Pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads can be very stressful for females and males of all ages. With severe cases of acne, you may have painful, inflammatory cysts or develop severe acne scarring. Our providers at Borealis Dermatology have treated numerous acne patients and saw significant improvements. We can help you become blemish-free, stress-free, and boost your confidence.
What is Acne?
Acne is a skin condition where your hair follicles or skin pores become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Acne has three common types known as pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. You may have all three types or one of them, but when your acne becomes severe the cysts become inflamed, causing irritation and pain. Acne is very common in teenagers, as they undergo hormonal changes during puberty.
Did you know…
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the number one skin problem in the U.S. As many as 50 million people are thought to suffer from the condition at any time – including teens, adults, and even babies. Of those, 17 million are thought to suffer from acne on an ongoing basis. Even adults who never experienced skin problems in the past can suddenly have adult-onset acne. The AAD reports that, for females, adult-onset acne can occur as late as menopause, when hormonal changes occur.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is Acne Treated?
Your provider will examine your skin and review your medical history, such as when the acne first began. Based on the severity of the acne, your provider will discuss different treatment options.
Some treatment options:
- Cortisone Injections: For inflamed cysts, cortisone injections will bring down the inflammation much faster than they normally would. These are quick injections that are easily done in the office.
- Comedonal Extractions: For blackheads and whiteheads, your provider can use an extracting instrument to squeeze out the clogged pores. For the acne that is deeper in the skin, your provider may need to make a small incision before using the instrument to properly remove the clogged materials.
- Topical Acne Creams or Gels: Topical prescriptions like tretinoin or azelaic acid can help improve the skin after daily usage. These prescription creams work to reduce inflammation, remove excess oil, and even out your skin tone.
- Prescription Wash: Especially for back or upper chest acne, your provider can prescribe a prescription wash, such as the sulfur wash, to use in the shower. This aims to remove excess oil and remove dead skin cells that are clogging the pores.
- Oral Medications: Antibiotics will help kill acne-causing bacteria on your skin. For females, spironolactone can help balance hormones to reduce acne.
- Isotretinoin: Also known as Accutane, this is a federally approved and monitored oral medication to treat acne from the inside out. This is usually offered to patients with severe acne or to patients with no improvements from other medications. While on this medication, you will need to visit your provider monthly, take multiple blood tests, and take a pregnancy test monthly, if you are a female. This treatment typically lasts 4-6 months; the first two months may worsen your acne as the medication dries out and “pushes” out all the cysts, then in the last few months you will see significant improvements.
While any in-office treatments and prescriptions can be used in combination with one another, isotretinoin treatment works alone as it is a strong medication.
What should I expect when being treated for acne?
Treating acne can be a long process that can last up to several months. As your skin is unique, there are certain treatments that may better work with your skin type and it may take a few tries before finding the right treatment plan for you. It is important to be patient, especially during the first few treatments as you may see insignificant improvements. Even with significant improvements, it is important to visit your provider to confirm you no longer need the treatment.
Is there anything I can do to facilitate the treatment process and improve my outcome?
Yes, there are plenty of steps you can take at home to help minimize acne. Washing your face twice daily and after any work-outs is a must, but also wash your hands frequently since bacteria from our hands contribute to the acne. You should not use a washcloth or scrub excessively on the areas of your acne. Avoid picking at your skin or blemishes, and allow them to heal naturally. If they are too irritating, make an appointment with your provider for proper treatment.
Make an appointment with our office if you are struggling with acne and boost your confidence. Borealis Dermatology offers two convenient locations to provide various treatments for our patients in the Queens and Long Island areas. You can experience the highest medical and aesthetic expertise available through our treatment options by visiting our clinic.