02 Jan Acne and Rosacea are Top Medical Dermatology Concerns
The majority of people will struggle with acne at some point in their lives, and it’s far from a cosmetic concern. Spectrum Dermatology is your local, leading dermatology clinic in Phoenix that addresses all skin issues including acne. We often think of acne as a skin issue reserved for teenagers and a rite of passage, but the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that 80 percent of people aged 11 – 30 have acne breakouts, and that these can continue well past the age of 30.
The Real Cause of Acne
Both hormone changes and stress can exacerbate acne, which is why we often see it in adolescents. However, the real cause of acne is clogged pores combined with bacterial growth, which is why we’re all at risk of struggling with this embarrassing and sometimes painful medical condition.
Acne often appears on the face, but can also be found on the neck, back, shoulders, and chest. While acne isn’t a dangerous health condition, severe acne (like cystic acne) can cause permanent scarring. The good news is that seeing a dermatologist regularly can help prevent acne and treat the scars it leaves behind.
Unfortunately, a lot of misinformation and myths persist around acne, like the idea that it’s caused by poor hygiene or eating chocolate. Neither of these will cause the clogged pores that are critical for acne development. There are different types of acne, all ranging in severity, and each may require different treatments. Papules are the least severe and look like small bumps. Pustules, also known as pimples, are filled with a white or yellow fluid and can have a red base. Nodules and cysts are the most painful and severe, with nodules located deep within the skin and very painful to the touch. Cysts are also deep and painful, but differ from nodules because they are filled with pus and are more likely to cause scarring.
Treatment plans will depend on your skin, the type of acne to be treated, and your response to the treatment. Over the counter and home remedies only work (sometimes) on less severe acne. Your dermatologist might recommend a prescription topical or medication, and may recommend laser skin resurfacing to treat lingering acne scars.
It’s Not All Roses with Rosacea
Rosacea isn’t as common as acne, but it’s still a regular condition seen at the dermatology office. Nobody knows exactly what causes rosacea, a skin disorder that looks like severe redness and blushing. However, what we do know is that those with darker skin tones are notoriously under-diagnosed when it comes to this condition. The idea persists that only those with little melanin get rosacea, but the reality is that rosacea affects people of all skin tones.
It’s estimated that rosacea can be found in 10 percent of white populations, or 16 million American adults. Most patients are women over the age of 30. However, considering that rosacea in non-white populations is under-reported, historical estimates detailing rosacea in these populations is likely inaccurate. The inconsistency in the reporting of rosacea is likely due to under-recognition and the ability of melanin to hide the traditional symptoms of rosacea. Rosacea simply won’t appear red when patients with darker skin tones see their dermatologist.
However, facial redness is just one symptom of rosacea. Many patients also present with papules and pustules, dry skin, and a burning or stinging sensation. Plaques can also appear on the skin in some situations. Both flushing and pustules are the most common symptoms of rosacea in people of color, but pustules might be misdiagnosed as simply a form of acne. That’s why it’s so important to get a correct diagnosis from a respected dermatologist—otherwise, you might be “treating” the wrong condition.
Get Help for Skin Issues
Whether you’re struggling with acne, rosacea, or any other type of skin concern, help is available. You don’t need to let these conditions run their course, especially when they can cause discomfort or long-term scarring. Working with a dermatologist gives you access to the most effective and cutting-edge treatments for fast relief. Any skin disorder can lower confidence, but 2020 is the year you can reclaim healthy skin and self-esteem. Contact Spectrum Dermatology at (480) 948-8400 to schedule your consultation today.