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Banish acne breakouts

Acne Treatment in Millburn, NJ

When most people think of acne, they picture hormonal teenagers navigating the challenges of puberty. But for many men and women, acne doesn’t magically vanish once they reach adulthood. In fact, it may even get worse. Acne is more than a cosmetic concern for those who experience it on a regular basis. It can be painful, uncomfortable, and — in some cases — a symptom of an underlying medical condition.

At Millburn Laser Center in Millburn, New Jersey, our board-certified dermatologists understand that there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment for acne. We take a multimodality approach to acne treatment that encompasses topical solutions, chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing, and more.

What is Acne?

Acne, often called pimples or zits, is a common skin condition in which the hair follicles in your pores become clogged with dead skin cells, bacteria, and sebum — an oily material that resembles wax. Outbreaks can occur anywhere on the body, but commonly develop on the face, chest, back, and shoulders. For more information, please visit niams.nih.gov.

While acne often appears as red bumps on the skin, there are actually several different types:

Blackheads

Blackheads occur when the pore stays open and fills with bacteria, debris, and dead skin cells. They typically look like small black dots or specks of dirt.

Whiteheads

Whiteheads are similar to blackheads, except they occur when the pore closes. Unlike blackheads, however, they are raised and white in appearance. 

Papules

Papules are small raised red or pink bumps that have no head. Though papules can be uncomfortable, they shouldn’t feel painful.

Pustules

A pustule is essentially a papule that contains pus, so it may appear larger, redder, and more inflamed. Popping or picking a pustule is one of the easiest ways to end up with acne scars.

Nodules

Nodules are large painful pimples that show no head. They grow deep in the skin and are extremely difficult to treat at home. Nodules can take several weeks to subside on their own, so it’s important to seek professional help from a board-certified dermatologist at Millburn Laser Center if you regularly get nodules.

Cysts

Cysts are even more aggressive and painful than nodules. Like nodules, cysts grow deep into your skin, and they’re filled with pus. Cysts always require prescription medication, such as antibiotics, as they often become infected.

 

Why does acne occur? 

Despite the old wives’ tales you may have heard growing up, eating too many sweets and greasy foods doesn’t directly cause acne, though it likely doesn’t help. Having acne also doesn’t mean you have “dirty” skin. In fact, washing your face too often can actually aggravate acne and worsen the condition.

There are four primary causes of acne, including:

  • Overproduction of sebum
  • Excess bacteria
  • Dead skin cells
  • Inflammation or infection

While external factors, such as stress, poor diet, and hormonal changes, don’t necessarily cause acne, they can trigger new outbreaks if you already struggle with the condition.

Who is at risk for acne?

Anybody can get acne at any age, but you have a higher chance if you experience any of the below risk factors:

  • Hormonal Changes: An increase of androgens (male hormones) or a decrease of estrogen (female hormones) can trigger outbreaks. Hormonal changes are particularly common during puberty and menopause.
  • Age: While acne can affect individuals well into their 40s, it’s more common in teenagers going through puberty and other hormonal changes.
  • Oils: Oil and grease on your skin can clog your hair follicles, which leads to acne.
  • Genetics: If your parents or siblings experienced acne growing up, you are more likely to have it too.

Acne Symptoms

Acne symptoms vary depending on the type you have, and may include one or more of the following:

  • Deep, solid nodules
  • Pus-filled whiteheads
  • Large nodules with white centers (pus)
  • Tiny red clusters of pimples
  • Small black specks (blackheads)
  • Pimples that feel itchy or inflamed

Many acne sufferers have multiple symptoms and several different types of acne to treat.

Acne Grading 

Before creating a custom treatment plan, the dermatologists at Millburn Laser Center in Millburn, New Jersey must grade the severity of your acne:

  • Grade 1 (mild): blackheads and whiteheads with very few papules or pustules
  • Grade 2 (moderate): papules and pustules around the face, but few elsewhere
  • Grade 3 (moderate-severe): several papules and pustules, as well as some nodules, that can affect the face, back, and chest
  • Grade 4 (severe): Very painful pustules, nodules, and cysts that take several weeks to subside

Long-Term Effects of Acne 

Acne is more than just a cosmetic issue. Long-term acne can cause lasting pain, diminish your confidence and self-esteem, and leave your skin scarred. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), acne can also increase feelings of:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Poor self image
  • Isolation

To prevent the long-term effects of acne, it’s important to develop a healthy skincare routine and seek professional treatment from the experienced dermatologists at Millburn Laser Center in Millburn, New Jersey.

Best Skincare Routine for Acne

While the best skincare routine for acne varies depending on your skin and type of acne, there are a few steps you can take to reduce acne at home:

Cleanse twice a day.

You should only wash your face twice a day, even if you have oily skin. Cleansing too often strips your skin of essential moisture, which can trigger breakouts.

Always moisturize.

Another common misconception about acne is that too much moisture will make your skin more oily. Unless instructed otherwise by your Millburn, New Jersey dermatologist, you should always moisturize after cleansing your skin.

Avoid abrasive exfoliants.

While high-quality exfoliants gently remove dead skin cells to brighten your skin, harsh exfoliants can irritate and inflame acne.

Stop popping and picking.

Popping and picking at your pimples not only aggravates acne, it can also increase scarring and other skin damage.

Acne Treatment Options

At Millburn Laser Dermatology, our board-certified dermatologists take a comprehensive approach to acne treatment. Depending on the type and severity of your acne, your dermatologist may recommend one or more of the following:

  • Benzoyl Peroxide: Available as an over-the-counter medication, it comes in the form of a face wash or leave-on gel that targets the skin’s surface bacteria.
  • Retinoids: Vitamin A derivatives that are available over-the-counter. It prevents clogged pores and the formation of new acne bumps.
  • Antibiotics: Can be applied to the skin or taken orally to control the skin’s surface bacteria, which aggravates skin inflammation.
  • Chemical peel: An acidic solution (alpha or beta hydroxy acid) is applied to the skin. It exfoliates the skin by destroying dead skin cells while unclogging pores to make way for new skin to regenerate, allowing acne blemishes and scars to fade.
  • Dermabrasion: A diamond wheel or wire brush removes layers of the skin and causes new, healthy skin to grow back. It treats acne and acne scars by evening out the skin’s texture and color. 
  • Laser skin resurfacing: Beams of light or infrared rays remove the top layer of the skin, break down dead skin cells, and stimulate collagen production.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can Chocolate And Fried Foods Make Acne Worse?

A: While chocolate and greasy food like pizza and fries are often blamed for acne, there is no evidence that suggests they have a significant effect on acne. To be on the safe side, don’t touch your face with greasy hands.

Q: Do My Acne Breakouts Mean I Need To Wash My Face More Often?

A: Not necessarily. Washing your face with a mild cleanser twice a day is enough. In fact, aggressively scrubbing your face will simply aggravate your acne. 

Q: Can I Still Wear Makeup If I Have Acne?

A: Yes. It’s all about choosing the right products for your face. Look for products that are non-greasy, hypoallergenic, non-irritating, oil-free, and “non comedogenic,” which means they won’t clog your pores. And remember, if you do wear makeup over your acne, be sure you properly remove it before going to bed.

Q: Will I Have Acne Forever?

A: For most people, acne goes away on its own (usually at the end of puberty). For others, acne will be a constant struggle in adulthood and may cause scarring. Acne scarring is permanent and is more difficult to remove. Acne, however, can be successfully treated. It’s just a matter of living a healthy lifestyle, finding the right treatment for you, maintaining good hygiene, and sticking to a skincare regimen. 

Q: When Should I See A Dermatologist?

A: There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for acne treatment. It is time to see a dermatologist when you’ve tried plenty of non-prescription measures that don’t produce positive results after a couple of months (around 4-12 weeks), if your acne is getting worse or spreading, and if scars develop as the lesions clear up. We will be able to recommend the best form of treatment for your acne. Acne can also affect self-confidence and self-esteem if left untreated.

Schedule an Acne Treatment Consultation With a Dermatologist

Are you ready to get rid of acne once and for all? If you have tried numerous methods to clear your skin and are still struggling with persistent acne, now is the right time to consult with a board-certified dermatologist at Millburn Laser Center in Millburn, New Jersey. Contact us at 973-315-8590 today to start your journey to clear, beautiful skin.

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Millburn Laser Center


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Millburn, NJ 07041

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