Skin Rejuvenation
Dermatologist Ft Worth Texas
Ft Worth Cosmetic Medicine

Acne Treatment and Therapies

Acne is a common problem, particularly in the teenage years but often affecting adults too.  Acne starts with the hair follicle that is blocked by sebum or oil.  When hormones act on the oil glands, they often become overactive, causing this process to worsen.  A bacterium called Propioniform acnes tends to overgrow in follicles with excess oil/sebum and attracts more inflammatory cells to the area.  If the wall of the follicle breaks open, then there is even more inflammation in the area, causing a bigger pimple.  In more exaggerated examples, this forms a tender, red nodule on the skin.  When acne is severe, scarring can occur.

Acne is most often treated with topical therapy, including washes, lotions, gels, or solutions.  In moderate to severe acne, antibiotics are usually needed to prevent scarring, at least in the short term.  Hormonal therapies that block androgens/male hormones in females tend to help as well.  Severe acne can be treated with isotretinoin, an oral medicine that is only used after educating the patient about potential side effects.  Alternative therapies such as light therapy or a chemical peels can also help when acne is not helped by antibiotics and when isotretinoin is not an option.  Some patients notice that their acne is better when certain food triggers are avoided such as those containing dairy, high sugar, or high fat, although this can vary from individual to individual and has not been consistently reported in the medical literature.  A typical teenager has room for improvement in their diet, and it can’t hurt to try to eat a healthier diet while undergoing treatment for acne. 

In teenagers, acne can be a passing phase, often outgrown by late teenage years or early twenties.  In adults, particularly women, the problem can be chronic.  In chronic cases in women, it is usually a good idea to explore options for long-term management such as hormonal therapy along with continuing topical therapy.

We enjoy seeing patients for acne and can offer a combination of any of the above therapies.  We have a Sciton BBL™ (BroadBand Light) machine that is capable of providing a light-based therapy for acne.  Chemical peels are also a popular procedure and can augment many other topical therapies, particulary if pigmentation problems are present after lesions heal. 


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Dr. Allison Readinger