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

Parrish 1.9mi
9015 US-301 N
Parrish, FL 34219
Sun City Center 11.76mi
4002 Sun City Center Blvd, Unit 102
Sun City Center, FL 33573
Sarasota 17.76mi
2426 S. Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34239
St. Petersburg 20.43mi
2299 9th Avenue N #1D
St. Petersburg, FL 33713
Venice Health Park 33.14mi
1295 Jacaranda Blvd.
Venice Health Park Venice, FL 34292
Clearwater 34.7mi
1122 Druid Rd E
Clearwater, FL 33756
Tampa Palms 36.94mi
15310 Amberly Drive Suite 150
Tampa, FL 33647
North Port – Commons 38.33mi
14840 Tamiami Trail
North Port, FL 34287
North Port – Bobcat Village 39.11mi
2481 Bobcat Village Center Rd, Suite 1
North Port, FL 34288
Englewood 41.02mi
406 N. Indiana Avenue
Englewood, FL 34223
Arcadia 42.93mi
1010 N Mills Ave.
Arcadia, FL 34266
Port Charlotte 44.76mi
2525 Harbor Blvd. Suite 310
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
Zephyrhills 51.2mi
38162 Medical Center Ave
Zephyrhills, FL 33540
Cape Coral 70.34mi
413 Del Prado Blvd S, Ste. 101
Cape Coral, FL 33990
Cape Coral – Surfside 70.49mi
2366 Surfside Blvd Suite C111
Cape Coral, FL 33991
Fort Myers – The Forum 76.27mi
3268 Forum Blvd. Suite 201
Fort Myers, FL 33905
Fort Myers – West 78.86mi
9400 Gladiolus Drive, Suite 320
Fort Myers, FL 33908
Fort Myers – Metro 105 79.46mi
14131 Metropolis Avenue, Suite 105
Fort Myers, FL 33912
Fort Myers – South 79.5mi
7331 Gladiolus Dr.
Fort Myers, FL 33908
Estero 87.69mi
19527 Highland Oaks Drive Suite 201
Estero, FL 33928
Bonita Springs 91.48mi
25987 S. Tamiami Trail, Unit 90
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
Naples – North 97.28mi
1015 Crosspointe Dr.
Naples, FL 34110
Naples – Health Park 97.59mi
11181 Health Park Blvd., Suite 2280
Naples, FL 34110
Naples – Central 99.59mi
9125 Corsea Del Fontana Way Suite 100
Naples, FL 34109
Naples – Colonial Square 104.64mi
1108 Goodlette-Frank Rd. N.
Naples, FL 34102
Naples – Downtown 105.55mi
261 9th St South
Naples, FL 34102
Marco Island 119.36mi
950 N. Collier Blvd. Suite 303
Marco Island, FL 34145
Weston 163.31mi
2625 Executive Park Drive Suite 7
Weston, FL 33331
Boca Raton 164.19mi
2499 West Glades Road, Suite 310
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Deerfield Beach 166.41mi
1880-A W Hillsboro Blvd
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442
Pembroke Pines 169.54mi
603 N. Flamingo Road Suite 350
Pembroke Pines, FL 33028
Hialeah 174.55mi
7100 W. 20th Ave, Suite 702
Hialeah, FL 33016
Bay Harbor Islands 183.62mi
1111 Kane Concourse, Suite 100
Bay Harbor Islands, FL 33154
Mercy Professional Suite 6008 186.44mi
3659 South Miami Ave, Suite 6008
Miami, FL 33133
Mercy Professional Suite 6006 (Formerly Suite 102) 186.44mi
3659 South Miami Ave, Suite 6006
Miami, FL 33133
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