Acne is a very common disease in which the skin’s sebaceous or oil glands produce oil that clogs the skin’s pores. Bacteria then grow in those pores and produce blackheads and whiteheads. In inflammatory acne, the blockage in the pore causes the follicle’s wall to burst under the resultant pressure and release the oil and bacteria. When they penetrate neighboring tissues, they produce a papule or pustule. While acne is most common in teenagers, about 20 percent of acne cases affect adults. As such, many people come to our office looking for their options regarding acne treatment.
Types of Acne
There are several different types of acne, and they range in severity. Comedones, more commonly known as whiteheads and blackheads, are the mildest type. Whiteheads are closed blocked pores, while blackheads are open blocked pores. The color of a blackhead is caused by the debris in the pore.
Papules are small to medium-size blemishes that have become inflamed by the oil, dead skin cells and bacteria in them. They are red, swollen and irritated. Pustules, more commonly known as pimples or zits, look like big whiteheads and are filled with pus. Squeezing or picking at them can lead to scarring.
The most severe forms of acne include cysts, nodules and acne conglobata. These large blemishes are red and inflamed, and they penetrate deeper into the skin than do milder blemishes. They can last months and can cause scarring and other damage to the skin if left untreated.
When Should Someone Seek Professional Acne Treatment?
Severe acne should always be seen by a dermatologist. The various over-the-counter medications will not work on cystic acne or acne conglobate, and letting it run its course increases the risk of disfiguring scars.
Generally speaking, if the patient’s skin doesn’t improve after six weeks of diligent treatment, it’s time to seek professional acne treatment. Patients should also contact our office if the acne is painful, or if it is affecting their self-esteem.
Acne Treatment Options
There are different treatments for acne, and our specialist at Adams Dermatology will choose the right acne treatment based on the type of acne and its severity. Your treatment at our office in Columbia will be tailored for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more about your acne treatment options.