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Acne Treatment

To millions of people worldwide, “acne” is the worst of the four-letter words. Though it is often written off as a minor misfortune of the teenage years, acne can affect nearly all ages, and its consequences can be psychological as well as physical. Early treatment can minimize the impact and reduce the risk of developing permanent acne scars.

At Coastal Dermatology and Medspa, we offer a variety of acne treatments that can get you back to looking and feeling your best. Our experienced and understanding staff works as a team to tailor a treatment plan to your needs and help you develop a home-care acne regimen

What Causes Acne?

Nearly everyone develops at least a few breakouts during their lifetime. Whether it’s the occasional pimple or severe acne that persists into adulthood, the cause is the same: pores clogged by dead skin cells, excess oil and trapped bacteria.

Acne commonly starts during puberty, when hormonal changes cause the skin’s oil-producing glands to become more active. Many people continue struggling with acne into their early adulthood and beyond, and some develop acne for the first time as adults. Certain factors make acne more likely, including:

  • Family history

  • Fluctuating hormone level

  • Stress

  • Certain environmental conditions

  • Some medications

  • Using greasy, oily or comedogenic personal care product

Acne typically appears where we have the most oil glands. These areas include the face, neck, chest, shoulders and upper back

How Common Is Acne?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne affects up to 50 million Americans annually, making it the most common skin condition in the United States. Most people (85%) between the ages of 12 and 24 experience acne to some degree. In adults, acne is increasing. Adult women are particularly affected (up to 15%) due to the hormonal changes experienced during menstruation, pregnancy and menopause.

Are There Different Types Of Acne?

Acne comes in many different forms. When you have acne, you can develop one or a combination of these blemishes

  • Blackheads — small black spots caused by build-up of excess oil and dead skin cells in an open pore

  • Whiteheads — blemishes with white- or flesh-colored heads caused by oil and dead skin trapped in a closed pore

  • Papules — tender, pink or red bumps that become inflamed

  • Pustules — inflamed bumps that contain pu

  • Nodules — solid bumps deep in the skin that can become large and painfu

  • Cysts — painful, large, pus-filled lesions deep underneath the skin that can cause scars; the most severe type of acne

Acne comes in many different forms. When you have acne, you can develop one or a combination of these blemishes

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How Acne Treated At Home?

The first line of defense against acne is good skincare habits and over-the-counter acne products. Try to avoid touching your face, washing with overly hot or cold water, scrubbing your skin and using harsh products. Clean your skin soon after sweating, as perspiration can make acne worse. Let your breakouts heal naturally — don’t pick, squeeze or pop your acne.

Products containing benzoyl peroxide can help eliminate the surface bacteria that contribute to acne. Salicylic acid and OTC retinoids are also popular acne-fighting ingredients and are available in various forms. Remember that these products need time to work. Use a new product for at least a few weeks before assessing how well it’s working for you.

Consult a board-certified dermatologist if you have questions about caring for your skin, your acne makes you feel shy or self-conscious, your current treatment regimen is not working and/or your acne is leaving scars or discoloration.

How Is Acne Treated By A Medical Professional?

When you visit Coastal Dermatology and Medspa, the first step is a consultation. Dr. Goyal or his PA’s will assess the severity of your acne and the type of acne you have, as well as related factors like your age, your daily skincare routine and the acne remedies you’ve tried so far. They will use this information to create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your unique skin.

Seeing a dermatologist as early as possible can help:

  • Get your acne under control

  • Prevent mild acne from becoming severe

  • Avoid scarring or other skin damage

  • Make existing scars less noticeable

  • Decrease the likelihood you’ll need stronger treatments

  • Avoid years of acne and the emotional distress that can come with it

While your treatment plan is in progress, you will return for regular follow-up appointments with us until your skin has reached maximum improvement and you can sustain the benefits over the long term.


Treating Acne With Prescription Topicals

Prescription creams and gels may be used to treat severe or persistent cases of acne that do not respond to over-the-counter products. Retinoids such as tretinoin, adapalene and tazarotene are widely used and effective topical medications for severe acne. They are available in a range of strengths that are prescribed according to a patient’s skin type.

High concentrations of azelaic acid and other topical medications are available by prescription. Azelaic acid has antimicrobial properties and can also be used to manage the discoloration that comes with some types of acne. Salicylic acid can help prevent plugged pores by dissolving dead skin cells.

Topical antibiotics, including clindamycin and erythromycin, may be prescribed as an alternative or oral antibiotics. Antibiotics help by reducing inflammation and killing excess skin bacteria. Retinoids and antibiotics are often prescribed together.

Other topical treatments that may help include benzoyl peroxide, dapsone and sulfacetamide sodium.

Treating Acne With Oral Antibiotics

Various oral antibiotics are used to treat acne. These treatments are usually prescribed for short periods — and often in combination with another treatment — as the long-term use of antibiotics can result in antibiotic resistance. 

For moderate to severe acne, your dermatologist may prescribe a tetracycline (doxycycline, minocycline) or a macrolide (erythromycin). The medication can lessen inflammation and reduce the amount of P. acnes bacteria on your skin.

Treating Acne With Isotretinoin

Isotretinoin is an oral retinoid taken to treat and prevent acne. It is the most powerful acne medication available to date and is typically reserved for the most persistent and severe cases. Many people know isotretinoin by the brand name Accutane®.

retrospective study showed that more than 95% of isotretinoin users achieved excellent, good or fair results from using the medication over a period of one to 12 months. Though it is highly effective, it can cause serious side effects, so it is only used for patients with severe cystic acne that doesn’t respond to other treatments.

Treating Acne With IPL

IPL (intense pulsed light) therapy uses diffused light energy to suppress inflammatory acne. This is a relatively gentle treatment that addresses both P. acnes bacteria and the redness of your skin with no downtime and minimal side effects. IPL can also reduce discoloration from acne.

To see the best results, most people require an initial series of IPL treatments. Results can be maintained with follow-up treatments once or twice a year.

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Discover Clearer Skin With Coastal Dermatology And Medspa

Dealing with acne can be a stressful, challenging experience and a clear complexion may seem like a distant dream. With the right team by your side, results are possible. Dr. Goyal and the staff of Coastal Dermatology and Medspa can develop a treatment protocol that conquers your acne in the shortest time possible. We listen to your concerns and work with you every step of the way to ensure your treatment works for you and your one-of-a-kind skin.

Call us today in Jacksonville at 904-727-9123 or nearby Ponte Vedra Beach at 904-567-1050 to request a consultation.

Contact us today!