Acne is a very common skin condition that affects millions of Americans each year, though eliminating it can be quite frustrating. When DIY remedies don’t work, where do you turn?

Here’s how the best acne doctor in Washington, DC can help, plus the six common types of acne they treat!

What Is an Acne Doctor? Why Should I Visit One?

An acne doctor is a dermatologist, a type of doctor that specializes in conditions relating to the hair, nails, and skin. They’re not only able to diagnose but provide high-quality, professionally administered treatments for conditions like acne, whether it’s an occasional breakout, long-term cystic acne, or other issue.

If you struggle with this skin concern and the effects it takes on your self-esteem and aren’t seeing success with over-the-counter products or at-home remedies, a dermatologist is able to help you accurately pinpoint the cause and deliver solutions that actually work.

What Types of Acne Are Dermatologists Able to Treat?

Acne comes in a variety of forms, from tiny, barely noticeable blemishes to painful, large nodules. It can be uncomfortable to have and downright annoying to address, especially without professional assistance.

These are the six types of acne that dermatologists most commonly diagnose and treat although there are more additional symptoms and types that they can manage.

  • Blackheads

Blackheads, also referred to as open comedones, are tiny, dark spots that can appear as slightly raised bumps, hence their name. The skin surrounding the open comedone often appears completely normal.

Blackheads are not dirt, contrary to the popular myth. Scrubbing or over-washing your skin will not fix blackheads and can even make your acne worse in the long run. Blackheads are actually opened whiteheads, darkening when exposed to the air.

  • Cysts

Cystic acne is a very severe form of acne and appears as large red or white lumps or bumps that can be quite painful. These bumps are deep within the skin and typically do not respond well to at-home treatment. Cysts are not the same as nodules, though they can occur at the same time.

When left untreated or not treated properly, cysts can lead to severe acne scarring. Cystic acne typically requires more invasive treatments such as medication or even surgical procedures.

  • Nodules

Nodular acne is a type of inflammatory acne that consists of firm lumps deep in the skin. They can be very painful and feel as if there are knots beneath your skin. Similarly to cystic acne, untreated or improperly treated nodular acne can result in scarring or pigmentation issues.

Nodular acne is caused by infected clogged pores, which results in swelling and pain beneath the surface of your skin.

  • Papules

Papules are small, raised pink or red bumps measuring at less than one centimeter that are another type of inflammatory acne. The skin around the papules is also inflamed. This type of acne can be sensitive to the touch.

Squeezing or picking at papules can not only worsen inflammation but cause acne scarring too. Large amounts of papules can indicate moderate to severe acne cases.

  • Pustules

Pustules are tender bumps with a defined center filled with yellow or white pus. This pus is usually comprised of both bacterial and immune cells that have become trapped in the blocked pore. They are typically larger than papules. Like papules, squeezing or picking this type of acne can cause further inflammation, scarring, and dark spots.

  • Whiteheads

Closed comedones, or whiteheads, are usually very small, flesh-colored bumps and spots that are situated on the surface of your skin. Whiteheads can appear larger or significantly raised. They occur when oil and skin cells prevent your clogged hair follicle from opening.

This type of acne rarely causes scarring and can even resolve on its own. However, recurrent or multiple whiteheads can be a cause for concern and require treatment.

What Treatments Does an Acne Specialist Use to Clear Up Skin and Prevent Future Issues?

Thankfully, there are several  acne treatment options to address all types of acne, from dermatologist-developed skincare products to oral medication.

For mild cases, over-the-counter (OTC) cleansers, creams, and spot treatments may be recommended, including acne-reducing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Extractions and certain facials can help with mild acne as well.

Moderate cases sometimes require more than OTC solutions, which may be topical antibiotics, prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide, and / or retinoids. In certain circumstances, hormonal birth control or oral antibiotics may be prescribed.

Severe cases of acne such as cysts or nodules require more intensive treatments. Benzoyl peroxide, oral antibiotics, and topical antibiotics or retinoids may be advised. Alongside these treatments, the best acne doctor in Washington, DC may prescribe oral isotretinoin or hormonal birth control.

Additional treatments that may be suggested as a standalone or in conjunction with the above options include laser therapy (AviClear), broadband light therapy (Isolaz), Silk peels, and dilute steroid injections.

Meet With the Best Acne Doctor in Washington, DC Today at DC Derm Docs!

Struggling with acne and not sure what to do? The top acne specialists in DC are here to help! Here at DC Derm Docs, our experienced dermatologists offer a variety of solutions for even the most severe cases of acne, determined to get you looking and feeling your best.

Contact us today at 202-822-9591 to schedule your consultation with one of our board-certified, expert dermatologists to learn about your treatment options! Happy, healthy skin is just a phone call away!

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