Acne is a common skin disorder that affects people of all ages, but is more common among adolescents. Depending on the severity of acne, it can be debilitating and have mental and emotional effects. It can cause significant distress and make people feel embarrassed, unattractive, and self-conscious.
What causes acne?
Acne develops when the pores of the skin become clogged with oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells. These can get trapped inside the pores and grow, resulting in redness and swelling. Acne can show up in different types and sizes and can be inflammatory and non-inflammatory.
Hormonal changes during puberty are usually associated with the formation of acne. Adults, however, can still get acne or develop it for the first time. It can also be genetic and you are likely to have it if your parents had acne in their teenage years.
A number of factors can contribute to or worsen the appearance of acne. These include:
- Certain medications
- Oil-based makeup, hair, and skin care products
Acne comes in many forms and types. Identifying what you have is important in determining the right treatment. Here are the types of acne:
- Comedones – These are small, flesh-colored, bumps that usually develop on certain areas of the face . Comedones are non-inflammatory and do not cause any pain or swelling. There are two types of comedones: open comedones (blackheads) and closed comedones (whiteheads).
- Papules – These are inflamed blemishes that appear as small, red/pink bumps. Papules appear when hair follicles get clogged and become inflamed. The skin around papules is usually pink or red.
- Pustules – Also called pimples, pustules are papules but are filled with yellowish pus at the center. They look like whiteheads, except that they are bigger and more inflamed. The pus consists of dead white blood cells that form as the body’s response to fight infection.
- Nodules – These are hard and large painful lumps located deep within the skin. Nodules are a severe form of acne that occurs when clogged and swollen pores damage the cells and tissues deep beneath the skin’s surface.
- Cysts – These are large, painful, red or white lumps located deep within the skin (further below than nodules). They develop when the pores become clogged and blocked, resulting in an infection. Cysts are the most severe type of acne and the most likely to scar.
Why is it important to treat acne?
The right approach when you have acne is to seek early treatment. This is to prevent your blemishes from worsening and avoid any emotional distress that may come with it. Here are the other reasons why it is important to treat acne:
- Keep your acne under control or prevent mild acne from becoming severe
- Prevent the appearance of acne scars or marks
- Reduce the likelihood of needing stronger acne medications in the future
- Prevent future breakouts
- Avoid anxiety and poor self-image that go along with severe acne
How can we help?
Here at Cutis Laser Clinics, we know how debilitating acne can be. We provide a range of acne treatments that can help improve or clear your acne. The right treatment will depend on the type of acne you have. We may also recommend a combination of solutions based on the severity of your skin issue.
Your individualized treatment plan, depending on various factors such as your acceptable social downtime, your expected time frame and budget, will be explained in detail during your consultation with our Harvard trained Medical Director, Dr. Sylvia Ramirez.