What Is Acne?

What Is Acne?

Acne--who hasn't experienced this bothersome skin condition at some point in their lives? Affecting 80 percent of teens and 5 percent of adults, acne consists of infected Acneor inflamed sebaceous or oil glands in the face, chest and neck. The good news about acne is your Morristown, Mt. Arlington, Liberty Corner and Bridgewater, NJ, dermatologists at Affiliated Dermatologists & Dermatologic Surgeons, PA, can identify and treat it. There is hope for clearer skin!

Pinpointing Acne

Acne exhibits characteristic lesions that originate in the second layer of the skin called the dermis. The skin's very active oil glands reside in this layer, and when they become plugged with dead skin cells, comedones--acne pimples--result. These comedones come in a few varieties:

  • whiteheads, in which the oil or sebum flows freely out of the glands
  • blackheads, in which sebum is trapped by skin cells and a signature black dot appears on the pimple
  • red pustules or papules that become infected

Beyond being immediately unsightly, acne lesions often leave permanent scars, particularly when individuals pick at or squeeze individual pimples. The National Institutes on Health indicate that while acne remains something of a mystery, hormonal fluctuations during puberty, menopause and times of stress play a part in acne flare-ups. Contrary to popular myth, greasy dietary choices (such as potato chips and fast food) and chocolate do not exacerbate acne.

Treating Acne

  1. There are good reasons to treat acne. One is permanent scarring, especially on the face. The other is simply the effect acne has on self-confidence. As such, our dermatologists recommend these lifestyle habits and pharmaceutical treatments that help patients control flare-ups:
  2. Wash your face gently twice a day, using only the fingertips to cleanse the skin. Pat it dry, and do not vigorously rub the lesions as this only irritates them.
  3. Apply a topical acne treatment as directed by your dermatologist. Common preparations contain benzoyl peroxide or Vitamin A (Tretonin). The doctor may prescribe a topical, or even oral, antibiotic.
  4. Do not squeeze lesions in an effort to break them open. This only leads to infection and worsening of scars. In fact, during a break-out, it's best not to touch the face or other affected area.
  5. Avoid prolonged sun exposure.
  6. Have our dermatologists manually extract stubborn lesions.

Why Suffer?

Consult the board-certified Morristown, Mt. Arlington, Liberty Corner and Bridgewater, NJ dermatologists at Affiliated Dermatologists & Dermatologic Surgeons, PA. They will devise a treatment plan to control your acne flare-ups, make your skin clearer and more comfortable and boost your self-confidence. Phone one of the convenient offices for a personal consultation. Call today at (973)267-0300.

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