What Is Acne?
Acne is a common condition which occurs when hair follicles in the skin become clogged by a combination of sebum — an oily substance produced by the skin — dirt and dead skin cells.
Acne can include blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and cysts. It usually appears on the face and neck but it can also affect shoulders, back and arms.
The condition usually starts in the teenage years as hormonal changes cause the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. It can continue into adulthood with stress, monthly hormonal changes, certain medications or the use of oil-based products all contributing to breakouts.
Acne is not caused by poor hygiene or by eating chocolate or greasy foods, but genetics do play a role, so if either of your parents had acne chances are you will too. Acne can sometimes clear up on its own, but without treatment it can become severe and lead to permanent scarring, so it’s best to get it under control early.
There are a few different treatments widely used for acne, depending on the severity of the condition.
Mild-to-moderate acne can often be controlled without prescription medications. Thorough cleansing and the use of medical-grade skincare products, regular exfoliating treatments, such as microdermabrasion or chemical peels, along with laser or light based treatments can all help keep skin clear.
Severe, stubborn or widespread acne generally requires prescription medications and a referral from your family doctor is required. As this process can take up to several months, we recommend a consultation with one of our medical aestheticians who can get you started with appropriate non-prescription skincare programs and treatment options in the meantime.