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Acne and Acne Scars

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Acne usually appears on the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders. Effective treatments are available, but acne can be persistent. The pimples and bumps heal slowly, and when one begins to go away, others seem to crop up.

Acne is common among teenagers, with a reported prevalence of 70 to 87 percent. Increasingly, younger children are getting acne as well. Acne in adults may be a symptom of underlying disorders such as PCOS.

Four main factors cause acne:

  • Oil production
  • Dead skin cells
  • Clogged pores
  • Bacteria

Depending on its severity, acne can cause emotional distress and scar the skin. The earlier you start treatment, the lower your risk of lasting physical and emotional damage.

Types

  • Cystic acne
  • Teenage acne
  • Adult acne
  • Scarring acne
  • Enlarged pores

Triggers that worsen acne include:

  • Oil based make-up
  • Squeezing and picking
  • Hard scrubbing
  • Fatty or fried foods
  • Premenstrual flare in women
  • Stress
  • Hormonal pills
  • Protein supplements

Acne signs and symptoms vary depending on the severity of your condition:

  • Whiteheads (closed plugged pores)
  • Blackheads (open plugged pores — the oil turns brown when it is exposed to air)
  • Small red, tender bumps (papules)
  • Pimples (pustules), which are papules with pus at their tips
  • Large, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin (nodules)
  • Painful, pus-filled lumps beneath the surface of the skin (cystic lesions)

Dr. Priya can guide you in…Control your acne

  • Avoid scarring or other damage to your skin
  • Make scars less noticeable

Acne medications work by reducing oil production, speeding up skin cell turnover, fighting bacterial infection or reducing inflammation — which helps prevent scarring. With most prescription acne drugs, you may not see results for four to eight weeks, and your skin may get worse before it gets better. It can take many months for your acne to clear up completely.

The drug your doctor recommends depends on the type and severity of your acne. It might be something you apply to your skin (topical medication) or take by mouth (oral medication). Often, drugs are used in combination. Pregnant women will not be able to use oral prescription medications for acne.

Talk with the doctor about the risks and benefits of medications and other treatments you are considering.

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