Acne

Acne Treatment in Chicago

Contrary to popular belief, teens aren’t the only ones who suffer from acne. While the hormonal changes of teenage years can cause eruptions of acne for many young people, many adults suffer from acne as well. Whether you are an adult or a teen, there is no reason to suffer from acne.

What is acne?

We all pretty much know acne when we see it. But what is actually happening when we see red bumps, whiteheads, blackheads, and other skin blemishes? At the most basic level, acne is caused when hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin. Even in areas where you don’t think of yourself as having hair, per se, you still have very small hair follicles. When those pores become blocked and then infected with bacteria, your skin will become inflamed. Oftentimes this creates the all-to-familiar red bumps and can also cause the pus to build up under the skin as your body fights the infection.

What is Cystic Acne?

You may have heard the term “cystic acne” before. Cystic acne is a more severe form of regular, or “common” acne. The cause of cystic acne is the same as it is for common acne: the build up of oils and dead skin cells in hair follicles. However, acne is determined to be cystic when it is in its most severe form. Small red bumps can turn into much large, boil-like infections. Cystic acne can be painful and is much more likely to leave the skin with permanent scars.

Acne Terminology

Whiteheads: whiteheads are closed pores which have become blocked. They are identified by their color and are usually fairly small in size.

Blackheads: blackheads occur when plugged pores are exposed to oxygen. The oil blocking the pore turns dark brown or blackish, giving the blemish its signature color.

Papules: papules are small, red bumps that are often tender to the touch.

Nodules: nodules are the bigger siblings of papules. They are large, solid, and often painful and lay beneath the skin.

Cystic Lesions: when nodules are pus-filled, they are deemed to be cystic lesions. Cystic lesions are often quite painful, due to the pressure caused by the mass under the skin.

How can Dermatologic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery doctors help cure my acne?

Meeting with one of our board-certified dermatologists can be the first step toward controlling your acne. At your first consultation, your doctor will discuss your medical history, any prescriptions you are currently taking, and your diet, all of which can influence acne. You and your doctor will then decide on a plan of treatment for your acne, which may include topical, oral medication, or laser procedures.

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