Doctors Weigh In On The Causes, Triggers, And Treatments For Acne

Girl putting cream on a zit
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MSN recently reported on dermatologist Doctor Daniel Glass’s words about effective acne treatment and prevention. Acne seems to affect everyone to at least some extent. For some it’s a simple blemish around a certain time of the month, and for others the acne is constant, plenty, and persistent. Regardless how frequent, how much, and what type of acne, being plagued by broken-out skin is never anyone’s favorite thing. Marketing is always showing the public the supposed next best thing in skin care and the cleansing away of breakouts, and meanwhile do-it-yourselfers are busy mixing baking soda and other ingredients to concoct a homemade mask to rid themselves of blackheads. The battle seems never ending.

Dr. Glass pointed out to reporters that there are in fact multiple types of acne, which many may be unaware of. Acne, as it turns out, is more complex than simply defining it as “whiteheads” and “blackheads.”

“There are different types of spots; the basic acne spot is called a comedo and is also known as a blackhead or open comedones and whiteheads which are closed comedones. These can progress to papules (red bumps) and pustules which are pus-filled spots. The sebaceous glands produce an oily secretion called sebum. People who tend to get acne produce more sebum than others and may be more sensitive to normal hormone levels, which result in increased sebum levels.”

Acne is defined as a long-term skin disease that occurs when the hair follicles are clogged with dead skin cells and oils from the skin. Some acne is known to even cause scarring. Primarily, people get acne breakouts mostly on their face; however, it is also known to appear on the upper part of the chest and back. Doctors such as Dr. Glass suppose that 80 percent of acne cases are linked with genetics. Other factors can also cause or worsen acne. What is for sure is that acne leads to anxiety, reduced self-esteem, and depression in many individuals.

So what does Dr. Glass recommend for acne treatment and prevention? There are various treatments, depending on the severity of the condition, according to Dr. Glass. He recommends topical treatments, such as a cream or a gel applied to the skin, as a first line of defense. Anything with benzoyl peroxide can be purchased over the counter, no prescription necessary. Contraceptive pills may help females, but Dr. Glass also notes that not all contraceptives help fight acne, and suggests speaking with a dermatologist. Oral antibiotics are also good treatments in conjunction with a topical treatment. Lastly, Dr. Glass mentioned isotretinoin for acne treatment, but this must be prescribed by a dermatologist.