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Medical, Surgical, and Cosmetic Dermatology Located in Southwest Austin, TX

Acne can diminish your self-esteem and confidence, but it can also cause persistent pain and irritation that affects your skin’s overall quality. Double board-certified dermatologists Chelsey Straight, MD, FAAD, FACMS, and Christopher Chu, MD, FAAD, and the team diagnose, treat, and manage all types of acne at Pure Dermatology in Austin, Texas. Whether you’re struggling with cystic acne as an adult or have a teenager hoping to clear persistent blackheads and whiteheads, the team has an effective solution at their office. Call or schedule an appointment online today to learn more. 

Acne Q & A

What is acne?

Acne is a common skin disorder that affects all ages, including teens and adults. It causes red bumps to appear on the skin. While acne can be mild and disappear quickly, many people experience breakouts well into adulthood. Acne isn’t only painful but can also diminish your self-esteem. Proper treatment is essential to improve your skin’s health and appearance.


Are there different types of acne?

Acne typically falls into three categories:

Comedonal acne

Comedones are small red, pink, or flesh-colored bumps that typically appear on the forehead and give the skin a rough texture. Also called mild acne, a small number of papules and pustules often accompany comedones.

Nonscarring inflammatory acne

Nonscarring inflammatory acne usually includes comedones, papules, pustules, and some nodules. While this moderate type of acne is not as mild as comedonal acne, it rarely scars.

Scarring inflammatory acne

Scarring acne is usually nodular or cystic, meaning it develops deep beneath your skin. This type of acne is severe and painful. Without professional intervention, nodules and cysts can take weeks or months to heal and cause scarring.


What causes acne?

Acne occurs when the hair follicles in your skin become clogged with dead skin cells, bacteria, and sebum (an oily substance the sebaceous glands produce).

While acne can affect any age, it’s most prevalent during puberty, when the sebaceous glands produce excess sebum to moisturize the skin. Breakouts are also common during pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause.


Some individuals are more prone to acne than others. Common risk factors for acne include:

  • Genetics/having a family history of acne
  • Certain foods (white bread, processed foods, potatoes, etc.)
  • Corticosteroids, anabolic steroids, and other medications
  • Stress
  • Cosmetics and skin care products

Many endocrine disorders, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can also increase your risk of acne.


How is acne treated?

The best acne treatment depends on your skin type, genetics, medical history, and the type of acne you have. After a comprehensive skin evaluation, the team at Pure Dermatology may recommend:

  • Topical or oral antibiotics
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Salicylic acid
  • Retinoids
  • Isotretinoin
  • Steroid injections

Some individuals with acne respond well to hormone therapy. The team may also encourage lifestyle changes, such as avoiding exfoliating cleansers and oil-based cosmetics.

Call Pure Dermatology today at 512-766-2610 or schedule an appointment online to learn more about acne.