How Is Acne Treated?


Dr. Graber's approach to acne treatment

My approach to acne is that all acne deserves to be treated. Whether a patient has 30 pimples or 1, if it is bothersome to them, we should treat it with the same sincerity. Acne can severely impact one’s quality of life and treating it can be life changing.

– Dr. Emmy Graber

Acne is an exceedingly common condition in both teenagers and adults. Those with acne often suffer from feelings of low self-esteem. At The Dermatology Institute of Boston, we specialize in treating acne in Boston, along with acne scars. Our experienced providers help patients clear their skin and regain their self-confidence. There are many acne treatments available today. Some treatments, such as washes and gels, are available at your local drugstore without a prescription.

Similarly, these drugstore solutions can be a dead-end for many people as some don’t experience any change in their skin at all. If you feel like you’ve tried it all and haven’t seen any progress, it’s a good idea to visit us at the Dermatology Institute so we can help you find an acne treatment that works.

Other prescription treatments are available from your dermatologist, including creams, gels, washes, and pills. We are one of the most comprehensive practices in Massachusetts when it comes to available options for acne treatment. However, we are currently not offering Sebacia acne laser treatment for patients at the moment. Our experienced and skilled aesthetician also offers a medical cleansing facials and chemical peels to help acne-prone skin.

We provide a wide range of techniques for acne scar treatment that are suitable for the severity of your particular condition. We can also prepare you to ward off the source of acne scarring by mitigating regular pimples, bacne, and solutions for safe and effective blackhead extraction.

Dermatology Review Patient

It’s been a long journey to get my acne under control. Knowing that Dr. Graber felt confident in the treatment plan helped me have patience. I felt like Dr. Graber and I were a team in the fight against my acne.

– Natalie Elliott, patient

Our Acne Treatment Options

Some of the available treatments at The Dermatology Institute of Boston for acne and acne scars:

No acne treatment works immediately, and it takes weeks to months to see improvement. Sticking to a regimen tailored to each individual’s skin needs by one of our professionals is the best path to clearer skin. You also have to consider what may be causing your acne, as it could be due to hormones, stress, dietary habits, and more.

Acne medication is always bound to help, but considering the sensitivity of each person’s skin, you may have to try numerous solutions to find what works best for you. Before anything, you’ll want to have a consultation with us to determine which acne treatment is optimal for your desired outcome. This requires knowing more about your skin type, current acne situation, and what you’d like to see change by the end of your treatment.

Acne patient before


Acne patient after

Current patient:
before she started care and after being seen at
The Dermatology Institute of Boston

Treatment for Acne Scars

In addition to damaging one’s self-esteem, acne can cause permanent scarring. We also offer a number of treatments available to minimize acne scarring. Some of the treatments performed at The Dermatology Institute of Boston include chemical peels, laser treatment, microneedling, and filler injections. We’re dedicated to providing the best acne treatment for each patient’s unique needs, and even if it takes a little trial and error, we’ll be able to find the light at the end of the tunnel eventually. Whether you’re in need of an acne spot treatment or potentially a cystic acne treatment, there are numerous solutions available to help clear up your skin and avoid as much scarring as possible.

No matter how effective a procedure may be, acne treatments aren’t known to be an overnight process. It may take multiple sessions in conjunction with at-home remedies for the best result. For some people, achieving the clear skin they’ve always wanted requires a team effort with everyone involved.

It’s widely known that acne can be stubborn and quickly get ahead of you if you don’t act on it. With the many known types of acne, you may be experiencing back-to-back whiteheads or pesky nodular acne that can be pretty painful at times. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t lose hope as we’re here to provide our expertise so you can get your skin back on track. You can rest assured that we take a customized approach to every situation, and you’ll be thoroughly educated every step of the way so you understand exactly what needs to be done.

Acne treatments can come with a long road of dedication, and although they may be exhaustive, you’ll eventually end up with the skin you’ve always wanted. It’s also important to us that we consider your budget, and we try our best to develop cost-effective treatments that work the first time instead of sending you down a rabbit hole of endless treatments.

How Much Does Acne Treatment Cost?

Generally, we offer a set fee for new acne initial consultations and a smaller fee for all follow-up visits. The cost of follow-up visits may vary depending on the needs of the individual patient, but will always be disclosed prior to the appointment or service. Please call our office for more information!

Find Out More

To learn more about the many treatment options we offer for acne in Boston, contact our office today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Graber, Dr. Meyer, or Dr. Al-Haseni. If you’re curious about cost, treatment schedule, or any other aspect of the process, she will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Don’t hesitate to pursue the acne treatment you need, as everyone deserves to feel good in their skin.

Acne Treatment FAQs

How Can I Stop Acne on My Face?

We don’t know exactly why some individuals get acne. Likely, acne is driven by many factors including: genetics, hormonal changes, inflammation and bacteria. Although there is no surefire way to prevent acne outbreaks, there are some steps you can take that may be effective. These efforts include washing your face twice daily with a mild cleanser, avoiding touching your face and removing any makeup at the end of the day. You should also avoid over-drying your skin.

Makeup can clog pores and lead to pimple formation, so choose cosmetics that are labeled non-comedogenic. Be sure to remove all makeup completely and cleanse your face before bed.

While oily skin is often associated with acne, having skin that is too dry can also be a problem. When your skin is overly dry the protective layer of your skin, called your skin barrier, may not be functioning properly and this may make you more acne prone. Additionally, with dry skin, your oil glands may work overtime. Oil overproduction is a condition ripe for acne, so be sure to moisturize, particularly in cold, dry weather. Additionally, refrain from using astringents too often as these substances can dry out your skin.

How Can I Treat My Acne?

Many patients first try over-the-counter products for their acne. However, if these products don’t work well, then it’s time for professional acne treatment. A dermatologist has access to prescription topical and oral acne treatments, plus the knowledge and training to choose which treatments are best for your acne.

Compliance is a crucial part of acne treatment. You should diligently follow your dermatologist’s instructions to achieve the best results. In other words, take or apply medication as directed and make any recommended lifestyle changes.

What Is the Best Medicine for Acne?

There is no one best medicine for all acne cases. The best treatment for your acne depends on the type of acne you have, your medical history, and several other factors. Your dermatologist may prescribe cleansers, gels, oral medications, creams, or a combination of these acne treatments.

Why Is My Acne Not Clearing Up?

Sometimes over-the-counter treatments are just not powerful enough to handle stubborn acne. In other cases, a patient may be using the wrong products altogether. Keep in mind that successful acne treatment may take months, and severe acne is rarely cleared in a matter of days.

If you find that your acne is resistant to treatment or recurring often, consult the Dermatology Institute of Boston. Your board-certified dermatologist can make expert recommendations on how to get rid of acne and keep your skin healthy.

At What Age Is Your Acne the Worst?

Acne may occur at any age, and it is not just a condition for teenagers! Adults also suffer from acne, and we have treatments available for patients of all ages.

What Is the Main Cause of Acne?

Acne can form as a result of many causes, but hormonal changes may be one of the culprits. As people enter adolescence, an increase in the production of hormones called androgens begins. Acne often occurs when androgen levels rise.

Of course, several other factors can contribute to acne problems. These factors include stress, skincare regimen, hygiene, genetics, environment, and diet. You can reduce some of these risk factors, but others are beyond your control, like your genetics.

There are different kinds of acne, and your dermatologist can determine which type you have. Then, they can work with you to develop an effective treatment plan based on your individual situation and any contributing factors.

Does Eating Chocolate Cause Acne?

Eating chocolate can indeed be too much of a good thing, but there is no conclusive evidence that chocolate consumption leads to acne. A diet high in fat and sugar is unhealthy, and a balanced diet promotes a healthy body both inside and out. Your dermatologist may recommend dietary changes, but you will likely still be able to enjoy an occasional bite of chocolate.

What Is Best for Breakouts?

Acne is often a chronic or long-lasting condition. A breakout is an acute flare-up of acne when pimples appear in greater numbers or prominence. Treatment of acne breakouts may differ from the acne treatment you use daily. If you experience flare-ups, speak with your dermatologist about treatments you can use to bring the breakout under control. They may also recommend lifestyle changes to minimize the severity and frequency of your breakouts.

At What Age Do Pimples Stop?

Hard to say! For reasons we don’t understand, acne seems to be increasingly seen in adults, especially adult women. Acne was once considered to be just a condition that teenagers had but more and more we are seeing that acne may linger into adulthood or even start in adulthood.

Should I Pop My Pimples?

It’s not a good idea to pop pimples unless instructed by your dermatologist. Popping, scratching, or picking certain types of pimples may contribute to acne scarring.

How Can I Treat My Acne Scars?

Unfortunately, acne can leave noticeable scars in the skin that last for decades. Scars form when pimples damage the deeper layers of the skin. Scarring is particularly common with cystic acne, a type of acne characterized by pus-filled large bumps. However, you can get scarring even from small, tiny pimples.

Acne scarring can have a significant impact on your self-esteem and social interactions. The blemishes left behind by acne may be a source of embarrassment. Understandably, many adults and teenagers want to eliminate or at least reduce their acne scars.

Fortunately, there are many acne scar treatments available these days. Even depressed acne scars and pockmarks can be improved with today’s treatments. Modern dermatology has options including: lasers, chemical peels, dermal fillers, and microneedling.

Whatever acne scar treatment regimen you undergo, you can rest assured that the board-certified dermatologists at the Dermatology Institute of Boston will select treatments based on your unique circumstances and needs.

Should I See A Dermatologist for Acne if I don’t have insurance?

Yes, you can see one of our board-certified dermatologists for your acne, even without insurance. We accept self-pay patients, meaning you will pay out of pocket for a visit. We recommend not delaying care for acne, as acne scars can be difficult to improve (and sometimes permanent).

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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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