Acne has affected the majority of people at different points in their lives, whether it was during one’s teenage or even adult years.
Regardless of what stage acne has affected your life, it is important to understand your skin, triggers of acne, and how to successfully treat it.
The skin is the largest organ in the body, and its main role is to protect the body as a barrier from various environmental hazards. Acne is often triggered by hormonal changes, which causes a blockage of hair follicles and oil glands in our skin which lead to the breakouts we see on the face. There are other factors which also could indirectly contribute to acne such as genetics, stress, diet, and even certain medications. Breakouts can vary from blackheads, whiteheads and even cysts and nodules which appear deeper in the skin and usually is considered a more severe type of acne.
Depending on the severity of your acne is how your dermatology provider will determine the correct treatment for you.
Taking care of your skin is the first step and it should start with proper cleansing. A common misconception is that washing your face more often will help with clearing and prevent breakouts, however, that is not the case. It is usually recommended to wash your face no more than twice a day to cleanse any dirt, dead skin, and excess bacteria on your skin that may be causing the breakouts.
After this, your provider will determine which topical treatment is right for you to treat and prevent breakouts as well determine if you will need other treatments like a course of oral antibiotics.
Depending on the severity of your acne and acne scarring, your provider may also determine if you need treatment with Isotretinoin. Some patients may need to begin Isotretinoin early in their acne treatment journey due to severe cystic acne, while others have tried different topical and oral agents with persisting unwanted breakouts.
When considering this medication, your provider will take into consideration the severity of cysts and scarring as well as your social life and self esteem, which affects all of our patients to a certain degree.
Some patients experience acne as a teenager, while others experience it in adulthood, so it is important to note that acne can affect people of all ages.
It’s important to learn your acne triggers, such as your diet, products used, skin habits, and even hormone imbalances.
The main goals to keep in mind are drinking plenty of water, cleanse your skin (but not too much!), using medical grade topicals, and keeping your skin hydrated.
After all, our skin is our biggest and outer-most layer and we must understand it in order to feel our best in it.