Acne affects 50 million Americans every year, making it the most common skin condition in the United States. The costs associated with the treatment of acne and lost productivity among those who sought medical care for the condition are more than $1.2 billion every year.
That’s a lot of people dealing with acne, but here’s the good news: You don’t have to deal with it forever. In fact, at Melanie Adams Dermatology in Columbia, Maryland, we have a variety of treatments available to help you fight the condition now.
Here’s what you need to know.
In general, acne is caused by an excess amount of oil produced by your body. The excess oil then clogs the openings of the hair follicles in the pores of your skin. Bacteria and dead skin cells can also gather in the pores.
All of these irritants in your skin lead to inflammation, which causes lesions, or pimples, to form on your skin.
For many people, this process occurs primarily because of hormones, which is why many teenagers deal with acne as they go through puberty. Other factors that can contribute to acne are stress, excess bacteria, naturally oily skin, certain medications, and oily lotions and creams.
Your diet won’t cause acne, but if it includes a lot of dairy and carbohydrates, it may make your acne worse.
You also may be more likely to develop acne if you don’t take good care of your skin. Failing to wash your face regularly or remove your makeup before bed can lead to clogged pores as well.
The best treatment for your acne depends on what’s causing it. Dr. Adams performs an exam to check your individual situation and then recommends treatment depending on the results.
Your case may be solved simply by a change in lifestyle — switching your facial cleanser, for example, or changing your makeup to ensure your skin isn’t being irritated every day.
If this isn’t enough, a topical cream may do the trick. This is usually a prescription that contains an acne-fighting ingredient such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or sulfur. Antibiotics may be needed if you’ve developed an infection underneath your skin that’s making your acne worse.
Another powerful medication is Accutane, which can typically clear up acne within a few months but can also cause dryness in your skin. This treatment is usually only an option after other treatments have failed to clear up your acne.
If you’re stressed and worried about your acne, the best thing to do is visit a dermatologist before it gets any worse. Your situation likely can improve with a couple of small changes, and your self-esteem and confidence improve as well.
To schedule an appointment with Melanie Adams Dermatology, just call our office or book your visit online.