Acne Treatment

What causes acne?

Hormones cause the oil glands of the skin to produce a fluid called sebum. When excess sebum is produced, the skin cells can get stuck together and don’t slough as quickly as they should. They can transform a plug that blocks your hair follicles (pores). This is how blackheads and whiteheads are formed. Bacteria grow easily in the follicle when the sebum and skin cells are blocking it. The presence of bacteria within a whitehead or blackhead is what leads to the formation of a pimple.

How should I clean my face? Should I use toner? Should I moisturize my face?

Remember, acne is caused by what is happening to your skin from the inside, not the outside. Acne is not caused by dirt on your face. You should wash your face twice a day, more often than that is not necessary. We will determine and recommend the optimal face wash to compliment your acne routine based on your skin type and exam.

Using a toner is not necessary. Most toners have alcohol in them which is drying to the face. Rather than using a toner, spritz your face with spring water. Then apply moisturizer/sunscreen while your face is still wet. This allows the moisturizer/sunscreen to glide on smoothly and not feel heavy. This method also locks the moisture against the skin, forcing it to penetrate the skin rather than allowing it to evaporate.

Don’t be apprehensive about using a moisturizer. It will not cause you to have acne. Based on your skin type and exam we will recommend a moisturizer as part of your skin care routine. If your face is dry, you need to moisturize. Your cleansing and moisturizing techniques should result in supple skin while treating your acne appropriately.

Should I change my diet?

Consider avoiding dairy as studies has indicated it may worsen acne. A low glycemic index(GI) diet could also be helpful.

  • Low GI: Green vegetables, most fruits, raw carrots, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils and bran breakfast cereals
  • Medium GI: Sweet corn, bananas, raw pineapple, raisins, oat breakfast cereals, and multigrain, oat bran or rye bread
  • High GI: White rice, white bread and potatoes

Other than that, there is no scientific proof that any other type of food will make your acne worse. If you notice your acne worsens with a particular food, then you can avoid that food; however, acne occurs in phases so be careful not to jump to conclusions about a specific food. Consider adding fish oil supplement as studies indicate it may reduce some of the inflammation associated with acne.

Can I wear make-up?

Yes. If you wear foundation, use a liquid or loose powder.

How is acne treated?

When starting an acne treatment plan, be prepared that your acne could get worse before it gets better. it takes at least 4-6 weeks before we can determine whether a medication will work. At your follow-up visits, we will assess the treatment lan and make adjustments as needed.

Our dermatology specialists are trained to treat acne at all our of our locations: Brentwood, Columbia, Franklin, Hendersonville, Mount Juliet, Nashville, Pulaski, Smyrna.

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