Acne

What causes acne?
Acne is an inflammatory skin condition driven by hormones which cause oil glands to produce excess oil. This oil causes pores in the skin to become clogged. A bacterium called p. acnes inhabits the clogged pores and attracts white blood cells which form pus. In addition, redness and swelling occur. Left untreated this inflammation can lead to permanent scarring.

How is acne treated?
Any effective acne treatment must aim to keep pores from getting clogged. Topical medications like retinoids (Retin-A, Differin, Tazorac), benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid help unclog pores. Topical antibiotics decrease the number of bacteria present and reduce the inflammation (redness and swelling). Sometimes antibiotic pills are also used to reduce the inflammation. In special situations medicines like Accutane or spironolactone may be used to treat acne. Sometimes chemical peels are used to treat acne too.

Why is acne treated?
Left untreated acne can lead to permanent scarring of the skin.

Is it okay to squeeze or “pop” my acne bumps?
NO! Although it is tempting to squeeze the pus from an acne bump, it actually increases your risk of permanent scarring. Certain medications can be used to help “dry up” these bumps. Resist the temptation to pick and squeeze. You could be permanently scarring yourself.

Does junk food or greasy food worsen acne?
Foods with a high carbohydrate increase inflammation throughout the body including the skin. Choose a low carb diet to help control your acne.

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