Acne

  Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States.
  Approximately 85 percent of people between the ages of 12 and 24
  suffer from some degree of acne.

  Acne is often seen in teens, but can affect adults of all ages. Acne
  is caused by a combination of factors that clog the hair follicles in
  the skin.

  Treatment options for acne aim to reduce the presence of contaminants
  that can clog pores, including excess oil, dead skin cells, and
  bacteria. Regardless of the type or severity of your acne, we can
  advice a treatment and prevention program that will help eliminate
  your acne and leave your skin clear and smooth.

Causes of acne

Acne is a condition with multiple causes. Some factors that play a
role in acne are the following:

  1) Stress. Increased stress levels are associated with worsening of
  acne. Anti-stress methods such as exercising, deep breathing, and
  meditation can benefit your overall health and specifically acne.

  2) Diet is another factor that influences acne. We recommend a
  dairy-free diet. This means no cow’s milk or cheese. Cow’s
  milk is very inflammatory and should be replaced by almond, soy or
  rice milk.

  We also recommend a low carbohydrate diet that is low in sweets,
  pasta, potatoes, rice, and pastries.

  3) Genetic predisposition. Some people may naturally produce more oil
  and be more prone to acne

  4) Hormonal levels: Changes in hormones – such as those that
  accompany puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause – can
  also affect the skin and promote acne.

  5) Lifestyle factors may cause or worsen acne. These include a using
  oily cosmetic or hair products, taking certain medications, and
  sweating and friction on the skin, such as caused by headbands,
  bicycle helmets, or backpacks.

Signs and symptoms

  Acne most often occurs on areas of the skin with the most oil glands,
  such as the face, chest, and back.

  Acne is the result of pores or pilosebaceous units that have become
  clogged with dead cells and sebum.

Types of Acne lesions

  • Closed comedone (whitehead): Whiteheads occur when follicles
  are completely clogged by oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells. They
  appear on the skin as small white bumps.

  • Open comedone (blackhead): Blackheads are caused by partially
  clogged follicles. This type of acne turns dark at the surface of the
  skin due to oxygen exposure. The black color does not indicate the
  presence of dirt.

  • Pustules: Often called pimples, pustules are inflamed,
  pus-filled lesions that are red at the base and have a white head.

  • Papules: Papules are inflamed lesions that appear as small
  pink or red bumps.

  • Cysts: Cystic acne is characterized by large, inflamed lesions
  deep under the skin. These lesions, also called nodules, can cause
  pain and permanent scarring.

Treatment options

  Your ideal acne treatment program depends on your particular type of
  acne, its severity, and the type of skin affected. Some of the most
  common and effective methods of acne treatment include oral
  medications, topical medications, and skin treatments such as light
  therapy.


  • Oral medications: Antibiotics can help control acne by killing
  bacteria and reducing inflammation. Antibiotics commonly used for acne
  include doxycycline, tetracycline, clindamycin, and erythromycin. A
  type of oral medication called isotretinoin (Accutane) may help reduce
  the production of sebum and is usually prescribed for people with
  severe, inflammatory acne that does not respond to other types of
  medication. Some brands of birth control pills may also help control
  acne.

  • Topical medications: Topical antibiotics, products containing
  salicylic acid, and retinoids (vitamin A derivatives) can help control
  and reduce breakouts.

  • Light therapy: Exposing the skin to low-intensity blue and
  red light sources may help destroy the bacteria that cause
  inflammation. Light treatments are often reserved for people who do
  not respond to more traditional acne therapies.
  Using additional treatment options such as chemical peels,
  microdermabrasion, masks, and proper nutrition can help increase the
  effectiveness of your acne treatment program. Keep your skin clean by
  washing twice a day with a mild cleanser, and use oil-free skin care
  products and cosmetics.