Acne Specialist

Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center

Eleanor Y. Ford, MD

Dermatology Clinic located in Silver Spring, MD

Severe acne often doesn’t respond to over-the-counter skin care products. If you’re suffering from acne, Dr. Eleanor Y. Ford of Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, will explain why you have acne, and prescribe effective treatments to control the breakouts. Call or make an appointment online to learn how you get the clear skin you've always wanted.

Acne

by Eleanor Y. Ford, MD

What is acne?

Acne is a skin condition characterized by clogged and inflamed pores. Acne develops when the pores become blocked with sebum (the oil produced by your skin) and skin cells. When the pore is clogged, the surrounding tissue becomes inflamed causing a red, raised pimple to develop. While acne is most common in teenagers, it can affect patients of all ages. Acne can also develop anywhere on the skin, but it’s usually found on the face, neck, back, shoulders, and chest.

What causes acne?

There are a lot of old wives’ tales about what causes acne: chocolate, caffeine, greasy foods. There is an element of truth in some of these stories, but it’s not so simple as avoiding chocolate to have clear, smooth skin. There are four primary contributors to acne: oil production, skin cells, clogged pores, and bacteria. If your skin produces an excess of oil, your dead skin cells get trapped instead of sloughing away. Pores and hair follicles become inflamed once bacteria get trapped inside them. Hormones play a significant role in the production of oil, which is why acne is often more common in teenagers.

This is also where the old wives’ tales come into play. If you have a sensitivity to certain foods such as dairy or gluten, your body may respond in a way that triggers an acne flare up. Any sensitivities will need to be diagnosed by your doctor, and it isn’t recommended to make any major dietary changes without medical supervision.


How is acne treated?

Dr. Ford diagnoses and treats each patient’s acne with a customized approach. In some cases, special skin care products may be prescribed to regulate the amount of oil on the skin while also exfoliating to remove dead skin cells effectively. Other patients may benefit from prescription medications, retinoids, or even antibiotics. Treatments like microdermabrasion and laser resurfacing can help to clear away excess oil and skin cells which can help with acne as well as treating acne scarring.


Can I do anything to prevent acne?

Taking care of your general health will reflect in healthy, clear skin. Follow a healthy diet, don’t smoke, and drink plenty of water. You’ll want to wash and moisturize your face with the best products for your skin type, which helps to keep your skin clear of excess oil and remove dead skin cells. If you continue to develop severe acne, call or book online to make an appointment with Dr. Ford. She’ll get to the bottom of your acne and deliver treatments to clear your skin.