Stating that acne is the most common skin condition doesn’t make it any less frustrating to those it affects. Even more frustrating is the fact that everyone seems to have a different opinion of what causes acne and how to stop it. Luckily, the dermatologists of Dermatology Associates of Atlanta know the common causes of acne, and they understand that different types of acne should be treated differently.
Acne is a fairly common problem experienced by a majority of adolescents and adults at some point during life. While not a serious health condition, the cosmetic symptoms of acne can be troublesome. The most common causes of acne are dead skin cells, excessive sebum production (usually caused by hormones), or bacteria growth. Sebum is natural oil produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands. Sebum production usually increases when a person hits puberty.
View our acne scarring procedure page for information about the acne scarring treatments and techniques we offer.
Blackheads— Appear as small black markings on the skin’s surface. Blackheads usually form a plug that blocks sebum.
Whiteheads— Appear as small bumps beneath the skin’s surface. Whiteheads occur when the follicle becomes completely blocked with sebum. When a whitehead is present, the excess sebum production or bacteria growth causes the hair follicle to which the gland is attached to become inflamed and eventually rupture.
Nodules— Appear as large, round bumps beneath the skin’s surface. Nodules are caused by whiteheads that become severely infected and only respond to intense treatment. If not treated properly, this type of acne may cause acne scarring.
Cysts— Appear as raised lumps beneath the skin’s surface. Cysts are very similar to nodules and only respond to intense treatment and can cause scarring, except they are filled with pus.
Rosacea— Often coined as “adult acne,” rosacea isn’t actually acne at all. It’s a chronic facial skin condition that appears as redness, inflammation, and irritation that looks similar to acne. Even though it’s not acne, we do offer rosacea laser therapy at the Laser Institute of Georgia.
As we stated before, the types of acne will determine the proper treatment, so the first thing we do at DAA is determine the cause of your acne. Once the cause is determined, we can figure out a treatment regimen just for you.
Allumera® Photodynamic Therapy— A topical solution is applied to the treatment area and is allowed to soak into the skin for around an hour. After the bathing period, the topical treatment is washed off, and the treatment area is exposed to a controlled light source determined by the dermatologist. The light activates the topical medication, helping to clean skin and prevent further breakouts.
Benzoyl Peroxide— The active ingredient in most over-the-counter acne medicines, benzoyl peroxide works to limit the bacteria that cause acne.
Antibiotics— Topical or oral antibiotics, usually derived from erythromycin or tetracycline, can be prescribed to treat acne, but immunity to the antibiotic may eventually lessen its effectiveness.
Salicylic Acid— This beta hydroxyl acid is a commonly found in over-the-counter acne medicines, and works to correct acne by penetrating through the follicle and clearing it of dead cells and other acne-causing debris.
Retinoids— Derived from vitamin A, topical or oral retinoids can treat mild to moderate acne by unclogging pores and preventing new blemishes from forming. Isotretinoin (Accutane), a member of the retinoid family, is prescribed at DAA in very severe acne cases. Although Accutane has a bad reputation for its harsh side effects, it is the most powerful severe acne treatment., Our dermatologists only prescribe Accutane to those patients whose acne does not clear up with other treatment methods.
IsoLaz™— Combining a suction that cleans with light that heals, IsoLaz™ acne treatment is offered in DAA’s Laser institute of Georgia. Not only will this treatment eliminate acne, but it corrects pigmentation issues (sun damage), eliminates spider veins, and removes unwanted hair with no downtime.
Prescription Compounds— We offer customized prescription compounds based on your specific skin and acne type, customized to meet your specific needs.
Birth Control Pills— Certain birth control pills contain active ingredients that may help regulate certain types of acne.
Skin Care Products— Some of our skin care products can also help certain types of acne. After a consultation, we can prescribe and/or recommend prevention and treatment products based on your condition.
The content on Dermatology Associates of Atlanta’s website is intended to educate patients about skin conditions and treatments, but is not to be taken as medical advice. Dermatology Associates of Atlanta is not responsible for any omissions of information or any damages arising from the display of said content. Dermatologic treatment must be determined on a per patient basis by a board certified physician. It is recommended that you obtain assistance from a licensed professional for any treatment questions.