Acne is one of the most common skin conditions. It frequently affects teenagers but can also continue into or develop in adult life. Although common, many people do not know what acne is or what causes it.

Acne occurs when the small pores on the surface of the skin become blocked with oil, dead skin cells and bacteria. Each individual pore on the skin opens to a follicle beneath the epidermis. Within these follicles lie a singular hair and a sebaceous gland. The sebaceous gland produces sebum, an oil designed to keep your skin moisturized.

When these oil glands are stimulated by hormonal changes or other factors, they become overactive and pump out excess oil. This oil combines with dead skin cells and bacteria to clog skin pores. Should these substances clump together, a plug will form. As this plug starts to press up against the surface of the skin, the body responds with an accumulation of red and white blood cells to combat any infection, and this results in inflammation and redness. Acne can occur on the face, back, neck, chest, arms and buttocks, and any other skin area with a saturation of sebaceous pores.

Factors that aggravate acne include:

  • Hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause
  • Using harsh products on the skin
  • Pollution, humidity, dirt and heat

Acne Treatment

There is no cure for acne but rather there are treatment methods to help reduce the symptoms. This can improve the appearance of the skin and lead to a better quality of life for people who suffer from the condition.

There are several types of acne treatment. Based on the severity and type of your acne, Dr. Holy may suggest over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs. Some of these will be applied directly to the skin, while others are pills or capsules that are meant to treat acne from the inside. Treatment for your acne may include one or more of the following types:

  • Topical retinoids
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Topical antibiotics
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Hormones/ antiandrogens
  • Oral retinoids (isotretinoin)

During an appointment in Phoenix, Dr. Holy will examine your skin to evaluate the type and severity of acne you have. Dr. Holy will ask you questions to identify the trigger of your acne and determine whether it stems from an underlying medical condition, a side effect to medications or other causes.

To learn more about what acne is or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Holy, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or today.