What is acne?
Acne is a condition of the sebaceous (oil) glands manifested by excessive oil production, oil gland plugging, bacterial overgrowth, inflammation and scarring. Although commonly thought of as a teenage condition, many young adults also have acne. Even children and newborns may develop oil gland plugs and inflammatory papules (pimples) that resemble more typical teenage acne. Acne most commonly occurs on the face in teenagers and young adults, but other areas such as the neck, trunk, arms and even buttock areas may be involved.
Rosacea is an acne-like eruption of the face that occurs in mid- to mature adulthood. Rather than demonstrating oil gland plugging, rosacea is characterized by facial redness, inflammatory papules, and dilated small blood vessels called telangectasias. (See Rosacea)
Acne that occurs in newborns will go away within weeks to months without treatment. Adolescent and adult acne, as well as rosacea, are more chronic problems with the tendency to last for years. Regardless of acne extent, duration, and intensity, treatments are available to limit the severity of the condition and the degree of scarring.
How is acne treated?
There is an ever-widening range of effective treatments for acne conditions. Topical therapies include cleansers to remove excessive surface skin oil, retinoids to unlock plugs from within the oil gland pores, and benzoyl peroxides and antibiotics to suppress bacterial overgrowth and inflammatory activity in the oil gland regions. Other treatments such as glycolic acids and procedures such as salicylic acid facial peels (Beta-LIFT peels) accelerate the removal of oil gland plugs from the skin. (see Cosmetic Services) Recommended oral treatments may consist of antibiotics of various types, hormonal preparations including oral contraceptives, and Accutane.
How can Cary Dermatology Center help me?
The providers at Cary Dermatology Center will evaluate your condition to establish the correct diagnosis, attempt to define and eliminate potential flare factors for your condition, and explain the pertinent issues and current thinking necessary to implement your unique acne treatment program. Ongoing management and supervision of the program, with periodic refinements as required, is essential to optimize the benefits of your program. It is realistic to expect that a comprehensive regimen of topical and/or oral treatments can achieve the goal of effective acne control. We offer at home glycolic acid peel kits and non prescription acne kits for oily or sensitive skin.
The past few years have seen the introduction of multiple new and different products and procedures to help control acne. Research in the field continues to yield not only a more thorough understanding of acne and its pathogenesis, but also more effective treatment strategies.