What is acne?

Acne, or acne vulgaris, is a skin problem that starts when oil and dead skin cells clog up your pores. Some people call it blackheads, blemishes, whiteheads, pimples, or zits. When you have just a few red spots, or pimples, you have a mild form of acne. Severe acne can mean hundreds of pimples that can cover the face, neck, chest, and back. Or it can be bigger, solid, red lumps that are painful (cysts).

  • Acne is very common among teens. It usually gets better after the teen years. Some women who never had acne growing up will have it as an adult, often right before their menstrual periods.
  • How you feel about your acne may not be related to how bad it is. Some people with severe acne are not bothered by it. Others are embarrassed or upset even though they have only a few pimples.

The good news is that here at the Acne Treatment Center at El Paso Cosmetic Surgery we have a wide variety of excellent treatments that can help you get acne under control.

What causes Acne?

  • Acne starts when oil and dead skin cells clog the skin’s pores. If germs get into the pores, the result can be swelling, redness, and pus.
  • For most people, acne starts during the teen years. This is because hormone changes make the skin oilier after puberty starts.
  • Eating chocolate or greasy foods may cause some people to break out, but studies haven’t proven that eating chocolate or high-fat foods increases the risk of acne. Using oil-based skin products or cosmetics can make acne worse. Use skin products that don’t clog your pores – look for the word “noncomedogenic” on the label.
  • Acne can run in families. If one of your parents had severe acne, you are more likely to have it.

What are the symptoms of acne?

Symptoms of acne include whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. These can occur on the face, neck, shoulders, back, or chest. Pimples that are large and deep are called cystic lesions. These can be painful if they get infected. They also can scar the skin.

How is acne treated?

  • Wash your skin once or twice a day with a gentle soap or acne wash. Try not to scrub or pick at your pimples. This can make them worse and can cause scars.
  • If you have just a few pimples to treat, you can get an acne cream without a prescription. Look for one that has benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These work best when used just the way the label says.
  • It can take time to get acne under control. But if you haven’t had good results with nonprescription products after trying them for 3 months, we recommend an appointment at El Paso Cosmetic Surgery.

Why do I still have acne in my late 20s?

At its root, adult acne is caused by the same things that cause teen acne: excess skin oil and bacteria. Any changes in hormones, including those brought on by pregnancy and menstruation, can trigger excess oil.
Acne tends to run in families, so if a parent had adult acne, you’re at higher risk. People can get acne into their 40s and beyond.

Adult Acne: Questions and Answers

If I’m taking care of my skin, why am I still getting blackheads?

Washing your skin can’t get rid of blackheads or acne. Why? Blackheads form below the skin’s surface, when oil, also called sebum, reacts with air in a partially clogged pore. When the pore is totally blocked, you get a whitehead.
Wash your face only twice a day, using a mild cleanser and warm water — not hot water

Do birth control pills cause or cure acne?

Birth control pills may help some women control acne. The hormones in birth control pills can help block androgen hormones. Androgen puts oil glands into overdrive. But not all acne is caused by high androgen levels. Fast-growing bacteria in the pores also contribute to some acne.

Could my makeup cause my acne?

Yes. In fact, anything you put on your face has the potential to clog pores. Look for oil-free makeup, sunscreens, and other skin products. Non-comedogenic and nonacnegenic products can be better for acne-prone skin. You might also try using powder cosmetics instead of cream foundations.

My job is stressful. Is that a factor in acne?

Stress is not considered a main cause of acne. More often, your acne may increase your stress levels. Effective acne treatment may actually help reduce your stress.

However, in some people, stress can worsen acne. If you think stress triggers outbreaks, talk to your doctor about learning some relaxation techniques.

What’s the truth about chocolate and acne?

There’s no scientific proof that eating chocolate, sugar, or greasy food causes acne. However, if it seems that certain foods trigger breakouts, avoid them.

Sugary or greasy foods hinder your health in other ways, contributing to diabetes and heart disease. Reach for fresh food for better overall health.

What is deep-cyst acne?

Deep-cyst acne can be painful and frustrating to treat. Follicles are clogged deep beneath the skin’s surface. This severe form of acne may be treated with oral antibiotics for a short time. Corticosteroids may calm the inflammation. Topical creams with retinoids may also help.

Never pick, poke, or pop lesions. That can worsen acne and may cause scar

What other kinds of acne are there?

There are two general kinds of acne:

  • Comedones — blackheads and white heads.
  • Inflammatory lesions — papules (pimple), pustules, or nodules or cysts.

At the Acne Treatment Center at El Paso Cosmetic Surgery we can work with you to develop a treatment plan for your acne and unique skin type.

Could my acne be related to anemia?

The link between anemia, low iron, and acne is not proven. A few studies have shown a small connection. However, scientists believe anemia’s probably not the real cause of acne. Instead, taking too much zinc to treat acne may cause anemia. There is limited scientific evidence that zinc works to treat acne.

What’s the best way to treat acne?

Medicated creams with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or alpha-hydroxy acid are the first treatments to try. You can get them over the counter or by prescription. Retinoids — vitamin A-based creams — also work to unclog hair follicles.

At the Acne Treatment Center at El Paso Cosmetic Surgery we work with you and your skin type to find the right treatment to address your acne.

What’s the best way to prevent acne?

Use two simple strategies:

  • First, avoid touching your face. Touching your face can increase oiliness, irritate your skin, and encourage the growth of bacteria. Develop a hands-off policy.
  • Second, keep oily hair off your skin. And look for oil-free hair products. Oily hair care products can get on your face and clog pores.

The Acne Treatment Center professionals are committed to your healthy skin. Please feel free to make an appointment for your consultation.

The El Paso Cosmetic Surgery Difference: At Our Acne Treatment Center We Provide Professional Care and Consultation to Choose the Skin Care Treatments That Are Right For You!

You are unique, with your own skin type. It’s important before you start a skin treatment regimen that you work with one of Acne Treatment Center professionals who sees you for the individual that you are. All skin services are performed by our on-staff team which includes an aesthetician, three Registered Nurses and overseen by our cosmetic surgeon Ozan Sozer, M.D. Your skin deserves more than a random purchase off a website…you deserve to never be left in the dark as to what is the best regimen for you. That’s why your acne treatment recommendations will be based on a personalized analysis of your skin. You can know that you are using the product that is right for you.

Don’t settle for less than optimum results from pharmaceutical grade products and laser treatments that penetrate and provide faster results. Rest assured when it comes to your skin care, the Acne Treatment professionals at El Paso Cosmetic Surgery are here for you!