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What is Best for Inflammatory Acne?
Posted by Dr. Robert Levine

What is Best for Inflammatory Acne?

Nothing is worse than trying to deal with persistent inflammatory acne. It can affect your mood, self-esteem, and mental health and even cause some people to withdraw.

All acne stems from some level of inflammation in the body, so learning how to adjust your lifestyle can have a significant impact on having clear and evenly toned skin. If lifestyle adjustments are still not working, there are specific treatment and relief options available.

What is Inflammatory Acne?

Acne can be divided into two different categories: inflammatory and non-inflammatory. Non-inflammatory is caused by clogged sebaceous glands (oil glands) and is the more common form, resulting in blemishes and blackheads.

On the other hand, inflammatory acne is caused by bacteria infecting a blocked pore. When the body detects the bacteria, it attempts to fight it off to keep the body safe, causing the pore and surrounding area to be inflamed.

Instead of minor blemishes or blackheads, inflammatory acne results in more severe blemishes and cysts. It can flare up anywhere on the body and is also commonly found on the chest and back. Unfortunately, it can happen to anyone, from babies to the elderly, and can result in different types of blemishes, including:

  • Papules – inflamed comedones that are red bumps
  • Pustules – larger papules that contain pus
  • Nodules – solid bumps beneath the skin’s surface
  • Cysts – large, fluid-filled bumps deep under the skin (also known as cystic acne)

What are the Main Causes?

Inflammatory acne happens when a pore becomes blocked, usually by dead skin cells. At this stage, the blockage is not visible to the eye. As more dead skin cells accumulate, the pore is enlarged allowing bacteria to enter.

The sebaceous gland at the bottom of the pore works to remove old skin cells. When too many dead skin cells accumulate, the sebaceous gland cannot work quickly enough. This causes the pore to burst, spilling the dead cells and bacteria onto the face, and entering nearby pores. When this happens, it triggers an inflammatory response, pulling additional white blood cells to the area to combat the bacteria.

What Are the Best Treatment Options?

Luckily, inflammatory acne is highly treatable. Doctors can prescribe antibiotics or acne medications, and a dermatologist can administer cortisone to decrease inflammation.

Home remedies commonly involve typical anti-inflammatory treatments, like applying an ice pack or taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory specifically for acne. At-home acne treatment should include topical remedies that contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or sulfur. Aloe vera is also an excellent product for reducing inflammation since it is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and it contains salicylic acid.

When Should You See a Dermatologist?

When an acne breakout happens, whether inflammatory or non-inflammatory, it is helpful to work with a dermatologist. A dermatologist can help pinpoint the issue and offer the best approach for quickly and safely clearing your skin.

You don’t have to suffer from acne alone. The dermatologists at Advanced Dermatology P.C. are here to help. Whether you have a medical emergency or just want to schedule a cosmetic consultation, Advanced Dermatology, P.C. makes it easy to see a top-rated dermatologist. Call or book online to schedule an appointment at one of our 50+ convenient locations.

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