All About Acne

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions and complaints discussed in our office, occurring most commonly in teenagers and young adults but affecting patients of all ages. There are several different types of acne and during June, Acne Awareness Month, we will be offering blog and social media posts to take the guesswork out of your skin!

When it comes to pimples and acne spots here are some common types:

  • Cysts and Nodules: These are usually deep, “underground” and may be painful or sensitive. Often times they may never come to a head, and they tend to stick around for a long time.
  • Pustules: This type of acne is characterized by a red bump with a white top. The white top is a collection of bacteria, dead skin and oil trapped beneath the top surface of the skin.
  • Open comedones: Often times called blackheads – open comedones form when debris like oil clogs a pore and then becomes exposed to the air. Just like leaving an apple on the counter and it turns brown, sebum exposed to air turns dark — hence the term “blackhead”!
  • Papules: These red, mounded bumps typically do not have a white or black top to them and they may also be tender to the touch

There are multiple causes for all types of acne including hormonal changes, medications, diet, product use, and genetic tendencies. The common thread amongst all types of acne is that in order for acne to form a clog occurs in the pore. This can occur because of bacteria, oil, dead skin, etc.

Of course, since there are so many types of acne there are many different treatment options! Oral medications, topical creams, washes, chemical peels, and light therapies are all tools that can be used to treat acne.

Stay tuned this month as we discuss all of these types of acne in our “Acne Pop-Up” series, along with information on how to treat and prevent pesky breakouts. If you, or someone you know, is suffering from acne our medical providers are here to help! Our PA’s and MD’s are now accepting new patients in all locations and wait times are usually less than one week.


Brooke Moss, PA-C, MPH is a board-certified dermatology Physician Assistant. She is accepting new patients in our Edina location.

acne myths

When to Schedule a Visit for Acne Treatment

It’s sometimes hard to know when to get out of the drugstore aisle and into the Dermatology office.  If you’ve been treating acne with over-the-counter treatments (such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid) for over six weeks, or if you’re developing scarring at any point, we recommend coming in for an appointment with one of our providers.  We will gently examine your skin to determine the type of acne you are dealing with and work with you to find the best regimen for your skin.

Every person is different and so are the needs of their skin, but some of the most common acne treatments we prescribe are topical antibiotics and topical retinoids.  These ingredients kill the acne-causing bacteria and make sure your pores stay clear to avoid the development of acne in the first place.  Some patients may get the optimal results with a combination of a course of oral medication and topical medicines.  During your visit, we’ll explain all of your treatment options and help to clear your skin in a safe and effective way.

Lauren Sundick, PA-C, is a board-certified dermatology physician assistant. She is accepting new patients in our Plymouth and Edina locations.


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2 Carlson Parkway N., Suite 100
Plymouth, MN 55447

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