One of the most common chief complaints that my patients have in the clinic is acne.  In fact, some sources claim acne to be the number once complaint of patients who see a dermatology provider.  Acne affects 40-50 million people in the United States every year.  About 85% of all people between the ages of 12-24 have some degree of acne, whether it be mild, moderate, or severe.  Many people think of acne as only affecting teenagers and young adults.  This is far from the truth.  According to some recent survey-based studies, 35% of women and 20% of men in their 30s stated that they had acne.  Even more surprising is that 26% of women and 12% of men were affected in their 40s.


Why do people get acne?  This question cannot be answered simply.  There is a multifactorial answer.  The three main factors include excessive sebum production, clogged pores (actually the hair follicle to be exact), and bacteria (more specifically Propionibacterium).  Sebum is an oil like substance that helps to moisturize our skin.  Its production is linked to hormones.  During puberty, hormones greatly increase the production of sebum.  When a pore becomes clogged, sebum and cellular debris accumulate.  This creates an ideal environment for bacteria to multiply.  Byproducts from this bacteria result in inflammation of the skin (redness).  Eventually, the clogged pore ruptures and results in a standard “pimple.”

Here is a great visualization of how acne forms starting with clogging and ending with rupture and inflammation.


Thankfully, we have lots of options to treat acne.  I have two main goals when treating acne.  1) Prevent scarring.  2) Improve a patient’s complexion to a point to where they feel comfortable.  When I see a patient in the clinic, I customize the medications and products that I recommend to the patient’s specific case.  Everybody has skin unique to them, so treatment should reflect this.  We may choose to only treat topically, or your dermatology provider may decide that oral medications are necessary to improve your acne.  One of the most important things to remember is that it takes time for acne regimens to work.  I usually tell patients three months.  Stick with the acne regimen that you are given and don’t give up if you do not see improvement immediately.

If you are one of those 40-50 million people affected by acne, please call our clinic today to set up an appointment with one of our excellent dermatology providers.  We would enjoy being a part of your solution for improved skin.

Bentonville:  701 NW McNelly Rd., Bentonville, AR 72712 (479-268-3555)

Fayetteville:  1444 E Stearns St., Fayetteville, AR 72703 (479-718-7546)

Harrison:  620 N Main, Harrison, AR 72601 (870-204-5279)

Ryan Crowder, MPAS, PA-C

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