Acne

What is Acne?
Acne is an inflammatory skin condition due to overactive oil glands that commonly occurs in adolescents and young adults. It is characterized by the development of white heads, black heads, pustules, pimples, cysts, and scarring on the face, chest, and/ or back. A person may have only a few acne lesions or a combination of lesions.

Who gets acne?
Acne is a very common problem. Over 85% of teenagers experience acne and more than 40% of men and 50% of women continue to suffer with acne into their mid 20’s. Acne may begin as early as 6 years of age or not until age 20. There is no correlation between having acne as a teenager and whether or not you will develop it again as an adult. Acne can be a persistent problem in adults, especially in female adults in their 30’s and 40’s.

What causes acne?
There are 4 main factors that contribute to the development of acne.

  1. Overactive oil (sebaceous) glands
  2. Abnormal cell proliferation within the lining of the skin follicles (pores)
  3. Bacteria, especially Propionibacterium acnes
  4. Inflammation (pus cells)

    acne illustration
  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Anything that makes you hot and sweaty can exacerbate acne, for example, playing football.
  • High glycemic diets
  • Certain Cosmetic Products
  • Endocrine and Hormonal Influences
  • Medications

Treatments:
There are many effective treatments available for controlling and clearing acne: microdermabrasion, laser, acne peels, injections, topical prescription strength medications, oral antibiotics, oral contraceptives, isotretinoin, vitamins, dietary measures, subcision, extractions, behavior modification, and psychotherapy. In general, a combination of therapies is the most effective. Dr. Wong can customize a skin care treatment program specific for your skin type and dermatologic needs.

Left untreated, acne resolves after several years. However, this may result in permanent, undesirable changes from the acne. These complications may include: scarring, discoloration, cysts, depression, and poor self-esteem.