The main goal of an appointment with an acne dermatologist is to determine the underlying cause of your condition and the best treatment options. This will help your doctor determine the best course of treatment, which may include antibiotics, topical medication, hormone therapy, and retinoid (Accutane) injections. Your acne dermatologist will also recommend other types of treatment, such as laser or light therapy and extraction of blackheads or whiteheads.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) estimates that more than 40 million Americans suffer from acne. It often begins in puberty, but it can develop in adulthood as well. Acne affects close to 100% of teenagers and adult women. Having acne in adulthood can be extremely frustrating and affect your self-confidence. Acne is a chronic condition and treatment aims to minimize the appearance of scarring and improve your quality of life. Although most acne dermatologists believe that acne in adulthood is not as severe as it is in teenage years, they do understand that it can cause significant emotional effects if not treated properly.
An acne dermatologist can prescribe medication based on the severity and type of your problem. Most medications treat acne by making skin less oily, killing acne bacteria, and reducing inflammation. Acne dermatologists prescribe oral medications and topical treatments to treat acne. If mild acne is a minor concern, retinoids and benzoyl peroxide may be enough. But if the acne is more severe, antibiotics may be necessary.
Pustules are large, red, bumps containing pus. They form when excess skin cells block the pores and combine with bacteria. Papules are similar to pustules, but do not contain pus. Whiteheads, also known as comedones, are less likely to cause scarring. Some people have both types of acne. For those with moderate acne, the number of pimples will be higher than usual, and the skin will be red and greasy.
People of all ages can develop acne. In most cases, problems begin during teenage years, when hormone levels increase and the sebaceous glands produce extra oil and excess skin cells. The excess oil and cells cause a blockage that manifests as whiteheads and blackheads. Acne can lead to inflammation, infection, and scarring, and should be treated as early as possible. And if left untreated, it can last into adulthood.
Modern medicine can control acne and prevent scarring. The best way to avoid acne is to use non-comedogenic makeup and skin care products. This way, you won’t clog the pores and increase the risk of scarring. You should also avoid overexposure to sunlight. Make sure to wash off your makeup regularly and use acne-specific, non-comedogenic skin care products. A dermatologist can help you determine the best treatment plan for your condition. The medications prescribed to treat acne take six to eight weeks to have an impact, so it’s crucial to get it treated as soon as possible.