For millions of people, managing acne is a daily challenge. In fact, acne is the most common skin disorder in the U.S., affecting nearly 85 percent of all people at some point in their lives. Generally, acne begins at puberty, but adults can develop acne much later. It is an unsightly and often disfiguring skin disorder that is characterized by an inflammation of the skin glands and hair follicles. Various forms of acne treatment are available. 


Acne shows up as an outbreak of pimples, deeper lumps (cysts and nodules), and clogged pores (comedones, either blackheads or whiteheads). It can appear as a single spot or cluster of red bumps that can be accompanied by varying degrees of swelling and pain when there is severe inflammation. Although it is most prevalent on the face, acne can appear on the neck, chest, back, shoulders, upper arms and buttocks. Besides discomfort, acne can cause emotional distress and lead to permanent acne scarring.

What Causes Acne?

All types of acne — blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and cysts — develop when pores in our skin become clogged. The culprit is sebum, an oil in our skin.

The exact cause of acne is unknown, but one important factor is an uptick in hormones called androgens (male sex hormones), which cause the body to make more sebum. Androgen production increases during puberty in both boys and girls, and causes hair follicle sebaceous glands (oil producing glands) to enlarge and overproduce sebum (an oily substance). Hormonal fluctuations later in life, particularly in women, can cause acne flare-up as well.

Another factor is genetics. If your parent has had problems with acne, it is more likely that you will. In addition, certain drugs are known to cause acne. Some cosmetics may alter follicle cells and make them stick together, producing a plugged or clogged pore.

Three major factors contribute to acne breakout:

  • Enlarged oil glands in the skin produce too much oil
  • Hair follicles that release oil become blocked
  • Propionibacterium acnes, a bacteria that lives on the skin within the hair follicles, and thrives when there is a lack of oxygen due to oil clogging the pores

Acne can be caused by exposure to excessive oil; whether applied from skincare products (moisturizers or cosmetics) or picked up from other sources such as kitchen or automotive grease. Wearing tightly-fitting clothing or other items such as sports helmets, backpacks, collared shirts or sports bras can cause acne, as well as exposure to pollution, high humidity or other environmental factors. Although stress is not known to cause acne, it can aggravate the condition.

For women, acne can also be caused by changing hormone levels up to a week before menstruation, during pregnancy or when starting or stopping birth control pills.

One thing is for certain; acne is not caused by poor hygiene. Keeping your skin clean is important, but overly vigorous washing will only cause more oil production and aggravate your condition. There is also no evidence to prove any correlation between diet and acne.

Treatment Options

It typically takes 6-8 weeks to see improvement. Topical antibiotics, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and retinoids are often prescribed. In cases of cystic acne and nodular acne, antibiotics can be given by mouth to decrease inflammation and kill bacteria. Birth control pills can assist in normalizing hormone levels, while Isotretinoin when taken by mouth is highly effective in more severe forms of acne. 

Riverchase dermatologists are experienced with treating all kinds of acne cases from mild (a few whiteheads or blackheads) to severe (nodular or cystic acne). To develop a personalized acne treatment plan that’s right for your situation, your doctor will consider the severity of your acne breakout and past treatment response. Your gender and the degree of scarring that has already occurred are also factors considered when developing a treatment plan.

Our treatment goals for you are to heal existing lesions, stop new lesions from forming, prevent scarring and minimize the psychological stress and any embarrassment caused by this disease so you have the confidence to live your life to its fullest. Your dermatologist may recommend prescription medications, hormone therapy, and topical products. Many in-office procedures such as light therapy such as Blue Light and in the more difficult cases, the use of Photodynamic Therapy, can be performed to improve skin tone, texture, and acne scarring.

Seek treatment early from a Riverchase dermatologist if your acne breakout does not clear up when you practice healthy skin habits.

Locations with this service

38162 Medical Center Ave
Zephyrhills, FL 33540
2625 Executive Park Dr, Suite 7
Weston, FL 33331
Venice Health Park 
1295 Jacaranda Blvd.
Venice, FL 34292
Tampa Palms 
15310 Amberly Dr, Suite 150
Tampa, FL 33647
Sun City Center 
1007 E Del Webb Blvd, Suite 101
Sun City Center, FL 33573
Pembroke Pines 
603 N Flamingo Rd, Suite 350
Pembroke Pines, FL 33028
9015 US Highway 301 N
Parrish, FL 34219
North Port – Commons 
14840 Tamiami Trail
North Port, FL 34287
North Port – Bobcat Village 
2481 Bobcat Village Center Rd, Suite 101
North Port, FL 34288
Naples – North 
1015 Crosspointe Dr.
Naples, FL 34110
Naples – Downtown 
261 9th St S
Naples, FL 34102
Naples – Colonial Square 
1108 Goodlette-Frank Rd. N.
Naples, FL 34102
Naples – Central 
9125 Corsea Del Fontana Way, Suite 100
Naples, FL 34109
Formerly Bowes Dermatology
Mercy Professional Building Suite 6008
3659 S Miami Ave, Suite 6008
Miami, FL 33133
Marco Island 
950 N Collier Blvd, Suite 303
Marco Island, FL 34145
Lakewood Ranch 
8340 Lakewood Ranch Blvd, Suite 260
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
Fort Myers – West 
9400 Gladiolus Dr, Suite 320
Fort Myers, FL 33908
Fort Myers – South 
7331 Gladiolus Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33908
Fort Myers – The Forum 
3268 Forum Blvd, Suite 201
Fort Myers, FL 33905
19527 Highland Oaks Dr, Suite 201
Estero, FL 33928
406 N Indiana Ave
Englewood, FL 34223
Deerfield Beach 
1880 W Hillsboro Blvd, Suite A
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442
1122 Druid Rd E
Clearwater, FL 33756
Cape Coral – Surfside 
2366 Surfside Blvd, Suite C111
Cape Coral, FL 33991
Cape Coral 
413 Del Prado Blvd S, Suite 101
Cape Coral, FL 33990
Bonita Springs 
25987 S Tamiami Trail, Unit 90
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
Boca Raton – East 
200 Glades Road, Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33432
Bay Harbor Islands 
1111 Kane Concourse, Suite 100
Bay Harbor Islands, FL 33154
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