Too often patients with acne are not given the time and attention needed for them to fully understand the nature and treatment of acne. Our staff has been specially trained to assist you in the proper use of your medications, cleansing agents and cosmetics. We believe we have developed the most well-rounded approach to the treatment of acne.

Your participation is mandatory in the total care of acne. Acne is a chronic problem that requires daily applications of medications and/or taking medication by mouth. If our efforts are to be beneficial, you must do your part at home.

WHAT IS ACNE? Acne is a disorder of hair follicles (pores) and oil (sebaceous) glands. In acne, skin cells lining the hair follicle do not shed properly and form a plug at the follicle opening, called a comedone. Oil and skin cells build up behind this plug and may rupture into the underlying skin forming a pimple. Bacteria growing in the pimple cause more inflammation and the formation of a pustule. Acne can cause significant scarring especially when the patient manipulates the lesions. Scratching or picking of acne is not allowed.

PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS: The prescription medications given to you by your provider were specifically chosen for your skin type and type of acne. These medications must be used on a regular basis to achieve maximum effectiveness. It can take 3-4 months for a medication to be effective. You must be patient and consistent in using these medications. If you have not experienced the desired result by 3-4 months, your provider may switch your medications. If you are unable to tolerate the medications after 2-3 weeks of use, notify your provider.

HOW TO CLEANSE THE FACE: Acne does not result from dirty skin, and excessive washing of the skin can aggravate acne. You should limit washing to no more than two to three times a day. Because you will be placed on medications that have a tendency to make the skin dry and sensitive, we recommend a mild soap such as Neutrogena, Dove, Oil of Olay, Purpose, or Cetaphil. We provide, as a service to our patients, multiple non-prescription products that may assist you in the treatment of acne and overall skin care at our Gainesville Dermatology Aesthetic Center.

MAKE UP: Cosmetic companies routinely test all cosmetics for the ability to cause acne. In general, most cosmetics are very safe for use by an acne patient, however, individual patients may develop acne from any of the cosmetic lines on the market. When choosing cosmetics, look for products that are noncomedogenic, nonacneogenic (non-acne producing) and hypoallergenic.

FOOD: For years it was believed that certain food products, especially chocolate, could worsen acne. It is current medical belief that food types have little to do with the development of acne. If your diet is well rounded, it is unlikely that an occasional candy bar will worsen acne. Each person’s body chemistry is different; if you feel that certain foods make your acne flare it is advisable that these foods be eliminated.

NEW TREATMENTS: Blue Light Treatment for acne is another option for acne patients who are not responding to typical prescription medications or would like another treatment option. Patients who may be candidates for Accutane but who do not wish to use Accutane may have similar beneficial results from Blue Light Treatment. Results vary but may have similar beneficial results to Accutane without the side effects. Ask your medical assistant about Blue Light or visit our Gainesville Dermatology Aesthetic Center for an evaluation.

SCARRING: Finally, there is a new FDA approved treatment for acne scarring. Gainesville Dermatology & Skin Surgery is the first practice in the area to offer FRAXEL laser treatment. Once your acne is clear, it is the perfect time for FRAXEL. Ask your medical assistant about Fraxel laser treatment or visit our Gainesville Dermatology Aesthetic Center for an evaluation.