Acne Treatment and Prevention
Get Clearer Skin in Fruitland, Idaho
Acne treatments at Fruitland, Idaho’s CT Derm depend upon several variables, including whether it is acne or infection, history of medication use, the type of acne and location, severity, previous acne treatments, hormone status and use of medication, or diet drivers. Dr. Carl Thornfeldt and the CT Derm team work with individuals of all ages to identify possible causes of breakouts to get to the root of the abnormality. We take the time to understand each patient’s history of skin conditions and discuss potential triggers. The goal for acne treatment is to rapidly clear your skin and then keep it clear. Once that is achieved, we focus on treating any acne scarring, uneven skin tone, or texture problems that may concern you.
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in the United States, affecting one quarter of adult women at age 40. Although pimples are commonly associated with puberty, some form of acne can develop at any age, and virtually every person will deal with it to some degree in their lifetime.
When Is Acne Treatment Appropriate?
It’s important to keep in mind that acne will often worsen over time if the medical condition is not treated. Acne can cause significant physical and psychological problems, such as permanent acne scarring, irregular skin texture, discoloration, poor self-image, depression, and anxiety.
If you have tried over-the-counter acne treatments, such as face washes, creams, or moisturizers and you're still unhappy with the results of your acne treatment efforts, it's time to visit a dermatology clinic where a provider can prescribe stronger, more effective acne medications. There is no overnight cure for acne. Come to our clinic prepared to commit to an acne treatment regimen that may last for several months to years, as acne peaks at age 22, but may last until age 50.
After a successful acne treatment, Dr. Thornfeldt and the providers at CT Derm focus on helping patients maintain their clear skin and remodel the damaged skin.
What Is Acne?
Acne is driven by inflammation that upsets normal hormone functions and disrupts the balance of the bacteria and yeasts that normally live on skin. These bacteria and yeasts also inhabit pores and follicles, where they get trapped by the skin oil, known as sebum.
Pores have openings in the skin’s surface, allowing the oil, bacteria, and yeasts to freely move out. When a pore becomes clogged by a mixture of abnormally sticky and excess sebum, dead skin, and bodies of yeast, bacteria then become trapped. These microbes stimulate inflammation and destruction of the oil glands.
If a clogged pore is closed off from the air, the material inside will develop a pale, whitish color that can appear as a small dot in the skin. This is known as a whitehead or closed comedone. When the material comes into contact with air, it takes on a darker color. The resulting visible dot is known as a blackhead or open comedone.
Trapped bacteria and yeasts induce inflammation. Cells sent to fight the inflammation die, as do the microbes, which creates more debris, increasing comedone formation. Pores that develop into swollen red bumps are known as pimples. If the bump is merely raised and red, it is called an inflammatory papule. If the material inside the pore is visible as a light-colored “head” on the bump, it is called a pimple or pustule. It is important to not squeeze or pick at pimples, because doing so can lead to further inflammation that is deeper, worsening scarring and spreading infection into surrounding skin.
Nodules and Cysts
Like a balloon filled with too much air, swollen, inflamed pimples can burst. As the newly freed bacteria and yeast move deeper into the skin, the spreading infection can cause the formation of hard lumps (known as nodules) or pus-filled lumps (known as cysts). Because they extend so deep beneath the surface, both of these can cause long-lasting damage to the skin as well and form visible acne scars with irregular darkening or lightening of the skin.
What Contributes to Acne?
Multiple factors play a role in acne including genetics, presence of other inflammatory diseases like dermatitis, yeast, parasites, and bacterial infections, as well as hormones becoming imbalanced. An unbalanced immune system also contributes to the excessive inflammation. Acne may occur with pregnancy and menopause, as well as ovary and adrenal gland abnormalities like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and incorrect oral contraceptives. Topical and oral prescription modulators may be prescribed at CT Derm.
Diet can play a role in aggravating outbreaks. Diets with high glycemic loads including sugar, such as white breads, white rice, pasta, potatoes, cereal, snack foods, cakes, cookies, and candy, aggravate acne. Pro-inflammatory foods and drinks can also be a driver for this medical condition. We recommend you reduce or avoid caffeine and alcohol and limit dairy consumption and chocolate, unless it has 60 percent or higher cacao.
Is Acne Related to Other Conditions?
Often referred to as “adult acne,” rosacea causes four types of skin disorders characterized by flushing, blushing, redness, and pustules. Like acne, rosacea clients can help control the severity of their condition with diet and lifestyle changes, as well as topical and oral prescriptions.
Other acne lookalikes include yeast or bacterial infections. These may induce a longterm infection of pores that mimics acne. These are rapidly curable with the correct prescription medications.
Anyone dealing with “problem” or congested skin or persistent bumps or redness should seek help from Dr. Thornfeldt and his team at CT Derm. The important first step in any plan—whether an acne treatment or otherwise—is getting an accurate diagnosis, then treating the abnormalities. This may require lifestyle modifications including diet and nutritional changes as advised by the team at CT Derm.