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Acne

What you see and feel depends on the severity of acne you have. You may have just a few of the signs and symptoms listed below, or you may have many.

 

Who gets acne?

If you have a bad case of acne, you may feel that you are the only one. But many people have acne. It is the most common skin problem in the United States. About 40 to 50 million Americans have acne at any one time. Most people who have acne are teenagers or young adults, but acne can occur at any age. Newborn babies can get acne. Men and women get acne. Some women get acne when they reach middle age.

What causes acne?

Acne appears when a pore in our skin clogs. This clog begins with dead skin cells. Normally, dead skin cells rise to surface of the pore, and the body sheds the cells. When the body starts to make lots of sebum (see-bum), oil that keeps our skin from drying out, the dead skin cells can stick together inside the pore. Instead of rising to the surface, the cells become trapped inside the pore. Sometimes bacteria that live on our skin, p. acnes, also get inside the clogged pore. Inside the pore, the bacteria have a perfect environment for multiplying very quickly. With loads of bacteria inside, the pore becomes inflamed (red and swollen). If the inflammation goes deep into the skin, an acne cyst or nodule appears.

Why treat acne?

Myths about acne are as common as the skin problem. Dermatologists know that letting acne runs its course is not always the best advice. Here's why:

  • Without treatment, dark spots and permanent scars can appear on the skin as acne clears
  • Treating acne often boosts a person’s self-esteem
  • Many effective treatments are available

How can you reduce acne?

You can reduce your acne by following these skin care tips from dermatologists:

  • Wash twice a day and after sweating. Perspiration, especially when wearing a hat or helmet, can make acne worse, so wash your skin as soon as possible after sweating.
  • Use your fingertips to apply a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser. Using a washcloth, mesh sponge or anything else can irritate the skin.
  • Be gentle with your skin. Use gentle products, such as those that are alcohol-free. Do not use products that irritate your skin, which may include astringents, toners and exfoliants. Dry, red skin makes acne appear worse.
  • Scrubbing your skin can make acne worse. Avoid the temptation to scrub your skin.
  • Rinse with lukewarm water.
  • Shampoo regularly. If you have oily hair, shampoo daily.
  • Let your skin heal naturally. If you pick, pop or squeeze your acne, your skin will take longer to clear and you increase the risk of getting acne scars.
  • Keep your hands off your face. Touching your skin throughout the day can cause flare-ups.
  • Stay out of the sun and tanning beds. Tanning damages your skin. In addition, some acne medications make the skin very sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light, which you get from both the sun and indoor tanning devices. Not to mention, the use of tanning beds increases your risk for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 75 percent!

Consult a dermatologist if:

  • Your acne makes you shy or embarrassed
  • The products you've tried have not worked
  • Your acne is leaving scars or darkening your skin

Contact Us

Greenville
  • 420 Spring Forest Road
  • Greenville, NC 27834
  • (252) 752-4124
  • Mon-Thurs 8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Fri 8:00am - 12:00pm
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Elizabeth City
  • 504 E. Elizabeth Street, Suite 7
  • Elizabeth City, NC 27909
  • (252) 331-1780
  • Tues & Thurs 8:00am - 5:00pm
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New Bern
  • 3311 Trent Road
  • New Bern, NC 28562
  • (252) 634-2885
  • Mon-Thurs 8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Fri 8:00am - 12:00pm
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Morehead City
  • 4251 Arendell Street, Suite A
  • Morehead City, NC 28557
  • (252) 240-3531
  • Mon-Thurs 8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Fri 8:00am - 12:00pm
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Edenton
  • 222-E Virginia Road
  • Edenton, NC 27932
  • (252) 482-5661
  • Mon-Thurs 8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Fri 8:00am - 12:00pm
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Washington
  • 1314 Highland Drive
  • Washington, NC 27889
  • (252) 946-1340
  • Mon-Thurs 8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Fri 8:00am - 12:00pm
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