alcohol consumption,other drugs, staying hydrated, and eating a well-balanced diet can all have positive anti-aging effects as well.

Topical vitamin A products (retinols, retinoids) are the overall most effective topicals for addressing skin aging concerns such as loss of elasticity, fine lines, skin texture changes, and dyspigmentation. There are various over-the-counter products and prescription products that contain these active ingredients. People with very sensitive skin can sometimes have a more difficult time tolerating these topicals as they can be irritating to the skin.

Studies have shown that low-glycemic index diets (diets low in processed carbohydrates, sugars, etc) can help to reduce acne in some patients. Some patients are also sensitive to cow’s milk (including whey protein supplements) as a trigger for acne. Reducing sugar/carbohydrate and cow’s milk intake may help to reduce acne in some patients.

If your skin is acne-prone, you want to make sure that your skincare products are “oil-free” and “non-comedogenic” as these products will not clog your pores. There are several good options for over-the counter treatments for acne-prone skin. Salicylic acid cleansers, benzoyl peroxide cleansers and leave-on treatments, azelaic acid suspension, and adapalene (a vitamin A product) can be used alone or in combination for acne-prone skin. Keep in mind, it is best to add just one new product at a time as many acne treatment skincare products can be drying and irritating to people.

Many patients experience acne throughout a portion of their teenage years thanks to hormonal, among other, influences. This acne can lessen and clear overtime as hormones stabilize. However, acne can sometimes linger into adulthood, and can even sometimes develop during adulthood even if acne was not an issue during teenage years.

It typically takes 4 weeks for a new skin cell to be shed from the surface. Due to it taking time for skin cells to get into a new pattern, it can take 4-6 weeks to start to see a difference with any acne treatment and can take 2-3 months to know if that current treatment is going to be completely effective in the long run.

The more inflammation present in the acne lesions, the larger the lesions, and the longer they are present, the higher the chances that there may be some scarring. Picking or manipulating acne lesions can also increase risks for scarring and discoloration.

frequently asked questions