Acne can be more serious than you might think. Although it generally does not lead to long-term physical conditions, studies show that it is linked to an increased risk of anxiety and depression.
There are several ways to treat acne. Sufferers may find it’s not as simple as it seems. With the many causes of acne, it’s unclear what your skin will respond to. If you are not having success with OTC treatments, you may choose to consult with a cosmetic surgeon. Many cosmetic specialists offer dermatology services that can get you headed in the right direction. To find one, you can search for your location and the services you need. For example, “Orlando plastic surgeon acne,” or “Treatment for acne Orlando”.
This article will discuss acne causes and treatments so you have a better understanding of the direction you should be taking.
What Causes Acne?
Acne may occur for various reasons. Two main causes are:
- Excess sebum production: Sebum is an oil produced by the skin that prevents it from drying out. When too much sebum is produced, it can clog your glands causing acne to form.
- Bacteria: When the normal skin microbiome becomes disrupted, it can lead to an overgrowth of certain types of bacteria. The strain cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes) is typically linked to acne production. When a pore is blocked with oil or dead skin cells, it creates an environment where bacteria are likely to thrive.
Additionally, certain conditions can cause acne to appear or worsen existing acne. These include:
- Hormonal changes: When teens go through puberty, they see an increase in androgen hormones that enlarge sebaceous glands and cause them to produce more sebum. Hormonal changes linked to acne can also occur later in life. They are especially common in women and may be linked to the menstrual cycle.
- Medications: Some medications like testosterone, lithium, and corticosteroids can cause acne to form.
- Diet: Some research suggests that foods that are rich in carbohydrates may cause acne to appear. While it was once believed that chocolate and greasy foods were linked to acne, recent studies show that this is not the case.
- Stress: Stress does not cause acne, but it may make existing acne worse.
Acne Risk Factors
- Family history: If your close relatives had acne, you will be more likely to develop it.
- Oily substances: If you use oily substances on your skin, you may increase your risk of acne. For best results, use oil-free makeup and skincare products.
- Friction or pressure: You may be more likely to develop acne if you use or wear items that produce friction or pressure on your skin such as cell phones, helmets, and backpacks.
Acne-related complications are more likely to occur in people with dark complexions. They include:
- Scars: Pitted skin and thick scars called keloids may appear after acne has healed.
- Changes in pigmentation: People may see lighter skin (hypopigmentation) or darker skin (hyperpigmentation) after acne clears.
How Do You Treat Acne?
- Address its Cause: One of the most effective ways to treat acne is to eliminate its cause. For example, if you think certain foods may be causing your acne, try eliminating them from your diet. If you think a certain medication is causing your acne, ask your doctor about switching. This method will require some trial and error. You may want to talk to a medical professional to pinpoint the cause.
- Topical Medications: Several medications can be applied directly to the skin to reduce acne. They may be purchased OTC, or they may require a prescription. Ingredients to look out for include benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, azelaic acid, retinoic acid, tretinoin, and dapsone.
- Oral Medications: In most cases, you will need a doctor’s prescription for oral medications that treat acne. If you live in Florida, for example, an Orlando plastic surgeon may prescribe antibiotics, oral contraceptives, anti-androgen agents, or isotretinoin.
- Therapies: Several therapies may be used to reduce acne. They can be administered at home or by a professional. They include light therapy, chemical peels, drainage and extraction, and steroid injections.
When Should I Contact a Professional About My Acne?
If you have tried everything to get rid of your acne, and are still having issues, you may want to seek out the help of a dermatologist. A dermatologist will determine the source of your acne. Skin care specialists can help you find the treatment best suited to your skin type. If you are in Orlando, there are plenty of professionals who can help get to the root of your acne. Orlando and other cities in Florida are home to cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists who specialize in acne treatment.