If you are struggling with stubborn breakouts, you are not alone. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, approximately 50 million Americans are affected by acne each year, making it the most common skin condition in the United States. Acne usually begins in puberty, but it can occur at any stage of life.

Acne is more than an annoyance. Treating acne can be a frustrating process and is different for everyone. Though there is no overnight remedy, our dermatologists at the Dermatology Center for Skin Health, PLLC, can help you find the right treatment options to improve your skin and acne. And while medication is a commonly prescribed treatment option, there are other alternatives to treating acne without taking it. Continue reading to learn more.

WHAT IS ACNE? 

Acne is a common chronic skin disorder that affects the hair follicles and the sebaceous gland. It occurs when hair follicles become blocked by excess skin cells and combine with sebum, which blocks pores. Sebaceous glands produce sebum, which is an oily substance that lubricates skin and hair. When the oil gland gets clogged, bacteria builds up and causes inflammation of the follicle resulting in a breakout.   

WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ACNE? 

Acne is most often found on the face; however, it can also be found on the neck, chest and back. 

Characteristics of acne can include: 

The number and type of lesions will help your dermatologist classify your acne as mild, moderate or severe, as well as determine the best course of treatment.

HOW CAN ACNE BE TREATED WITHOUT TAKING MEDICATION? 

Acne can create an emotional toll on those affected by it, but there is hope — acne is treatable, and new breakouts are preventable. While medication is a commonly prescribed treatment option, there are alternatives to obtaining clearer skin without taking medication.

Acne is also treated with a combination of acne-friendly skincare products, lifestyle changes and skin treatments and procedures based on the type and severity of acne that you have. Your dermatologist will develop a personalized treatment plan that is right for you. 

Use Acne-Friendly Skincare Products

Common active ingredients found in acne skincare products include salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and topical retinoids. These ingredients each fight against the different causes of acne.

You should only incorporate products that will not cause breakouts. Look for skincare products that are oil-free, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic. At the Dermatology Center for Skin Health, PLLC, we offer our Acne Skin Care System, which allows you to try some of our medical-grade acne-friendly products for a discounted price.

You can view a list of all of our acne-friendly skincare products here.

Finding the right combination of products to treat acne can be challenging since treatment is different for everyone and depends on many considerations. It is best to enlist the help of your dermatologist to tailor the best products to your needs. 

Wash Your Skin Twice Daily

Acne-prone skin is sensitive. Therefore, The American Academy of Dermatology recommends only cleansing your skin twice each day. Cleansing more often than that can irritate your skin and cause your acne to worsen. For best results, dermatologists recommend gently washing your face in the morning and at night or after sweating.

Gently cleanse with your hands and never scrub your skin. Scrubbing can irritate and cause your acne sores to rupture. Choose a cleanser that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to clear acne sores and rinse your skin with lukewarm water. You can find benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid in some of our medical-grade cleansing products.

Treat Acne-Prone Skin With In-office Procedures

Combination therapies are essential for the treatment of acne. Our in-office procedures include:

Additional Tips to Consider

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends these additional tips to achieve clearer skin:

WHAT SHOULD THE EXPECTATIONS FOR ACNE TREATMENT BE? 

You must have realistic expectations for your acne treatment. Acne treatments and therapies will not give you immediate results. It is unlikely for a patient to see improvement after only one treatment. Carefully follow the directions and plan provided by your dermatologist to see optimal results. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you should begin to see results in four to six weeks; it can take two to three months or longer to see acne clearing.

HOW CAN MY DERMATOLOGIST HELP? CONTACT THE DERMATOLOGY CENTER FOR SKIN HEALTH, PLLC

Patients often experience embarrassment and anxiety as a result of their acne. The psychological effects can impact social lives and in extreme cases, even employment. But the treatment of acne usually leads to a significant improvement in self-esteem.

We also recommend downloading our Guide to Acne if you would like to learn more about curing acne and how to feel like yourself again.

References: 

Skin conditions by the numbers

10 things to try when acne won’t clear

Acne: Tips for managing

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