What is acne?

Acne is a condition in which your hair follicles, also known as oil pores, become blocked, which often leads to the formation of pimples, blackheads, or whiteheads at the surface of your skin. Acne typically develops on areas of the body where the skin produces a lot of oil, such as the facial area. Other areas commonly affected by acne include:

  • Your chest
  • Your upper back
  • Your shoulders

What causes acne?

Despite the myths, eating greasy foods, wearing makeup, and poor hygiene do not cause acne. Instead, common causes of acne include:

  • High level of oil production by the body
  • Clogged oil pores
  • Bacteria
  • Certain hormonal imbalances

You may be more prone to developing acne if you:

  • Are a teenager
  • Have a family history of acne
  • Come in contact with greasy or oily substances
  • Place frequent pressure on or frequently rub your skin (e.g., placing a phone to your ear)

While acne occurs mainly in teenagers, adults may also be affected. Stress and certain medications, treatments, or foods may also irritate or lead to the development of acne.

What are the symptoms of acne?

Acne affects everyone differently. If you have acne, you may display any of the following symptoms of the skin:

  • Whiteheads
  • Blackheads
  • Pimples
  • Large, hard, painful masses under your skin (cystic acne)

Large, painful, red bumps that are settled deep in your skin could be a sign of cystic acne. If you believe you have cystic acne, a dermatologist can examine your skin to help determine whether you suffer from this condition and what treatment options may be best for you.

How is acne diagnosed?

Acne does not usually require a diagnosis, as acne is often visible on the affected skin. However, if your acne is persistent or painful and does not respond to over-the-counter treatments, you may want to set up an appointment with a skin specialist who can evaluate the severity of your acne and explain your treatment options.

Can acne lead to complications if left untreated?

Left untreated, acne may lead to other problems, which may include:

  • Acne scars
  • Skin discoloration
  • Low self-esteem

What acne treatment options are available?

Acne can sometimes be treated with certain behavioral modifications, at-home acne remedies, or certain store-bought products, such as acne face washes. Before speaking to a medical specialist, you may first want to consider the following:

  • Washing the affected areas with a skin cleanser
  • Using over-the-counter products
  • Steering clear of skin irritants, such as oily or greasy products
  • Providing your skin with proper protection against the sun
  • Avoiding skin contact with items or clothing that may cause frequent rubbing against the skin
  • Avoiding the temptation to touch the affected skin area
  • Showering after physical activity

If the above treatment methods are unable to provide you with the acne relief that you are seeking, set up an appointment with a skin specialist who can recommend certain acne medications, procedures, or other solutions. You and your doctor will work together to determine which acne treatment options are best for you. Acne treatment options may include:

  • Certain topical medications
  • Certain oral medications
  • Whitehead and blackhead extractions
  • Laser and photodynamic therapy
  • Chemical peels
  • Steroid injections

For some patients, a clinical trial for acne may be another treatment option to consider if other acne therapies fail to produce successful results.

Acne Scar Treatment Options

If you have acne scars and are seeking methods to help reduce the appearance of scarring, additional treatment options are available. Acne scar treatments may include:

  • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
  • Lactic acid peels and other chemical peels
  • Topical retinoid products
  • Salicylic acid products
  • Dermabrasion
  • Laser resurfacing
  • Fillers
  • Microneedling
  • Certain injections
  • Subcision procedure

Your doctor can help determine which of the above treatment options may be best for your type of acne scarring. In addition, acne scar clinical trials may be another treatment option to consider.

Schedule a Consultation

If you have been unsuccessful in finding the right treatment option for your acne or acne scars, are seeking affordable acne treatment options, or are looking for paid compensation, sign up for a future clinical trial today.

With over 25 years of experience in the execution of dermatological clinical trials — under the guidance of board-certified dermatologist and Dallas Research Center founder, Dr. William Abramovits — our team is highly trained and committed to ensuring that all clinical guidelines are met and that the rights of every patient are always protected. Call 469.754.1583 or fill out the form on this page to learn more about our clinical trial options.

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