Acne is a skin condition caused by excess oil in the skin leading to clogged pores followed by bacteria and inflammation. It is the most common skin condition in the United States, particularly among teens and young adults. In fact, each year 85% of U.S. teenagers suffer from acne. The two most important factors in controlling acne are proper skin care, and appropriate acne treatment.
Although keeping skin clean is important, it should be noted that excessive washing and scrubbing will not prevent nor cure acne, but can in fact irritate the skin making matters worse. Dermatologists recommend gently washing once or twice a day with a mild soap in lukewarm water to remove excess sebum, or oil. In addition, using oil-free cosmetics and toiletries will lessen the impact of these types of products.
A dermatologist can provide proper treatment to avoid future breakouts, but it’s important to understand that an overnight treatment for acne does not exist. Acne treatment takes time (generally 4-6 weeks) and it must be ongoing in order to be effective.
Treatments can either be taken topically, orally, or a combination of the two depending on the severity of the acne. Treatments taken orally are usually reserved for moderate to severe acne and work systematically. Seeing a dermatologist is the first step to ensuring you’re getting the right treatment for you.