Acne Treatment GuideAcne is one of the most common skin issues faced by people all over the world, and it’s one of the most frequent reasons people come to a dermatologist for treatment. In fact, it is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting more than 50 million Americans(opens in a new tab) across the country.

At RI Skin Doc, we want patients to know that knowledge is power when it comes to treating their acne. Here are four facts about acne and acne treatment you may not have known before:

1. There Are Several Types of Acne

When you get a breakout, all pimples may seem the same to you -- but the truth is, there are six different types of acne, all with different qualities that can help you understand the source of your breakout.

The six types of acne we often see at RI Skin Doc include:

  • Blackheads: Small, raised bumps caused by oil, bacteria, and dead skin that has built up in your pores.
  • Whiteheads: Similar in look and cause to blackheads, but with white caps instead of dark ones.
  • Papules: Raised bumps that are hard underneath and may hurt to touch, occurring due to irritation in an already blocked pore.
  • Pustules: Occurring for the same reason as papules, these are raised, red lesions filled with white and yellow pus that appears at the top of the blemish.
  • Nodules: Nodules are deep-set pimples that can leave scarring if dealt with improperly, making it important to call a dermatologist for treatment.
  • Cysts: Cysts are like nodules, but filled with pus. These should also be treated by a dermatologist.

2. Learn About Your Skin

Considering the previous section, this subheading may sound a bit contradictory. But while there are six types of acne, there is technically only one way to get a pimple: by clogging a pore. It’s natural for your face to produce oil and for skin cells to die -- however, when an overabundance of oil and dead skin cells combine, they can cluster in your pores and hair follicles, causing a clog in which bacteria can develop. When this bacteria grows, a breakout occurs. There are, however, other factors that can increase your risk of having clogged pores, and even affect how severe your breakout is. These factors include your environment, your contact with dirty items like your phone or even your pillow, your genetics, your diet, and even your levels of stress on a day-to-day basis. In fact, genetics is the #1 reason why you may be prone to acne.

3. The Sun Can Make Acne Worse

Dr. Frankel and her team at RI Skin Doc are very outspoken on the dangers the sun can pose to your skin, but did you know that too much sun can also make your acne worse? Excess exposure to UV rays doesn’t just cause more breakouts. If you’ve already been struggling with acne and have acne scars on your face, too much sun can also darken those scars, leaving more noticeable blemishes that can leave you feeling self-conscious. Including oil-free SPF products in your regular skincare routine is a must for your skin in order to combat acne, decrease signs of aging, and reduce your risk of skin cancer.

4. You Can Wash Your Face Too Much

Most people believe that keeping your face totally clean will ensure that they never have a breakout, and logically, it makes sense. If there’s no excess oil and dead skin on your face, your pores can’t get clogged -- right? Not quite. If you scrub, exfoliate and cleanse your face to an excessive degree, your skin will become dry and irritated. In order to compensate, it will naturally produce more oil. If you’re worried about acne, don’t overdo it! A typical routine of washing your face twice a day -- once in the morning, once at night -- will be just fine.

That said, every person’s skin is unique, and determining the right routine for you to prevent acne can be a process. Whether you need professional guidance developing the best acne spot treatment for you, or you need acne treatment for nodules, cysts, or other troublesome breakouts, Dr. Frankel and her team at RI Skin Doc are here to help! If you need an expert acne doctor near you, reach out to us and schedule your first appointment today.

With ongoing safety precautions in place, both RI Skin Doc and Rejuvaderm MediSpa are OPEN for in-person visits by appointment only. If you have any questions about our COVID-19 response, visit our website.