Acne occurs when hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Pimples and bumps generally appear on the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders. There are available treatments that can improve the appearance of acne including lifestyle changes, procedures, and medications. However, the condition can be persistent. Pimples can heal slowly, but when one begins to go away, others will pop up.
70 to 87 percent of teenagers will get some degree of acne causing emotional distress and scaring the skin if it is severe enough. Starting treatment early will lower the risk of lasting physical and emotional damage. About 3 in 10 teenagers will have bad enough cases of acne to require treatment to prevent scarring. Boys are more commonly affected than girls are. Untreated acne can last for 4-5 years before clearing. However, it can last for many years in some cases.
The signs and symptoms of acne depend on the severity of the condition:
- Whiteheads (closed plugged pores)
- Blackheads (open plugged pores — the oil turns brown when it is exposed to air)
- Small red, tender bumps (papules)
- Pimples (pustules), which are papules with pus at their tips
- Large, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin (nodules)
- Painful, pus-filled lumps beneath the surface of the skin (cystic lesions)
Some of the things that can be done to help reduce or eliminate acne are keeping the skin clean, observing dietary considerations, and taking certain over-the-counter medications. If you have acne that does not respond to home care remedies and clear up, you may want to seek medical treatment. The purpose of treatment is to clear the pimples and bumps as much as possible and to prevent scarring. There are various options for treatment that work in different ways. At Sugar Land Physicians, we can provide treatment depending on the severity and type of your acne. Our primary care doctor in Sugar Land, Texas will help you make a plan to get your acne under control and for you to get healthy!