Acne is a nearly universal experience. Acne lesions can appear on any part of the body at any time, and they can have a range of appearances. Lesions can occur at any age and to different degrees of severity, but there are typically more cases of teenage acne than adult acne. Occasionally, mild outbreaks are easily controlled with over-the-counter products, but more commonly, acne will require treatment by a dermatologist.

Whether your acne is chronic or sporadic, mild or severe, visiting Zel Skin & Laser Specialists is a great first step toward perfect skin. Each person is unique, which means the acne treatment that works for one individual may not work for another. Our dermatologists and aestheticians are skilled at assessing your unique skin makeup to recommend and prescribe the treatment that will work for you.


Acne Causes

Acne is caused by overproduction of oil (sebum) in the sebaceous gland and the trapping of dead cells within hair follicles. This can trap bacteria normally found on the skin inside the follicle, which then leads to inflammation. The process may be superficial, as with whiteheads and blackheads, but it can also produce deep, cystic acne.

Some people may be more prone to acne breakouts than others. This is due to a combination of genetics, hormones, stress, exercise, and other environmental factors.


Acne Symptoms

Acne lesions consist of blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, cysts, and nodules, but the type of acne you experience will depend on a variety of factors. Any number of these lesions can appear all over the body, but the most common locations are the face, chest, and back. Acne may also appear on the neck, shoulders, upper arms, scalp, and buttocks.


Acne Treatment

Acne treatment options typically fall into the following two categories:

  • Topical medications and cleaners, which are used to reduce bacteria, remove dead skin cells, remove the plugging of pores, and reduce the presence of oil.
  • Oral antibiotics, which are used to reduce bacteria and inflammation. When appropriate, oral medications can also reduce oil production.

Each person requires an individualized acne treatment plan, which will rely on the type of acne you are experiencing, its severity, the duration, and what will work best for your type of skin. While many over-the-counter treatments advertise overnight results, it will usually take between 4 and 8 weeks to see improvement. In addition to acne medications, some patients may also benefit from acne surgery (excision), chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or laser treatments.


Acne Scars

Some forms of severe lesions can leave behind acne scars. These scars may be raised, pitted, and/or discolored, but most respond well to treatment. If you’re interested in addressing acne scars, or in treating acne in a way that will limit scarring, a dermatologist is necessary.

When to See a Dermatologist for Acne

Most mild forms of acne can be resolved with over-the-counter products, but moderate and severe acne treatments will need to be completed under the supervision of a medical professional. If you’re ready to begin your personalized acne treatment, Zel is a great option for those living in the greater Minneapolis area. Contact Us to schedule an appointment or virtual visit today.


*Results may vary per patient. Services vary by location.