Acne--more than just bothersome skin blemishes on the face, neck, shoulders and back, this common skin condition causes self-image issues, infection and even scarring for millions of Americans. While most people who have acne are teens, adults of either gender and from all walks of life struggle with controlling acne, too.
Treatment, not Cure
People with acne are often frustrated with their skin because the blemishes never seem to go away. While it's true that nothing really cures acne, the American Academy of Dermatology contends that it can be successfully treated and controlled. Drs. Joseph N. Myers Jr. and James G. Simpson, board-certified dermatologists with Magnolia Dermatology in Charleston, agree that acne can clear up with sensible, steady treatment.
Why Acne Happens
When skin pores become plugged with oil (sebum) and dead skin cells, pimples or comedones happen in a couple of varieties:
- whiteheads and blackheads
- red papules or pustules
Papules become infected and may leave scars.
What's to be Done
Your dermatologist offers several acne treatment options in his Charleston area office. He will carefully evaluate your skin to determine what method will work best for the long term. While over the counter treatments bring some relief, a lasting solution comes from the expertise and supervision of a skilled skin doctor.
Depending on kind and severity of acne (grades 1 through 4), Dr. Myers or Simpson may advise:
- application of benzoyl peroxide to affected areas (a very common treatment)
- oral or topical antibiotics to clear an infection
- hormonal therapy
- tretinoin or Retinol A for whiteheads and blackheads
- manual extraction of blemishes
Some physicians utilize laser treatments and chemical peels to treat acne.
Common Sense Strategies
Besides medical interventions, the staff at Magnolia Dermatology offers these everyday acne strategies for their Charleston area patients:
- Avoid irritating your face by rubbing it or scrubbing it too vigorously. When you wash your face or apply medication, be gentle.
- Avoid things which dry and irritate your skin such as tanning or too much sun and wind exposure.
- Do not use wash cloths or abrasive sponges to wash your face. Use fingertips only.
- Wash your face after working out or any other activity which makes you sweat.
- Leave your pimples alone as squeezing active blemishes can infect them and cause scarring.
In other words, be patient, diligent and vigilant with your skin care regimen, and you will see your skin gradually improve.
Call for an Appointment
If you are struggling with your acne, don't be embarrassed. Contact the friendly team at Magnolia Dermatology for an appointment. The doctors and staff see and treat acne all the time. They can help! Call (843) 769-2100.