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Acne in Scottsdale, AZ

What Is Acne?

Many people fight daily to control acne, a skin condition affecting between 40 and 50 million Americans at any given time. Understanding the various types of acne and their underlying causes can help determine which treatments will be most effective for you.

Acne is a common skin condition characterized by inflammation of hair follicles and sebaceous glands, resulting in pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads that typically appear on the face, neck, chest, and back.

What Are the Different Types of Acne?

Acne describes specific skin conditions that may appear on the face, back, chest, neck, and shoulders. These blemishes vary in type and cause and often require different treatments to control.

  • Whiteheads are non-inflamed, closed, clogged pores caused by bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells. They remain just below the skin’s surface and create small, noticeable bumps that are flesh-colored or white.
  • Blackheads are similar to whiteheads. They are clogged pores caused by bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells, except the pore has remained open. The opening allows the oxidization of the follicle and results in a black appearance.
  • Papules are inflamed pores that have become irritated, causing the blemish to enlarge. Papules are raised red bumps typically having a hard outer surface.
  • Pustules are blemishes similar to papules with a defined white or yellow point filled with pus.
  • Nodular acne is any acne that includes inflamed, tender, swollen lumps in the skin. There can be as little as one or two, but in some cases, it can involve the entire face and be very severe. These nodules are the type of acne that are most likely to leave permanent scarring.

Schedule your consultation to determine the acne treatment that will work best for you.

What Are the Common Causes of Acne?

When there is a build-up of oil and dead skin cells on the body, an environment is created in which bacteria can infect pores, leading to various types of acne. Certain factors can trigger or worsen acne, such as:

  • Stress
  • Hormones
  • Genetics
  • Certain medications
  • Friction, pressure, or occlusion of the skin

What Are the Differences Between Teen and Adult Acne

Acne doesn’t necessarily stop once you hit a certain age, as it’s a condition that affects both teens and adults. While the appearance and symptoms tend to be the same in teens and adults, the differences often lie in the causes and how easy it is to treat.

Teen Acne

As hormones increase during puberty, teenagers are more prone to developing acne. Most acne can be controlled with the implementation of regular cleansing. Effective cleansing routines may require the use of over-the-counter or medically prescribed cleansers.
If regular cleansing does not effectively treat acne, the services of a dermatologist may help alleviate symptoms. There is an arsenal of medications that work exceptionally well. Non-treatment may lead to worsening of the acne and the potential for long-term scarring.

Adult Acne

Men and women can continue to have acne or develop it for the first time as adults. Stress and changes in hormone levels are the most likely causes. Adult acne is often more challenging to treat, so regular cleansing usually is not enough. Whether you have struggled with acne for years or recently developed acne for the first time as an adult, a dermatological consultation can help you find the treatment options that will work best for you.

How Do Dermatologists Evaluate Acne?

Dermatologists are medically trained skin treatment experts who can examine your skin to determine the types of acne and severity level, assigning a grade to each level of acne:

  • Grade I is the mildest grade of acne, consisting primarily of whiteheads and blackheads.
  • Grade II is labeled as moderate acne, with pustules and papules appearing.
  • Grade III acne is considered severe and exhibits a larger number of more painful pustules and papules. Infection typically spreads, and there is a risk of scarring.
  • Grade IV is the most serious, containing painful nodules and cysts.

What Are My Acne Treatment Options in Scottsdale, AZ?

Depending on the type and severity, there are various effective treatments to help control acne.

  • Non-prescription treatment – A doctor may present various types of non-prescription acne treatments, including over-the-counter cleansers, soaps, and facial cleansing routines.
  • Prescription treatments – Topical and oral antibiotics can be prescribed to control acne.
  • Chemical peels – A chemical solution is applied to the skin, which helps exfoliate the old skin, making it peel off. This type of treatment can prevent pores from getting clogged.
  • Laser and light therapies – The bacteria that causes acne can be eliminated by exposing it to different forms of light. While usually spanning over multiple sessions, laser and light therapies include blue light, red light, pulsed light, and heat energy.
  • Surgical procedures – Drainage and extraction procedures can be performed to remove large, painful cysts and nodules.

How Can I Prevent Acne?

While some people may be naturally more susceptible to getting acne than others, there are some things you can do to help prevent acne and manage the breakouts you may already have:

  • Keeping your skin clean is essential, and washing your face gently with a good cleanser is equally important.
  • Washing your hair regularly with shampoo can help prevent hair oils from spreading to your skin and causing acne.
  • Avoid touching your face, picking at your skin, and popping pimples. Touching your face will transfer your hand oils to your face, and popping pimples can make you more susceptible to acne scarring.
  • Stay out of the sun when possible, and always wear sunscreen if your skin is exposed to the sun. Sun damage can worsen acne.

When choosing facial products, avoid abrasive face washes such as exfoliants and avoid scented options. Once you find products that work well for your skin, it’s best to stick to them. Switching up your skincare routine too often can cause irritation and further breakouts.

Want to Learn More About Acne and Acne Treatment in Scottsdale, AZ?

If you or someone you know has been struggling to control acne, contact the Skin & Cancer Center of Scottsdale at (480) 596-1110 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation.


Does my diet affect acne?

This is a controversial subject, but more recent research suggests that refined carbohydrates, dairy products, and saturated fats may flare acne in some people. The best advice you can follow is to have a healthy, balanced diet.

Are there foods that prevent acne?

Increasing the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables you eat may lessen your acne. Additionally, eating lean proteins and whole grains can also be beneficial for your skin. Studies have shown that eating a low-glycemic diet, including most fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, and steel-cut oats, may reduce the occurrence of acne.

Who is susceptible to getting acne?

Acne is the most common skin disease and affects people of all races, ethnicities, and ages. However, acne is more common in teenagers due to the hormonal changes associated with puberty.

How long does it take for acne scars to fade?

Most acne scars fade over time. Depending on the individual and the severity of the scar, it could take weeks or months. Without any treatment, acne scars may remain for years. At the Skin & Cancer Center of Scottsdale, we use topical treatments to help improve the appearance of acne scars.

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Scottsdale, AZ:
11000 North Scottsdale Rd. Suite 120
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

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36800 North Sidewinder Rd. Suite A-2
Carefree, AZ 85377

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19756 N. John Wayne Pkwy. Suite 101
Maricopa, AZ 85139

Skin & Cancer Center Scottsdale