It is one of the most common skin conditions in the U.S. and affects millions of Americans every year, not just teenagers.
“It typically affects the face, the chest and the back, and it’s characterized by whiteheads, blackheads. People can get little pus bumps and little cystic legions also,” said Dr. Courtney Murphy, a dermatologist at the Baton Rouge Clinic.
Dr. Murphy is talking about acne.
“You can have very mild acne, where they have little whiteheads and blackheads or they can have a more severe form like the cystic acne, where they get the kind of painful bumps,” explained Dr. Murphy.
So, how does a person get acne?
“People, a lot of times, think that it’s from being dirty, and certainly, we do want people to wash their faces twice a day and after sweating, but typically, it has more of a genetic predisposition,” explained Dr. Murphy.
Dr. Murphy said hormones can play a part as well, and even though it peaks during a person’s teenaged years, teens aren’t the only ones who can get acne.
“There’s a second peak in adult women. Women in like their 30’s to 40’s will start to complain about getting acne again, and we think that has to do with hormonal changes as well,” said Dr. Murphy.
How is it treated?
“We’ve got topical treatments. People have probably heard of Retin-A. We also use topical. We use oral antibiotics that help decrease that bacteria, and are also anti-inflammatory,” said Dr. Murphy. “Women also have the benefit of being able to use birth control pills, hormonal treatment, and then, our last kind of biggest therapy, which also offers a chance for a cure would be something like Accutane.”
If you want to help minimize it or even prevent it, watch what you eat.
“One year they will say diet influences acne and the next year they’ll say it doesn’t influence acne. So really, what I tell patients is eat a healthy diet. That’s your best way to help take care of your face and certainly clean your face morning and nighttime, but do not be over aggressive with your cleaning because scrubbing it and picking at it will make it even worse,” concluded Dr. Murphy.