Are you or a loved one dealing with acne?

As the new school approaches many of my adolescent, teen and young adult patients are dealing with acne and the significant physical and psychological problems that accompany this condition. Acne can lead to permanent scarring, poor self-image, depression and anxiety.  Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States and it estimated to affect almost 50 million Americans annually.  

Approximately 85% of people between ages 12 and 24 experience some form of acne.  Acne is characterized by comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and cysts that present on the face, neck, chest and back.  Acne often starts during puberty however I have many adult patients who suffer from it as well.

Causes of Acne

Acne is caused by overactive oil glands that produce too much oil and combine with skin cells to clog pores. The bacterium P. acnes (which is normally present on the skin) thrives in this oily environment and leads to acne. Hormones, genetics, menstruation, emotional stress and a high sugar diet can bring on acne or make it worse.

Tips from Dr. Poulos

I recommend gently washing affected areas twice a day with a mild non-drying soap. Use products that won’t clog your pores and use oil-free cosmetics. Look for the word “non-comedogenic” when shopping for these products  Never pick at acne as this can lead to scarring. If your acne is not responding to over-the- counter medications, seek medical treatment by calling our office at 440-792-4802.

Medical Treatment of Acne

Topical therapy is the first-line treatment for mild acne. These topicals often include Benzoil Peroxide or Salicylic acids. Oral antibiotics are often used moderate and severe acne. Very severe forms of acne may require the use of oral isotretinoin. As a pharmacist and physician, I am very comfortable working with these very effective yet potentially dangerous medications. When managed properly, isotretinoin will not only clear severe acne but studies have showed an improvement of both depressive and anxiety symptoms.

Since most treatment plans require 8 to 12 weeks to take effect, now is the perfect time to construct a personalized treatment plan so that your acne is cleared when the new school year begins.

Brecksville Dermatology offers personalized treatment plans for patients of all ages dealing with acne.  Dr. Poulos is a board certified Dermatologist and a registered Pharmacist. She offers a wide array of treatment options including pharmaceutical treatment, laser skin resurfacing, chemical peels and skin fillers. The office is located at 8751 Brecksville Road, Suite 50 in the Westfield Bank Building. The phone number is 440.792-4802.