Southern Dermatology

What is acne?

Acne is the development of pimples, pustules, cysts and nodules on the skin of the face, chest, back and sometimes even arms. It can vary from mild, to moderate or very severe. It is a chronic condition, that often first occurs in the teenage years due to hormonal surges, but commonly persists throughout adulthood.

Acne is the result of increased sensitivity to male hormones, known as androgens, which trigger excessive oil (sebum) production by sebaceous glands. Sebum is thick and oily, and clogs the pores that normally release the sebum onto the skin surface. Excess skin blocks these pores, and once blocked, the sebaceous glands harbour bacteria that trigger inflammation and pus. Acne can lead to scarring even if the pimples are not picked. Acne is often genetic, which means it tends to run in families. We see and manage acne across all age groups – boys, girls, men and women. In some cases, acne may be related to underlying hormonal or medical abnormalities. Ultimately all acne is ‘hormonal’ and, therefore an in-depth understanding of your personal hormone profile is always discussed before treatment plans are provided.
Many scientific studies have indicated that acne sufferers have higher rates of depression, anxiety and other mood and relationship problems. Acne is often uncomfortable and painful. When cysts appear and enlarge, they can be quite disfiguring, and when they erupt, can drain pus and blood. Even mild acne can be scarring however; early intervention prevents life-long scars.
At Southern Dermatology, we create and oversee individualised treatment plans aimed at preventing breakouts for life. With all the false-advertising and misleading noise of the beauty industry, we are determined to provide honest, medically-proven treatments that do not cost a fortune. At Southern Dermatology we offer a variety of pharmacological (medical tablets or prescription creams) and non-medical treatments to manage acne in a holistic manner. We commonly seek input from our network of Endocrinologists, Gynaecologists and Psychologists as required. Effective acne treatments usually involve reducing the excessive oil production, unblocking pores and controlling any inflammation. Depending on the severity of your acne, we may be able to utilise prescription retinoid creams, appropriate cleansers and dermal therapy (chemical peels and comedone extractions) More severe acne may require oral tablets including short courses of antibiotics, oral hormonal treatments, or oral retinoids, in conjunction with dermal therapies. We routinely provide dietary, hormonal and practical advice to reduce inflammation in the body that can contribute to acne.

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