People tend to think of acne as a condition that mostly affects teenagers. However, not everyone grows out of their acne, and some people don’t even develop acne until they become adults.
If you have adult acne, don’t assume that it will automatically resolve itself if you wait it out, because it could worsen and cause scars. Read on to find out about what a skilled dermatologist can do for your acne, and where you can go for a skin evaluation and professional treatment that works for you.
What Types Of Acne Are There?
There is non-inflammatory and inflammatory acne. Non-inflammatory acne includes whiteheads and blackheads, which are less severe forms of acne and are easier to treat than inflammatory acne since they don’t leave behind scars. Inflammatory acne, on the other hand, is more severe and may cause scarring. This acne type includes papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts.
Whiteheads And Blackheads Are Acne?
Yes! If you’re not familiar, whiteheads are small and white spots or bumps, hence the name. They usually have a white, circular center surrounded by a red halo. This type of acne doesn’t cause scarring and is one of the least severe.
Blackheads are simply whiteheads that are exposed to air. When the oil is exposed to the air, the spot turns dark. Most people have probably had whiteheads or blackheads and not known they were symptoms of acne.
What Are Papules And Pustules?
Papules are bumps under the skin’s surface and have no visible center. They develop when whiteheads become irritated and damage the surrounding skin, which leads to inflammation.
Pustules are large bumps and, unlike papules, have a defined center that is filled with pus. They look like large and inflamed whiteheads that have red inflammation in the surrounding areas.
What Are Cysts And Nodules?
Cysts and nodules are the growth of abnormal tissue and develop below the skin. They can also develop in deeper skin tissues or internal organs. These acne symptoms are large and painful and often leave scars.
How Severe Can Acne Get?
Mild acne is the most common kind there is. It includes blackheads and whiteheads, as previously mentioned. If you only have a few clogged pores or they’re in an isolated spot, your acne is mild and easily treated. Moderate acne means you have more pimples than blackheads or whiteheads. With this type of acne, you may notice that some of your pimples have red skin or inflammation around them and might be slightly harder to treat.
Moderately severe acne includes numerous papules and pustules and occasionally inflamed nodules. They can also show up on your chest and on your back. Severe acne is when you have nothing but pimples, both those that are small bumps and those that are yellowish and filled with pus. Additionally, severe acne can include nodules or cysts. Severe acne can take a long and lengthy treatment plan to effectively manage.
How Do I Get Started Treating Acne?
The general idea is that the earlier you start treatment, the easier it is to manage scars. There are many over-the-counter treatments you can find, as well as home remedies, but if you’ve used them for several weeks or more with little to no improvement, it’s time to see an acne doctor. A dermatologist works to treat the acne you have, prevent further breakouts, and avoid further scarring.
There are several options available when it comes to treatment. Your dermatologist will review them in detail. Depending on the severity of your acne, they will guide you through treatment options that are best for you.
What Are The Methods To Treat Acne?
Topical medications are the standard of care for mild and moderate acne and can prevent new outbreaks. Usually, at least six to eight weeks go by before any noticeable improvement is seen. Topical treatments include retinoids, antimicrobials, sulfur, or dapsone. The most common side effect is irritation, with scaling.
Antimicrobials are also effective when it comes to treating inflammatory skin. They include benzoyl peroxide and antibiotics and have moderate comedolytic and anti-inflammatory properties. Sulfur is a natural component that helps reduce skin oiliness and prevents pore blockage.
Dapsone is a medication that possesses both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s successfully used in the treatment of moderate to severe acne.
An acne dermatologist could also use oral medicine, especially when your acne isn’t responding to topical medications. These include antibiotics to control inflammation and bacteria growth, combined oral contraceptives, an anti-androgen agent, or the drug isotretinoin, also known as Accutane. Your doctor can explain what each does and what the risks are.
What Are Other Acne Treatments?
Chemical peels can be used for the treatment of acne and other skin conditions. They have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory effects and are also able to reduce sebum production.
Whitehead and blackhead extractions are a part of facial acne treatment. First, an acne specialist prepares the skin by lightly steaming the area. Your acne doctor may also exfoliate the skin before extractions begin. This helps prepare the comedones and the pore for easier extraction. Next, the doctor does whitehead and blackhead extractions. This procedure, if done regularly, will help reduce acne breakouts. Ask your doctor to go over any and all treatments you are interested in!
If you’re ready to find an acne doctor near you who can get rid of your adult acne, then contact DC Derm Docs today at 202-822-9591 to schedule your appointment as soon as possible!