Controlling that Dreaded Acne

Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that causes whiteheads, blackheads, or red bumps, and usually appears on the face, forehead, chest, upper back, and shoulders.

There are a few main factors that can contribute to acne: excess oil production; pores that get clogged by oil and/or dead skin cells; bacteria on the skin; excess hormonal activity, stress, and genetics.

Acne treatments

Patients often try treating their acne themselves. There are many over-the-counter products containing a medicine called benzoyl peroxide, which comes in different strengths (2% up to 12%). Basically, this helps kill bacteria on the skin, unplug oil ducts, and help to heal some smaller acne lesions. But, when these don’t work or don’t work enough, it’s time to see me.

As a Chicago dermatologist, I am pleased to offer many treatment options for my patients:

  • Topical Medications: Retinoids are effective at opening up the pores by regulating epithelial growth and cell proliferation. Medications that contain active ingredients such as dapsone and antibiotics are helpful in treating inflammatory lesions of acne.
  • Oral Medications: If you have larger red bumps or cysts, I may prescribe oral antibiotics or anti-hormone fighting oral medications.
  • Isotretinoin: For the most severe cases of acne, I may prescribe a very strong medication names isotretinoin, taken as a pill. It’s only used for severe acne that hasn’t responded adequately to other treatments. Isotretinoin has many side effects and we talk about these before a patient starts on this treatment plan.

A few reminders

  • Follow directions. Use the medication as directed and stick with your treatment plan.
  • Use only your medication. What’s good for a friend or family member may not be good for you.
  • Be patient. Give your treatment plan time to work.

Here for your dermatological needs

I provide both medical and cosmetic dermatological services. Please feel free to contact us to make an appointment.