Dermatologist Blog - Stone Oak Dermatology

Posts for tag: Acne

By Linda Banta, MD
February 11, 2020
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Acne   acne treatment  

Anyone who has ever walked through the skincare aisle of their local drugstore knows that there are tons of acne-fighting products on the market. So, which one is right for you? Should you opt for an acne cleanser or spot treatment, or both? Choosing the right acne treatment can be challenging, to say the least.

While acne is a common problem among teenagers, many people don’t just leave acne behind the minute they toss out those graduation caps. In fact, many adults well into their 20s, 30s and beyond still deal with regular acne outbreaks. So, how do you properly treat acne? There is no singular way to treat acne and the best treatment option for you and your skin will depend on the cause. While you might not know what’s to blame for your acne symptoms a dermatologist certainly can help.

Treating Acne on Your Own

If you are dealing with mild to moderate acne, look for products that contain these powerful acne-fighting ingredients:

  • Salicylic acid
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Glycolic acid
  • Sulfur
  • Retinol

How a Dermatologist Treats Acne

If you’ve tried over-the-counter acne products for more than 12 weeks and aren’t seeing results, or if you are experiencing severe, deep or cystic acne then it’s time to turn to a skin care professional for help. The first thing your dermatologist will do is determine the cause of your acne. From there, one or more of these treatments may be recommended:

Prescription topical medications: Certain topical medications act as an anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory, which reduces redness and inflammation associated with acne while also removing acne-causing bacteria from the surface of the skin.

A simple extraction: You should never pick at your acne or try to pop a pimple on your own, as you could end up causes further irritation or scarring; however, a dermatologist knows the safest and most effective techniques for extracting blackheads and whiteheads safely.

Birth control pills: For women who notice breakouts that correspond to their menstrual cycle, certain birth control pills may be able to reduce the amount of androgen hormones, which in turn can reduce breakouts. Talk to your dermatologist about the birth control pills that are FDA approved to treat acne.

Isotretinoin: This is an extremely intense oral retinoid that is used for treating severe, cystic acne that isn’t responsive to other treatment options. Isotretinoin is better known as Accutane, and this treatment can take up to nine months to see full results. Some patients will require multiple courses of treatment. Due to the nature of this strong medication, there are some possible side effects. It is important to discuss these side effects with your dermatologist before beginning Isotretinoin.

If you are having trouble getting your acne under control it’s important that you have a dermatologist that you can turn to for customized care. Take control of your acne once and for all.

By Stone Oak Dermatology
April 05, 2019
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Acne  

Discover helpful acne-fighting tips and trick to achieve clearer skin.

You’re trying to find the right way to get your acne under control, right? Well, there are certainly so many options out there that it can be a bit daunting. First and foremost, if you are just starting to deal with acne then you may want to tackle the issue from the comfort of your own home before turning to a dermatologist for help.

At-Home Treatment Options

The first line of defense is usually to try an over-the-counter acne cleanser or topical cream that contains an active ingredient such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. It’s important to be patient when it comes to seeing results. No acne product will work overnight. In fact, it can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks of consistent use before you start to notice results from commercial acne products, so don’t give up on a product too soon.

Other tips to follow include:

  • Cleaning your smartphone with disinfectant wipes at lease once a day (imagine just how much bacteria your phone picks up everyday).
  • Washing your face twice a day, once in the morning and at night before bedtime, and immediately after sweating.
  • Being gentle with your skin. Harsh scrubs and being aggressive won’t get rid of acne; it will actually just make it worse.
  • Using cosmetic products that won’t clog pores (look for words like “non-comedogenic” or “oil free”)
  • Leaving acne alone (do not pick acne or try to extract it yourself, as this can lead to scarring)
  • Washing pillowcases regularly to get rid of pore-clogging bacteria

When to See a Dermatologist

If you are having trouble getting your acne under control after weeks of trial and error, or if your acne is severe and painful then it’s time to enlist the help of a dermatologist who will be able to provide you with more effective strategies for getting rid of your acne. After all, there are different things that can cause acne and it’s important that your skin doctor figures out what’s causing your acne so that they can create the right treatment plan for you.

Dermatologist-Approved Acne Treatment Options

Depending on what’s causing your breakouts, a dermatologist may recommend these treatment options:

  • Topical treatment: Prescription-strength cleansers, ointments, and creams containing glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids can target and eliminate acne.
  • Topical or oral antibiotics: Antibiotics can reduce inflammation and kill the bacteria responsible for acne.
  • Oral contraceptives: If you are dealing with breakouts that occur around your menstrual cycle then hormonal fluctuations could be causing your acne. There are certain types of birth control pills that have been FDA approved to fight acne.
  • Isotretinoin: More commonly referred to as Accutane, this powerful oral medication is used for those dealing with severe cystic acne that can lead to deep scarring. This is often recommended when other treatment options haven’t been effective.

Have questions about getting your acne under control? Then it’s time to consult with a dermatologist.

By Stone Oak Dermatology
August 28, 2017
Tags: Acne   Treatments   Blackheads   Whiteheads  

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions affecting teens and adults in the U.S. It can also be one of the most frustrating conditionsAcne, Treatments, Blackheads, Whiteheads to try treating on your own. A dermatologist can help by developing the right treatment plan for controlling your acne. Treatment can clear up existing acne and help prevent new acne from developing. At Stone Oak Dermatology in San Antonio, TX, Dr. Linda Banta treats acne and other skin conditions.

Causes of Acne

Acne can develop anywhere on the skin, but the face, chest, and back are especially prone to acne break outs. Acne develops when the pores become clogged with sebum. Normally, sebum helps clear out the pores by pushing debris and dead skin cells out. However, when the natural flow of sebum is interrupted for any reason, the pores can become clogged with dirt, debris, and dead skin cells. When this happens, acne is more likely to develop on the surface of the skin.

Acne Treatments

There are several different types of treatments available for clearing up existing acne and preventing future outbreaks. Your dermatologist in San Antonio can evaluate your skin and determine the most effective treatment plan for you. Treatments can be topical or oral. Topical treatments are applied externally on the surface of the skin. Oral treatments are ingested much like medication. In some cases, your dermatologist might develop a treatment protocol that includes both oral and topical treatments. Examples of acne treatments available through a dermatologist include:

  • Extraction of whiteheads and blackheads using a comedo instrument.
  • Topical application of benzoyl peroxide to minimize blockage of the pores.
  • Antibiotics, which can be taken orally or applied topically.
  • Topical application of tretinoin, a retinoid, for clearing up existing acne and preventing the formation of new acne.

No one wants to deal with acne outbreaks and struggling with chronic acne is especially frustrating. Your San Antonio, TX, dermatologist can develop an individualized treatment plan to clear up your existing acne and prevent additional flare ups. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Banta, call Stone Oak Dermatology at (210) 494-0504.

By Stone Oak Dermatology
March 30, 2017
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Acne  

Teenage AcneAcne is by far the most common skin complaint among teenagers, affecting nearly all of those between the ages of 12 and 17 at least occasionally, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. In most cases, hormones released during puberty are responsible for the appearance of blemishes during the teen years. These hormones stimulate the skin's sebaceous (oil) glands, producing oily skin that is more prone to breakouts. Because teens are extremely conscious of their image and appearance, an acne outbreak can be emotionally devastating.

While hormonal changes during puberty cause many types of acne to be unavoidable, with a diligent skincare regimen, many teens can help control breakouts from becoming severe, minimize the appearance of blemishes and prevent scarring.

  • Keep skin clean. Teens produce more oil, so it's important to wash your face every day with warm water and a mild cleanser to remove excess surface oils and dead skin cells. Always remove makeup before going to bed to avoid clogging pores.
  • Avoid over washing. Harsh scrubbing can lead to dry, irritated skin, which can actually increase inflammation and trigger glands to produce more oil.
  • Don't pick. Squeezing and picking at acne can make breakouts worse. Picking at blemishes can also lead to greater inflammation and infection, increasing the risk for scarring.
  • Keep hands off. Avoid touching your face throughout the day, as your hands carry bacteria.
  • Use oil-free products. Avoid oil-based makeup. Instead, look for products that are noncomedogenic or non-acnegenic.
  • Shower after sports or physical activities. Sweat and oil can settle on the skin's surface, trapping dirt and bacteria in the pores.
  • Visit your dermatologist. Most cases of mild acne can be controlled and improved with a good skincare routine at home. If your skin problems persist, visit your dermatologist for professional treatment.

Being a teenager is tough enough without having to worry about breakouts. The good news is that effective treatments are available for acne - and the earlier treatment is started, the lower a teen's risk of lasting physical and emotional damage. When home care is not helping, talk to a dermatologist about treatment options. Your dermatologist can help tailor a treatment plan that is best for a teen's unique skin type and needs.