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Acne Treatment Options

Acne is one of the most frustrating conditions affecting teen years and can impact self-confidence. Dermatologists can help eliminate or minimize acne through multiple treatments.

Learn more about acne from Dr. Barry Kuttner and Dr. Kathleen Herne at Integrated Dermatology of West Palm Beach.

Causes of acne

Plugged hair follicles, connected to oil glands, are the primary cause of acne. The result is outbreaks of pimples and blackheads from clogged pores.

Some factors worsening acne include the following.

  • Hormones that increase in teens during puberty or women during pregnancy can cause the sebaceous glands to increase secretion of oily matter (sebum) worsening acne
  • Foods such as milk, bread, chips, and chocolate may worsen acne
  • Stress can also increase acne outbreaks

There are many rumors and myths regarding acne, but your dermatologist can help you identify the actual causes and appropriate treatments.

Acne treatment in West Palm Beach

Your dermatologist determines the best treatment for you. There may be multiple treatments depending on the severity of your case.


Lifestyle changes can help you manage mild cases of acne. It is important to keep your face and hair clean to reduce oil. Frequent pillowcase changes can also limit oil buildup.

Wash your face daily using non-abrasive cleansers. Avoid scented lotions and oil-based makeup, which can clog your pores.

Topical solutions

Topical solutions include lotions and creams applied to your skin. Use these solutions in the morning and bedtime after washing your face. Some topical solutions are obtained over-the-counter, while others may need a prescription.

Salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide are often present in over-the-counter solutions. These substances can help reduce oil production and fight inflammation.

When over-the-counter solutions are not sufficient, you may need a prescription medication. Prescription topical medications may contain tretinoin (retinoid from vitamin A), stronger benzoyl peroxide, or antibiotics. If your acne is severe, this may help kill bacteria more efficiently.

Oral drugs

Oral drugs are only available with a prescription from your doctor. When your acne does not respond to lifestyle and topical solutions, you may need prescription topicals. There are three major types of oral drugs available for acne treatment.

  • Antibiotics such as tetracycline
  • Birth control pills to regulate hormone levels in females
  • Isotretinoin regulates skin cell turnover for people with severe cystic acne

Drainage and extraction

Your dermatologist drains large cysts under your skin. The procedure reduces infection by removing fluids, dirt, pus, and dead skin within the cyst. Antibiotics or steroids may be injected into the cyst.

Chemical peels and microdermabrasion

Chemical peels and microdermabrasion can remove the top layer of your skin, pimples, and blackheads.

For more information about acne treatment, contact Dr. Barry Kuttner and Dr. Kathleen Herne at Integrated Dermatology of West Palm Beach in West Palm Beach, FL 561-964-6664.

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