What is acne?

Acne is a common disorder affecting the sebum (oil) producing glands, which connect to the pores in your skin that develops when those pores get blocked. It occurs most often on the face, chest, back, shoulders and neck. If your acne is severe or if you pick acne, it can cause scarring. People of color almost always develop post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark spots) in the places where acne lesions have been, but fortunately, these are different than scars and -with time- will resolve.

What are signs of acne?

  • Whiteheads: clogged pores with no visible opening
  • Blackheads: also clogged pores but the pore is open with a small black plug
  • Papules: red bumps
  • Pustules: bumps containing whitish or yellowish fluid
  • Nodules: large, hard, deeper, red pimples, painful
  • Cysts: deep painful pimples filled with oil and dead cells, sometimes pus

Papules, pustules, nodules and cysts are inflamed and red and can produce scars, persistent red spots or persistent dark spots in people of color.

Who gets acne?

Usually seen in teens and young adults, acne can afflict children as young as 8 years old or older adults in their 30’s to 40’s.

What causes acne or acne flares?

Acne is a complex conditions influenced by many factors, including:

  • Abnormal shedding of cells which cause pores to clog
  • Other hormonal   imbalances
  • Hereditary factors
  • Some cosmetics
  • Some medications
  • Abrasive cleaning, picking, popping and squeezing pimples will make them worse

How is acne treated?

Everyone’s skin is different and will respond differently to various skin care plans.  There are a multitude of creams, gels, lotions and washes available plus many oral medications in the dermatologist’s medicine chest.  At Dermatology STL, all treatment plans are tailored for each patient’s individual case.