Posts for tag: Acne
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that 80 percent of young people between 11 and 30 years of age suffer from acne. In addition, so do many older adults and menopausal women. Are you struggling with this unsightly skin condition? Here at Dawson Dermatology in Honolulu, HI, Dr. Dawson, Dr. Chun, and Dr. Grekin can help you achieve clearer skin and higher self-confidence.
What causes acne?
Theories vary as to the causes of the whiteheads, blackheads, and red pustules we know as acne. Some researchers blame hormonal variations characteristic of puberty and menopause. Others say diet, poor skin hygiene, and fatty diets are to blame.
Whatever the underlying reason, acne happens as the skin's hair follicles and sebaceous (oil) glands become blocked, reports the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Blemishes appear on the back, shoulders, neck, and face, and they become sore and inflamed.
Unfortunately, some acne is so severe that it scars the skin. Almost all acne causes embarrassment, sometimes to the point of depression and social withdrawal.
At Dawson Dermatology in Honolulu, HI, our board-certified dermatologists provide compassionate, state-of-the-art skincare for the entire family, with acne being one of our most frequently seen conditions. Depending on the kind and severity of your acne, we may recommend medications, washes, and other interventions to clear your skin.
Acne treatment takes time, patience, and work. Your treatment plan will be different from anyone else's. In fact, it will be specifically tailored to your skin, age, activity level, and more.
Interventions may include:
- Tretinoin, or Accutane
- Acne washes with benzoyl peroxide
- Birth control pills
- In-office excision of cystic acne
Additionally, there are many simple ways to control acne breakouts:
- Wash your face gently with your fingertips and a mild acne wash.
- Never squeeze or pop your blemishes.
- Do not touch your face with your hands.
- Clean up after sweating.
- Avoid wearing tight headbands and caps for prolonged periods of time.
- Do not tan outdoors or in an artificial tanning bed.
- See your dermatologist routinely for updates on your condition and treatment plan.
Get ahead of your acne
The American Academy of Dermatology states that early and consistent management of your acne will help you have fewer outbreaks, scars, and dark spots. So, if you're ready to manage this skin condition, call Dawson Dermatology in Honolulu for a consultation with Dr. Kevin Dawson, Dr. Douglas Chun, or Dr. Sarah Grekin: (808) 599-3780.
Anyone who has ever walked through the skincare aisle of their local drugstore knows that there are tons of acne-fighting products on the market. So, which one is right for you? Should you opt for an acne cleanser or spot treatment, or both? Choosing the right acne treatment can be challenging, to say the least.
While acne is a common problem among teenagers, many people don’t just leave acne behind the minute they toss out those graduation caps. In fact, many adults well into their 20s, 30s and beyond still deal with regular acne outbreaks. So, how do you properly treat acne? There is no singular way to treat acne and the best treatment option for you and your skin will depend on the cause. While you might not know what’s to blame for your acne symptoms a dermatologist certainly can help.
Treating Acne on Your Own
If you are dealing with mild to moderate acne, look for products that contain these powerful acne-fighting ingredients:
- Salicylic acid
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Glycolic acid
How a Dermatologist Treats Acne
If you’ve tried over-the-counter acne products for more than 12 weeks and aren’t seeing results, or if you are experiencing severe, deep or cystic acne then it’s time to turn to a skin care professional for help. The first thing your dermatologist will do is determine the cause of your acne. From there, one or more of these treatments may be recommended:
Prescription topical medications: Certain topical medications act as an anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory, which reduces redness and inflammation associated with acne while also removing acne-causing bacteria from the surface of the skin.
A simple extraction: You should never pick at your acne or try to pop a pimple on your own, as you could end up causes further irritation or scarring; however, a dermatologist knows the safest and most effective techniques for extracting blackheads and whiteheads safely.
Birth control pills: For women who notice breakouts that correspond to their menstrual cycle, certain birth control pills may be able to reduce the amount of androgen hormones, which in turn can reduce breakouts. Talk to your dermatologist about the birth control pills that are FDA approved to treat acne.
Isotretinoin: This is an extremely intense oral retinoid that is used for treating severe, cystic acne that isn’t responsive to other treatment options. Isotretinoin is better known as Accutane, and this treatment can take up to nine months to see full results. Some patients will require multiple courses of treatment. Due to the nature of this strong medication, there are some possible side effects. It is important to discuss these side effects with your dermatologist before beginning Isotretinoin.
If you are having trouble getting your acne under control it’s important that you have a dermatologist that you can turn to for customized care. Take control of your acne once and for all.
Discover helpful acne-fighting tips and trick to achieve clearer skin.
You’re trying to find the right way to get your acne under control, right? Well, there are certainly so many options out there that it can be a bit daunting. First and foremost, if you are just starting to deal with acne then you may want to tackle the issue from the comfort of your own home before turning to a dermatologist for help.
At-Home Treatment Options
The first line of defense is usually to try an over-the-counter acne cleanser or topical cream that contains an active ingredient such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. It’s important to be patient when it comes to seeing results. No acne product will work overnight. In fact, it can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks of consistent use before you start to notice results from commercial acne products, so don’t give up on a product too soon.
Other tips to follow include:
- Cleaning your smartphone with disinfectant wipes at lease once a day (imagine just how much bacteria your phone picks up everyday).
- Washing your face twice a day, once in the morning and at night before bedtime, and immediately after sweating.
- Being gentle with your skin. Harsh scrubs and being aggressive won’t get rid of acne; it will actually just make it worse.
- Using cosmetic products that won’t clog pores (look for words like “non-comedogenic” or “oil free”)
- Leaving acne alone (do not pick acne or try to extract it yourself, as this can lead to scarring)
- Washing pillowcases regularly to get rid of pore-clogging bacteria
When to See a Dermatologist
If you are having trouble getting your acne under control after weeks of trial and error, or if your acne is severe and painful then it’s time to enlist the help of a dermatologist who will be able to provide you with more effective strategies for getting rid of your acne. After all, there are different things that can cause acne and it’s important that your skin doctor figures out what’s causing your acne so that they can create the right treatment plan for you.
Dermatologist-Approved Acne Treatment Options
Depending on what’s causing your breakouts, a dermatologist may recommend these treatment options:
- Topical treatment: Prescription-strength cleansers, ointments, and creams containing glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids can target and eliminate acne.
- Topical or oral antibiotics: Antibiotics can reduce inflammation and kill the bacteria responsible for acne.
- Oral contraceptives: If you are dealing with breakouts that occur around your menstrual cycle then hormonal fluctuations could be causing your acne. There are certain types of birth control pills that have been FDA approved to fight acne.
- Isotretinoin: More commonly referred to as Accutane, this powerful oral medication is used for those dealing with severe cystic acne that can lead to deep scarring. This is often recommended when other treatment options haven’t been effective.
Have questions about getting your acne under control? Then it’s time to consult with a dermatologist.
Are you faithfully treating your acne but still seeing new breakouts? Your skin care routine could be to blame. Our Honolulu dermatologists Dr. Kevin Dawson, Dr. Douglas Chun and Dr. Sarah Grekin discuss10 skin care habits that can worsen acne and dermatologists’ tips to help you change those habits.
1. Try a new acne treatment every week or so. This approach can irritate your skin, which can cause breakouts.
What to do instead: Give an acne treatment time to work. You want to use a product for 6 to 8 weeks. It takes that long to see some improvement. If you don’t see any improvement by then, you can try another product. Complete clearing generally takes 3 to 4 months.
2. Apply acne medication only to your blemishes. It makes sense to treat what you see, but this approach fails to prevent new breakouts.
What to do instead: To prevent new blemishes, spread a thin layer of the acne medication evenly over your acne-prone skin. For example, if you tend to breakout on your forehead, nose, and chin, you’d want to apply the acne treatment evenly on all of these areas of your face.
3. Use makeup, skin care products, and hair care products that can cause acne. Some makeup along with many skin and hair care products contain oil or other ingredients that can cause acne breakouts. If you continue to use them, you may continue to see blemishes.
What to do instead: Use only makeup, sunscreen, skin and hair care products that are labeled “non-comedogenic” or “won’t clog pores.” These products don’t cause breakouts in most people.
4. Share makeup, makeup brushes, or makeup applicators. Even if you use only non-comedogenic products, sharing makeup can lead to blemishes. Acne isn’t contagious, but when you share makeup, makeup brushes, or applicators, the acne-causing bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells on other people’s skin can wind up in your makeup. When you use that makeup, you can transfer their bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells to your skin. These can clog your pores, leading to breakouts.
What to do instead: Make sure you’re the only person who uses your makeup, makeup brushes, and makeup applicators.
5. Sleep in your makeup. Even non-comedogenic makeup can cause acne if you sleep in it.
What to do instead: Remove your makeup before you go to bed. No exceptions. If you’re too tired to wash your face, use a makeup remover towelette. Just make sure it’s a non-comedogenic towelette.
6. Wash your face throughout the day. Washing your face several times a day can further irritate your skin, leading to more breakouts.
What to do instead: Wash your face twice a day — when you wake up and before you go to bed. You’ll also want to wash your face when you finish an activity that makes you sweat.
7. Dry out your skin. Skin with acne is oily, so it can be tempting to apply astringent and acne treatments until your face feels dry. Don’t. Dry skin is irritated skin. Anytime you irritate your skin, you risk getting more acne.
What to do instead: Use acne treatments as directed. If your skin feels dry, apply a moisturizer made for acne-prone skin. Don't apply the moisturizer twice a day, after washing your face, and only when it feels dry.
You also want to avoid using astringents, rubbing alcohol, and anything else that can dry out your skin.
8. Over-scrub your skin clean. To get rid of acne, you may be tempted to scrub your skin clean. Don’t. Gentle exfoliation is important, but over doing it can irritate your skin, causing acne to flare.
What to do instead: Be gentle when washing your face and other skin with acne. You want to use a mild, non-comedogenic cleanser. Use a nylon or cotton wash cloth, using a gentle circular motion. Gently rinse it off with warm water. Then pat your skin dry with a clean towel.
9. Rub sweat from your skin during a workout. Using a towel to roughly rub away sweat can irritate your skin, which can cause breakouts.
What to do instead: When working out, use a clean towel to gently pat sweat from your skin. A quick rinse with water is always helpful when possible.
10. Pop or squeeze breakouts. When you pop or squeeze acne, you’re likely to push some of what’s inside (e.g., pus, dead skin cells, or bacteria) deeper into your skin. When this happens, you increase inflammation. This can lead to more-noticeable acne and sometimes scarring and pain.
What to do instead: Resist the temptation to pop or squeeze acne. You want to treat your acne with acne medication. If you have deep or painful acne, seeing a dermatologist is necessary to help clear your acne.
When to see a dermatologist
Many people can control their acne by following these skin care tips and using acne treatment that they can buy without a prescription. If you continue to see acne after giving these tips a chance to work, then it’s time to talk Dawson Dermatology in Honolulu, HI. Some people need prescription-strength acne treatment. Our dermatologists are here to help you find the best acne treatment to give you clearer skin.
With the right help, virtually everyone who has acne can see clearer skin.