Acne in Tucson
Get the Healthy Skin You've Always Wanted
While acne in Tucson can be both painful and embarrassing, it's important to remember that it is the most common skin disorder, and most people suffer from breakouts at some point in their life. Acne can be defined as plugged pores (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and even deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders, and upper arms, all of which can be addressed with an effective treatment.
Acne affects most teenagers to some extent. However, the disease is not restricted to any age group; adults in their 20s, 30s, and 40s can experience breakouts. While not a life-threatening condition, acne can be upsetting and disfiguring. When severe, it can lead to serious and permanent scarring. Even less severe cases can lead to scarring. To avoid scarring, early treatment is vital. Besides improving the quality of skin, treatment can build confidence and improve your quality of life.
What Causes Acne?
The question of what causes acne has been discussed and debated for decades, with many commonly shared misconceptions. While diet may have some small degree of impact, greasy foods are not primarily responsible. Other studies propose that dairy consumption can increase the likelihood of an outbreak, although none of these are authoritative. A diet that includes a high percentage of carbohydrates may exacerbate a breakout, but the major factor influencing acne is hormones. Specifically, hormones can trigger excess oil production, which in turn clogs pores, resulting in breakouts.
Put simply, acne results from the action of hormones and other substances on the sebaceous (oil) glands and hair follicles. The sebaceous glands make an oily material called sebum that normally empties onto the surface of the skin via openings in the hair follicles (pores). Oil and cells that line the follicle (keratinocytes) can plug the opening. This, in turn, allows bacteria that live on the skin surface to grow and produce chemicals that attract inflammatory cells. The wall of the hair follicle can then rupture, spilling sebum, keratinocytes, and bacteria into the surrounding skin. This results in the formation of pimples.
Throughout adolescence and adulthood, hormones fluctuate with a variety of factors, especially for women who experience these shifts with menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. It can be exceptionally frustrating experiencing acne as an adult, but the good news is that treatment has come a long way in recent years, with a variety of options available.
Am I a Good Candidate for Acne Treatment in Tucson?
One of the most common reasons patients seek dermatologic care is for acne treatment. Although primarily a disease of adolescence, it can afflict infants, young adults, and adults of all ages.
If you have experienced physical discomfort or embarrassment due to acne, seeking the experience of a licensed dermatologist is a good first step toward developing a treatment plan that works for you. There are many over-the-counter topical medications and products, and many patients do benefit from these treatment options. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. What works for a friend and relative might not be an effective treatment for your skin, and if that is the case, a dermatologist will be able to assess your skin and explore various treatment options.
What Can I Expect During an Acne Treatment in Tucson?
The first step in any acne treatment administered by a dermatologist will be to examine your skin and determine what type you have. There are several types of acne. Comedones are plugged follicles without associated inflammation. Papules are small inflamed lesions that are red and tender. Nodules and cysts are deeper, painful, inflammatory lesions that can lead to scarring.
Just as there are multiple types of acne, many types of treatment exist. There are over-the-counter and prescription medications that are very effective. Depending on the type and severity of the condition, your doctor may recommend topical therapies, oral medications, or both. The mainstays of therapy are topical retinoids (vitamin A derivatives) to unclog pores and topical or oral anti-inflammatory medications and antibiotics.
For girls and women with acne, oral contraceptives and other medications that regulate hormones are used. The treatment of choice for scarring is isotretinoin (Accutane), and use of this very effective medication must be monitored closely by a dermatologist.
In addition to medications, there are cosmetic procedures that can improve acne. Chemical peels with exfoliating substances such as glycolic acid can be quite beneficial as an adjuvant to traditional therapy. Some relatively new, innovative treatments using certain wavelengths of light and lasers are becoming more popular.
It is important to remember that treatment is a process, and most products take several weeks to months to achieve their desired result.
How Much Does Acne Treatment in Tucson Cost?
When working with our patients to develop a treatment plan for any condition, budget is an important part of the conversation. Fortunately, many insurance plans cover some or all of an acne treatment and we are happy to work with our patients to develop a treatment plan that meets both your medical and financial needs.