Condition and Causes
In normal skin, dead cells rise to the surface of our skin (pores) and our bodies shed them. Acne occurs when pores in our skin become clogged with dead skin cells and sebum (oil that keeps our skin from drying out) that become “trapped” and are unable to shed as they are intended to. Sometimes, bacteria that live on our skin also become stuck inside these clogged pores. Once inside the pore, this bacteria, P. acnes, is able to multiply and replicate quickly, leading to inflammation (redness and swelling) and pimples. These blemishes can occur almost anywhere on the body. However, they are most commonly found on the face, neck, chest, and back.
Breakouts are often associated with hormonal changes, such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Other contributing factors can include pore-clogging moisturizers and make-up, genetics, and stress.
The impact of diet on the course of acne has long been controversial. But recent studies show that it can no longer be overlooked. Dairy products and foods with high glycemic indices (foods that our bodies rapidly convert to sugar) both have increasingly convincing links with acne.
Most people who have acne are teenagers or young adults, but the condition can occur at any age. Newborn babies and adults who never suffered from acne as teenagers can both develop pimples.
Today there are a wide variety of treatment options to help control breakouts, including topical medications (treatment that you apply directly to your skin), oral pills (antibiotics, hormone modulators, isotretinoin), and procedural therapies (laser treatment, chemical peels, extractions).
Certain treatments that work wonders for some patients may not perform as well for others. Meeting with a dermatologist for a thorough skin examination and discussion about your personal struggle with acne is essential to determine the safest and most effective treatment plan for you.
Waiting for acne to “run its course” or clear on its own can be frustrating, and can potentially lead to consequences that could otherwise be prevented, like permanent scarring, low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.
At Central Texas Dermatology, we are passionate about helping our patients. We want to help you achieve clear skin and boost the self-confidence that accompanies it. Whether you’re dealing with existing acne or simply wish to prevent future breakouts, we’re here to help! Contact us to discuss what we can do for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
– Lane Myers
– Alison Skyles
– Terri Michael