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Acne

Conveniently located to serve Boston, MA

Acne is an exceedingly common condition. Many people think that acne only affects teenagers but this is false – acne can affect adults as well. At our practice, we regularly see patients for treatment of acne in Boston.

For most people, a single cause for their acne cannot be identified. Acne is caused by an interplay between bacteria, oil, hormones and inflammation. If dead skin cells don’t shed as they normally should, clogged pores can result and then lead to acne.

Before

After

Before and After isotretinoin (formerly known as Accutane) – Cheek

Before

After

Before and After isotretinoin (formerly known as Accutane) – Forehead

What Is Acne?

A pimple (a.k.a. zit) is caused when your face’s oil glands overproduce oil that combines with dead skin cells, blocking your pores and hair follicles. Bacteria develops in these clogged follicles and pores, causing a breakout.

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States.
Although it’s common, accurate information about acne can be scarce.

Examples of acne

A pimple (a.k.a. zit) is caused when your face’s oil glands overproduce oil that combines with dead skin cells, blocking your pores and hair follicles. Bacteria develop in these clogged follicles and pores, causing the body to respond with the puss and redness we're all familiar with. Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. Although it’s common, accurate information about acne can be scarce. Not just teens have acne. A growing number of women have acne in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. Dermatologists are not sure why this is happening. But dermatologists understand that adult acne can be particularly frustrating. While hormones play a role in the formation of all acne, there is also an acne condition specifically known as hormonal acne. This condition involves acne breakouts arising from the interaction of one’s hormones on the skin. Hormonal acne does not necessarily mean that one’s hormones are imbalanced. It simply means that the individuals hormones are activating the oil glands in the skin so as to cause acne. Hormonal acne is most often seen in women and can occur in teenagers or it may happen in adult women that never even had acne as a teenager. Flares of hormonal acne often occur either right before or after the menstrual cycle. Unless a patient also has irregular menstrual periods or signs of a hormonal imbalance, blood work is not needed when hormonal acne is present. Hormonal acne often appears on the lower part of the face, including the area surrounding the jawline and the lower regions of the cheeks. It can also appear on the neck. Hormonal acne consists of deeper pimples that patients often describe as “not coming to a head”. As a result, hormonal acne is quite tender. Hormone fluctuations caused by menstruation, menopause, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and increased androgen levels are known to aggravate acne by increasing the production of oil (sebum) in the skin’s pores. Dermatologists are able to diagnose and offer treatment options for hormonal acne. Hormonal acne is best treated using spironolactone (a diuretic) or certain oral contraceptives. These options may require patience, since their effects often appear after months, but they can be quite effective. A new prescription topical cream known as clascoterone or Winlevi® will soon also be available to treat hormonal acne. Spironolactone targets the hormonal causes that trigger acne for women. It is not an option for men, since it is known to cause a number of side effects and decrease levels of testosterone. Apart from spironolactone, certain oral contraceptives are also recommended for women to treat hormonal acne. These options also are not meant for use by men. The new treatment option for hormonal acne, clascoterone (also called Winlevi®), is a cream that reduces the effects that hormone influxes have on inflammation and oil production. It was approved by the FDA in August 2020 for treating acne vulgaris. It can be used by both men and women. Why treat acne? Myths about acne are as common as the skin problem itself. One common myth is that you have to let acne run its course. Dermatologists know that letting acne runs its course is not always the best advice. See our treatment options for acne. Here’s why Without treatment, dark spots and permanent scars can appear on the skin as acne clears. Treating acne not only helps to avoid these blemishes, it also often boosts a person’s self-esteem. Many effective treatments are available at affordable prices.

The Dermatology Institute of Boston can help you with your specific acne situation.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne affects 40 to 50 million Americans. Acne usually begins in puberty, affecting close to 100% of teens, but it isn’t restricted to teens; it also affects 20% of adults 25 to 44.


Guest Lectures and Interviews

State College, Pennsylvania May, 2018

In State College, Pennsylvania, for grand rounds, Dr. Graber spoke as the guest lecturer about how to “Fine Tune Your Acne Patient Encounter.”


American Academy of Dermatology Meeting February 16 – 18, 2018

Dr. Graber attended the AAD Meeting in February in San Diego, California.

As an acne expert, she has been invited to give five lectures, speaking about the following topics:

“Practical Guidelines For Using Spironolactone In Acne Patients”
“Use Of Physical Modalities For Acne”
“Complementary, Natural and Novel Dermatology Therapeutics For Acne: An Evidence Based Perspective”
“Topical Treatment of Acne”

 

Dr. Graber being interviewed by Dr. Tom Hillary from the Belgian Dermatology Association

More women are getting acne

Not just teens have acne. A growing number of women have acne in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. Dermatologists are not sure why this is happening. But dermatologists understand that adult acne can be particularly frustrating.

in American Academy of Dermatology, www.aad.org; Accessed Nov.2017

Book an Appointment for Acne Treatment

Dr. Graber has helped numerous patients effectively treat their acne in Boston. During a consultation, she will speak with you regarding acne solutions, treatment cost, ways to prevent future breakouts, and more. Schedule your consultation today.

 

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Many national publications have quoted Dr. Graber and she is a familiar face on local television.
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Important Announcement

Dear Patients,

Our goal here at The Dermatology of Institute of Boston is protect the health of our patients and staff. To continue caring for our patients during these uncertain times, while strictly adhering to the guidelines set by the CDC, we will be only offering virtual consultations. For some patients, an in person visit is best, but if you feel that your concern could be addressed online, this may be a convenient option for you.

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