By: Dr. Craig Crippen
Acne is a skin condition that causes whiteheads, blackheads, and inflamed red lesions to form on the face and body. These acne growths are commonly called pimples or “zits.”
What Are the Symptoms of Acne?
Acne appears primarily on the face and shoulders but can also appear on upper body, arms, legs, and buttocks.
- Crusting of the skinCysts – a closed pocket filled with air, fluid, or puss
What Are the Causes?
Acne is the result of excessive oil production in the skin. Acne is not the result of diet or hygiene, rather it is usually related to genetics. Every pore in the body contains a hair and oil gland. When glands produce too much oil, the excess oil attracts fragments of dirt, debris, and bacteria leading to infection or a blockage in the pore. When a plug has formed in a pore the top or head of the plug may be white (whitehead) or dark (blackhead). If the plug ruptures, the infectious contents can spread causing inflammatory reactions in other areas of the skin. The deeper the infection is in the skin, the more firm and cyst like the plug will become.
Hormonal changes related to menstruation, pregnancy, birth control pills, or stressGreasy or oily cosmetic and hair productsHigh levels of humidity and sweating
What Are the Treatments?
Lifestyle/ Non-Medical Treatments:
Clean skin gently with mild nondrying soaps (such as Dove, Neutrogena, or Basics) to remove dirt and cosmetic buildup. Shampoo hair daily, making sure to style hair in a way that minimizes hair-face contact. Try not to squeeze, scratch, pick, or rub the infected areas. Try to minimize the frequency of face touching. Apply “noncomedogenic” cosmetics and lotions in contrast to oily products.
Here is a photo of Acne and Acne scars before and after laser treatment