Medical Dermatology

Acne

Acne is an inflammatory skin condition involving hair follicles and sebaceous glands. The areas of skin where the hair follicles are most dense, including the face, back and chest are most often affected. Acne is caused by androgens (male sex hormones). It is most prevalent during the teenage years, but it can persist well into adulthood. While good personal hygiene is important, it is, unfortunately, not a cure for acne.

The four major components of acne are plugging of the follicle, increased oil production, bacteria, and inflammation. Acne may present with comedones (whiteheads and blackheads), papules or red bumps, pustules, or in severe cases cysts and scars. More often, there is a combination of these lesions.

Scarring can be prevented with early appropriate therapy. Acne cysts can be injected with very low dose triamcinolone and if they are of recent onset, will stop hurting within about four hours and subside by the next day. This is compared to many cysts that remain visible for three to four months.If you would like an acne cyst injected, know that we will almost always be able to get you in the same day that you call.

There are a broad range of treatments available to acne patients, including topical antibacterial and antibiotic creams and gels; birth control pills; oral antibiotics; various laser treatments such as Smoothbeam™, Vari-light™, Vbeam™, PhotoDynamic Therapy with the BLU-U™ light and isotretinoin.

Severe acne may be treated with oral isotretinoin. Isotretinoin is a derivative of Vitamin A, formally known as Accutane. Brand names include Sotret, Claravis, and Amnesteem. Isotretinoin was first approved in the United States in 1982 and has been used widely since that time. It is usually taken for 20 weeks and is the only real “cure” for acne. Because of certain side effects, it is highly regulated.

We participate in the federally mandated iPledge program which oversees the prescribing and dispensing of oral isotretinoin. All other treatments help to control the problem until the patient outgrows his/her acne. We can evaluate your skin and recommend an individual treatment plan tailored to your needs.

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Kentfield, CA 94904

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