Acne, or the medical term acne vulgaris, is a common skin condition that affects people in varying degrees throughout their lifecycle. Acne is the abnormal regulation of cells inside the tiny hair follicles, which predominantly manifest on the face but also can occur in areas such as the neck, chest, and back. While acne is most often associated with the teen years, statistics indicate it also affects over 20% of all adults. Shereen Timani, MD, is an expert in acne treatment at Johns Creek Dermatology. She uses her experience to diagnose and treat symptoms of acne.
Causes of Acne
The American Academy of Dermatology, or AAD, cites four major factors responsible for causing acne: an overabundance of oil; clogged pores; bacteria; and inflammation. Contrary to common belief, acne is not caused by foods, or by dirt. Age, gender, hormonal changes, stress, cosmetics, environment, certain medications, heredity and other factors play a part in triggering acne. Depending on the distance from the surface of the skin, acne can take many different forms:
- Open comedones or blackheads and closed comedones or whiteheads
- Papules or red bumps
- Pustules or pus bumps
- Cysts or painful deep nodules
Mild non-inflammatory acne includes whiteheads and blackheads. Moderate and severe inflammatory acne consists of papules, inflamed pimples near the skin’s surface and when deeper, they are called pustules. The cycle starts with extra oil blocking the pores of follicles, leading to a plugged follicle. When oil and dead skin cells get trapped in the hair follicles, a type of bacteria that normally lives in the follicles multiplies, producing material which causes redness, irritation, and inflammation. This, in turn, attracts the immune cells. Eventually, this build-up can lead to a ruptured hair follicle and pus can form either above or below the skin’s surface. Cysts and nodules are the most severe type. Where new skin cells cover the damaged areas, scarring, pitting or dark spots can occur.
Treatment at Johns Creek Dermatology addresses each phase of the acne cycle. Dr. Timani will design a treatment plan unique to your skin type and condition. It’s important to be fully engaged in the treatment she prescribes. Not only will the treatment improve your physical appearance and help to prevent scarring, but managing acne improves self-esteem and mental health.
There are two general types of acne treatment:
1. Topical Treatment: These are the most common. They are applied to the skin. Some work to kill the bacteria; others are formulated to reduce oil. The majority contain either a retinoid, prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide, an antibiotic, and/or salicylic acid. Dr. Timani will determine which topical treatment you need.
2. Ingested Treatments: This approach typically includes medication to address moderate and severe cases. Dr. Timani at Johns Creek Dermatology may prescribe:
- Antibiotics which help kill bacteria and reduce inflammation.
- Birth control pills and other medicines that work on hormones.
- Isotretinoin the only treatment that works on all causes of acne.
Expert Treatment by a Board-Certified Physician
The prescription medication and treatments prescribed by Dr. Timani at Johns Creek Dermatology yield better results than over-the-counter medicines and topical products. Our processes take time to clear up your skin and expose the new you. Prescription acne medications work well, particularly in conjunction with a cleansing routine, but, it takes 2-4 weeks for noticeable results to materialize.
Each patient is unique; therefore, results will vary.
If you notice any acne symptoms, contact our office in Johns Creek, GA, today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Timani. Our office serves patients in the Metro Atlanta area and the surrounding communities of Roswell, Milton, Sandy Springs and Buckhead.