Acne typically begins to appear when a child reaches adolescence or teenage years, however it can occur at any age. Excesses in hormones can cause the oil glands (sebaceous glands) to enlarge. Enlarged sebaceous glands allow a build up of bacteria, dead skin cells, and dirt, which clog the pores. The bacteria within the pores can cause infections and inflame the follicles, resulting in the red pustules commonly referred to as pimples.
The blocked pore is called a comedone, also referred to as whiteheads and blackheads. If the inflammation is deep within the tissue it may form a cyst. Cysts can be very painful and are the main cause of scarring that can occur with acne.
Some of the main causes of acne are hormonal changes, like those caused by adolescence or those experienced by women during hormonal upheavals (monthly cycles, pregnancy, etc), medication side effects, stress, cosmetics and hair products, and infrequent washing.
There are several treatment options available, depending upon the severity of the acne. Treatments range from medicated soaps or creams, to oral treatments.
Accutane, or Isotretinoin, is an oral medication used to treat moderate to severe, nodulocystic acne. It is a derivative of Vitamin A, and helps to improve the blocked-up material within whiteheads and blackheads. It has become a mainstay in the treatment of acne, and is one of the most effective treatments available. A typical treatment course lasts 4-6 months. Dr. Svancara is well versed and experienced in providing safe and effective treatment with Isotretinoin.