Acne is an extremely common skin condition, impacting tens of millions of adolescents and adults. The fact that it is common does not necessarily make it any easier to live with, and those who have acne outbreaks often feel awkward or self-conscious as a result.

Through proper clinical care, acne symptoms can be reduced, and future outbreaks can be prevented. If you are seeking acne treatment near Oshkosh, WI, consider our services at the Wisconsin Institute of Plastic Surgery.

What is Acne?

Acne is the result of hair follicles below the skin becoming clogged, typically because oil or dead skin cells invade the pores and cause lesions to form. These lesions are more commonly known as zits.

Different Types of Acne

Acne outbreaks can happen on the face, shoulders, chest, and back, and they may result in different types of lesions or blemishes. Some of the most common types of acne include:

Blackheads. When pores become clogged with oil and dead skin cells, they can produce tiny blemishes with a characteristically black appearance.
Whiteheads. Clogged pores can also result in these bumps, which protrude up from the skin.
Papules. Some patients experience such severe inflammation that the walls surrounding their pores deteriorate, which can lead to these hard bumps. Papules can actually be a little bit painful to the touch.
Pustules. Pustules are typically filled with pus, complete with a red or yellow top. Like papules, pustules are usually the result of significant inflammation.
Nodules and cysts. These growths are the result of severe acne. Because they develop under the skin, they are impossible to treat at home.

Meet Our Team

At the Wisconsin Institute of Plastic Surgery, our dermatology physician assistants, Colleen Van Egeren, PA-C and Megan MacCarthy, PA-C, have 34 years of combined experience treating various skin conditions. As dermatology specialists, they would love to talk with you about your needs and recommend a skincare treatment program just for you.

Why Do I Have Acne?

There are a number of common triggers that can cause acne outbreaks or else cause existing outbreaks to worsen. A few of the most common acne triggers include:

  • Hormonal changes, most notably puberty
  • Certain medications, like corticosteroids and testosterone supplements
  • Poor nutrition, including diets that are heavy on carbs
  • Chronic stress and anxiety

Causes of Acne

Acne is usually the result of excess oil production and/or dead skin cells clogging the pores and follicles. Bacterial infection and inflammation can also contribute to acne symptoms.

Diagnosing Acne

Most of the time, it is possible to confirm an acne diagnosis via a simple visual inspection. When you join us at the Wisconsin Institute of Plastic Surgery, your dermatology provider will ask to see the areas where you are experiencing breakouts. Specifically, they will also take a quick look at your shoulders, back, and upper chest.

During this initial appointment, one of our dermatology physician assistants will not only confirm an acne diagnosis but also note the types of acne lesions that are present on your body. Finally, your skincare specialist will work with you to develop the right treatment plan, allowing you to get your breakouts under control and prevent further issues with acne.

How is Acne Treated?

The right treatment plan can not only reduce the symptoms of moderate to severe acne, but also minimize any scarring that results from your acne outbreaks.

Different Types of Acne Treatment

Your dermatology provider will recommend a treatment approach based on your type of acne as well as the severity of your outbreaks. Some of the most common types of acne treatment include:

  • Topical treatments. Prescription retinoids or antibiotics to help get your acne under control. Typically, these will be administered topically in the form of creams or oils. We can prescribe topical treatments that are both more effective and more tailored than anything you could buy at the drugstore.
  • Oral medications. One of our dermatology physician assistants may also recommend oral medications to reduce acne symptoms and either replace or augment topical treatments.
  • Additional therapies. We may also suggest light therapy, chemical peels, or even steroid injections to help keep acne symptoms under control.

How to Care for Acne at Home

There are a few basic steps you can take at home to reduce acne symptoms and prevent future breakouts. Some tips include:

  • Use gentle cleansers. Make sure you clean your problem areas at least two times every day, using a gentle cleanser such as Cetaphil. Use your hands only, not an abrasive cloth. And if you tend to have an oily scalp, be sure to shampoo daily.
  • Avoid irritating cosmetics and skin products. Facial scrubs, masks, and astringents can all exacerbate breakouts and should be avoided. The same goes for greasy or oily cosmetic products.
  • Shower after exercise. Oil and sweat, when left on your body, tend to make breakouts worse. Try to always shower as soon as you can after strenuous, sweat-inducing activities.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. Use non-oily sunscreen products to prevent any irritating effects from the sun.

Seek Acne Treatment from the Wisconsin Institute of Plastic Surgery

Are you looking for more information about acne treatment near the Oshkosh, WI area? We would love to talk with you about different treatment options. Learn about the other dermatology services we offer near Oshkosh, WI and schedule a consultation with us at (920) 944-6614.