Types of Acne and Treatments

Acne Treatment

Have acne? You are not alone, and it can be treated. Acne vulgaris (acne) affects between 85-95% of teenagers and is the most common skin condition in the United States. It typically has an onset between ages 8-12 yrs of age, peaks at 15-18 years and resolves in most by 25 years of age. For some, acne can persist. Approximately 10-15% of adult females and 3% of adult males continue to suffer from acne.  Long-term effects of acne can lead to permanent scarring and low self-esteem if not treated. At Front Range Dermatology Associates we get it, acne can be both physically and emotionally painful. We are here to help,  we have a highly trained staff who can come up with an individualized treatment plan for you if you are one of many who have acne. Give us a call today.

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What Is Acne?

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become blocked with oil and dead skin cells. Acne typically presents as pimples or pustules, whiteheads, blackheads, or cysts and can appear on the face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders. Acne can range from mild to severe with several causes, including: hormonal changes, genetic predisposition, bacteria on the skin, medications and supplements, and lifestyle factors such as diet and stress. All of these factors lead to an inflammatory response which causes the acne to form. Once the acne lesion forms, any picking or rupture of the lesions can lead to scarring. Acne scarring has been shown to decrease quality of life scores in patients, affecting self esteem and even to the extreme of being less likely to be hired for a job.


The primary factors contributing to acne development include:


Excess Oil Production: sebaceous glands are the oil glands in the skin, and excess oil production by overexpression in these glands leads to acne lesions and clogging of the pore.

Dead Skin Cells: Skin cell turnover is a factor in the formation of acne, and if the turnover is too fast or slow, it causes debris buildup to clog the pore and aid in the inflammatory response.

Bacteria: Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), a type of bacteria that is part of the normal skin flora, can contribute to the inflammatory response when other factors causing acne are present, triggering the bacteria to cause an inflammatory cascade.

Hormonal Changes: Hormonal changes that occur during puberty, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or hormone replacement therapy and hormonal disorders lead to an increase in oil production, and therefore acne lesions.

Genetics: Family history plays a role in determining likelihood of developing acne. If parents or siblings had acne, it is more likely that an individual in the immediate family will develop acne.


What Causes Acne?


Acne starts when the follicular pore clogs with dead skin cells into what is known as a comedone. The skin also has sebaceous glands that empty through the pore. If the pore is plugged, the oil can build up in the pore. There is bacteria that lives on your skin call Propionibacterium acnes, which breaks down the oil in the pore. When the bacteria multiples it leads to inflammation and causes redness, swelling and pain. Hormones control the amount of oil production.


What Are the Types of Acne?


  1. Comedonal acne – consists of white heads and black heads without inflammation.
  1. Inflammatory acne – consists of papules, pustules, or nodules/cysts.


What Are Common Acne Treatments?


While most patient’s acne will resolve with time, waiting for acne to clear on its own can be frustrating. Even mild acne can lead to scarring in 20% of patients, and its effect on appearance can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. The dermatology experts at Front Range Dermatology Associates can develop a treatment program to help your skin feel and look better.


Treatments may include one or more of the following.


  • Topical medications (tretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene, azelaic acid, benzoyl peroxide, sulfur/sulfacetamide, clindamycin, dapsone).
  • Oral medication (minocycline, doxycycline, sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, azithromycin, spironolactone, oral birth controls, isotretinoin).



Schedule An Appointment


Schedule an appointment with one of our dermatology providers for expert advice on effectively treating acne and getting rid of acne scars. Our providers will recommend various treatment options, including over-the-counter remedies, prescription medications, skincare routines, and professional procedures. Additionally, we emphasize the importance of consistent skin care practices, healthy lifestyle habits, and seeking dermatological consultation for personalized treatment plans.


To learn more about the many dermatology services we provide, or to schedule your appointment at our Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley or Ft. Morgan office, call us today at (970) 673-1155.

Premier Dermatology In Northern Colorado

Front Range Dermatology and its expert dermatologist skin care team, is the premier patient choice for experienced, proven, state-of-the-art dermatology procedures, medical skin care & cosmetic body treatments. With dermatology offices conveniently located in Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland, and Ft. Morgan, CO, we proudly serve patients located throughout the greater Northern Colorado and Southeast Nebraska areas.