What Causes Acne and How Can You Stop It?

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Almost every adult has experienced some form of acne in his or her lifetime, though some people struggle with it more than others. We all like to look and feel our best, and the often-embarrassing symptoms associated with acne can understandably have a negative impact on one’s self-esteem.

The exceptional team of board-certified dermatologists and physician assistants at Advanced Dermatology have successfully treated numerous Greater Houston-area patients with acne, helping them regain their confidence and feel comfortable in their own skin. To learn more about the acne treatments we offer, contact one of our four locations in Katy, Pearland, Sugar Land, or League City, TX, today.

In order to determine how Advanced Dermatology acne treatments can benefit you, it is important to have a good understanding of acne, including the causes, steps you can take to prevent it, and what to expect from treatment. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about acne treatment to help you prepare for your initial consultation.

What is acne?

To simplify it, acne is a condition that results from the blockage of pores, producing a variety of conditions including pimples, nodules, whiteheads, and blackheads. Pores can become blocked with oil, dirt, bacteria, makeup, and dead skin cells. Acne is most common among teenagers, though it can affect people of all ages.

What causes acne?

The face is home to numerous tiny pores, and each pore contains a hair follicle as well as a sebaceous oil gland. The oil produced by the gland, called sebum, is a natural and necessary part of our human anatomy, as it serves the purpose of lubricating and moisturizing the face. The oil travels up the hair follicle, out of the pore, and onto the face. When those pores become blocked and the oil is trapped, the skin can become inflamed and irritated, resulting in acne. The blockage can be due to an overproduction of oil, a buildup of bacteria in the pores, or a host of other issues.

Who is at risk of developing acne?

Most everyone will experience at least some form of acne at one point or another, though there are certain risk factors for developing severe or prolonged acne. The qualified medical teams at our Advanced Dermatology locations across the Greater Houston area have extensive experience in assessing patients’ individual risk factors for acne and developing a custom treatment plan. Some of the most common factors contributing to the development of acne include:

Hormonal changes: This is arguably the biggest culprit in terms of what causes acne. Hormonal fluctuations can cause an overproduction of oil, leading to an increased risk of acne. Teenagers almost always develop some type of skin breakouts during their adolescent years, as this is when one of the most significant hormonal changes occurs. Women experiencing menopause can also develop acne. Fortunately, hormone-related acne is usually temporary and will subside once the hormones rebalance.

Diet: While there are quite a few rumors about how dietary habits can contribute to acne breakouts, including the myth that chocolate causes zits, there is certainly some truth to the fact that what you eat can play a role in the appearance of your skin. It is recommended that patients restrict their intake of refined sugars and carbohydrates to avoid triggering the symptoms of acne.

Genetics: Regardless of lifestyle and environment, some men and women are just genetically predisposed to experience acne. If you have a close relative — usually a parent or sibling — that had acne, chances are you will have it too. Thankfully there are many highly effective treatment options available at Advanced Dermatology.  

How can I prevent acne?

In some cases, it may be impossible to prevent acne completely, but there are a handful of things you can do at home to reduce your risk of an acne breakout. The most important and beneficial part of a healthy skin care routine is to wash your face with a gentle cleanser twice a day. Try to avoid harsh exfoliants, as they can dry out the skin and actually put you at greater risk of developing pimples and other acne symptoms. Various over-the-counter medications and topical agents can be combined with a regular cleansing regimen to help combat the development of acne.

In more severe cases, antibiotics and stronger prescription solutions can be prescribed by your doctor. If you feel that you are still in need of another option, our expertly trained medical team at Advanced Dermatology can discuss additional treatment methods with you, including photodynamic therapy and other options.

If you are struggling with acne breakouts or want to learn more about how to prevent the symptoms of acne, call one of our convenient Greater Houston-area locations in League City, Pearland, Katy, or Sugar Land, TX, to schedule a consultation today. You deserve to put your best face forward! 

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.