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ACNE FACTS
• Acne is the term for comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples,
and deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that...
- more -
with acne should avoid any foods that they believe makes their acne worse. For
their overall health, people shoul...
• Some women find that oral contraceptives may help clear their acne if
other treatments do not work. A dermatologist can ...
AAD Web site: www.aad.org
AAD toll-free information number: 1-888-462-DERM
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ACNE FACTS.doc

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ACNE FACTS.doc

  1. 1. ACNE FACTS • Acne is the term for comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and even the upper arms. • While acne usually begins in puberty, the disease is not restricted to any age group. Adults in their 20s, 30s, 40s – even into their 50s – can develop acne. • Acne lesions are either non-inflammatory or inflammatory. Non- inflammatory lesions include closed and open comedones. Closed comedones are known as whiteheads; open comedones are known as blackheads. • Acne scarring (skin depressions) often occurs and is most prominent in patients with inflammatory acne. • Redness or dark marks may remain after the acne lesions resolve. STATISTICS • Acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States, affecting 40 to 50 million Americans. • Nearly 85% of all people have acne at some point in their lives, most often on their face, chest and back. • By mid-teens, more than 40 percent of adolescents have acne or acne scarring which requires treatment by a dermatologist. • In 2004, the total direct cost associated with the treatment of acne exceeded $2.2 billion, including substantial costs for prescription and over- the-counter products.1 1 Source: The Burden of Skin Diseases 2004, the Society for Investigative Dermatology and the American Academy of Dermatology Association. CAUSES OF ACNE Foods, such as chocolate and greasy foods like French fries and pizza, do not cause acne, but certain foods seem to make some people’s acne worse. People AAD Web site: www.aad.org AAD toll-free information number: 1-888-462-DERM
  2. 2. - more - with acne should avoid any foods that they believe makes their acne worse. For their overall health, people should eat a healthy, balanced diet, but diet should not matter if the acne is being appropriately treated. In addition, the following can bring on acne or worsen it: • Heredity • An increase in male hormones found in both males and females • Menstruation • Emotional stress • Oil and grease from cosmetics or work environment ACNE CARE AND TREATMENT • Gently wash affected areas twice a day with mild soap and warm water. Vigorous washing and scrubbing can irritate your skin and make acne worse. • Shampoo hair often, daily if it is oily, although African Americans may prefer to wash weekly. • Use “noncomedogenic” (does not clog pores) and oil-free cosmetics, toiletries and sunscreens. • Avoid astringents, which strip your skin of natural moisture, especially if the skin is dry. • To prevent scars, do not pop, squeeze or pick at acne; seek treatment early for severe acne that does not respond to over-the-counter medications. • Antibiotics taken orally, such as tetracycline, minocycline or erythromycin, are often prescribed for moderate or severe cases. • Combination therapies using oral and topical antibiotics and topical retinoids have been found effective in managing acne. AAD Web site: www.aad.org AAD toll-free information number: 1-888-462-DERM
  3. 3. • Some women find that oral contraceptives may help clear their acne if other treatments do not work. A dermatologist can help a woman determine if this is an effective treatment option. - more - • Isotretinoin has proven to be the only medication that safely and effectively controls severe cystic acne, the most serious form of this skin disease. The Academy is committed to the safe and responsible use of isotretinoin and supports continuing education for physicians and patients on pregnancy and other potential hazards connected with the use of this medication. For the Academy’s position statement on isotretinoin, see the Academy Web site at http://www.aad.org/professionals/AdvocacyGovRelSkin/iso_information.htm. • Use medications and products prescribed for your acne as directed and allow enough time for them to take effect, which may be 4 to 8 weeks. • Resolution of acne takes time. There are no “overnight” or “immediate” cures. • Laser and light-based technologies continue to be researched for their effects on mild to moderate acne. • Patients with very mild acne scarring are good candidates for microdermabrasion, which works by scraping away the scarred skin and stimulating new cell growth. • Laser resurfacing, dermabrasion, and skin fillers provide safe and effective treatments for acne scarring. Since acne scars are unique in their appearance and often have complex characteristics, patients should consult with their dermatologist to determine an individualized treatment plan for the most successful result. • For the Academy’s guidelines of care for acne vulgaris management, see the Academy Web site at http://www.aad.org/professionals/guidelines. See your dermatologist for successful diagnosis and treatment of acne. AAD Web site: www.aad.org AAD toll-free information number: 1-888-462-DERM
  4. 4. AAD Web site: www.aad.org AAD toll-free information number: 1-888-462-DERM

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