Acne, or Acne Vulgaris, is the most common skin condition in the United States, with 40 to 50 million Americans reporting having it. It is frequently seen in teenagers, and adults in their 20's and 30's, but it can occur at any age. Even newborns, children, and menopausal women can suffer from acne. 

Here at Bahr Dermatology, we believe that regardless of your age or gender, our patients can have clearer skin with a little help. Dr. Bahr stays up-to-date on the lates medical advances and treatments to deliver personalized, effective treatment. 

What Is Acne?

Many people refer to their acne as, simply, "pimples. However, there are several types of blemishes. 

  • Blackheads (open comedones)
  • Whiteheads (closed comedones)
  • Papules (red, inflamed bumps)
  • Pustules (red bumps with white, fluid-filled centers)
  • Cysts
  • Nodules (lumps under the skin)

These acne lesions are commonly found on the face, chest, neck, back, and shoulders.  

What Causes It?

Acne is a result of pores that are clogged with dead skin cells. Normally the skin sheds these dead cells every day. Healthy skin also produces an important oil called sebum, which prevents our from getting dry. When production of sebum increases for example during puberty, this can cause an individual's dead skin cells to be trapped inside the pore. When normal skin bacteria is introduced into this scenario, it an ideal environment to multiply. The combined effect of bacteria and excess sebum in an individual's pores can irritate the skin, causing it to become inflamed. In some circumstances, this inflammation can damage the lining of the pore, therefore causing a cyst or nodule to appear.

Why Treat Acne?

Dr. Bahr himself knows the value of treating acne. Throughout his teenage years he struggled with deep cystic acne that left him with some scarring and decreased self-confidence. He looks back on those years and recalls feeling like he had the worst acne of anyone he knew. After working with a Dermatologist himself, his acne improved and so did his self-confidence. For this reason, Dr. Bahr is passionate about helping others who struggle with acne. Through effective treatment, our patients can improve their acne, prevent scarring, and boost their self-confidence.

It is important to have realistic expectations when meeting with Dr. Bahr to discuss your acne. Below are some points to consider:

  • Acne improves with time. You should allow for at least 4 to 8 weeks to see progress.
  • The treatments recommended by Dr. Bahr may help to clear existing acne faster, but they are aimed to prevent new breakouts.
  • In order to continue results, patients are encouraged to continue some treatments even after their skin has cleared.
  • At times when your acne goes away, it leaves red/ brown hyperpigmentation which can gradually go away over several months. If it does not, please inform Dr. Bahr to discuss treatment options.

How Is It Treated? 

At your appointment, Dr. Bahr will customize a treatment plan according to your specific needs. Some of the factors that he considers are:

  • Pregncy/trying to conceive
  • Breastfeeding
  • Medication allergies


To control your acne, you may need to use more than one treatment for best results. This approach is called combination therapy. Some common combinations that Dr. Bahr prescribes are: 

  • Topical medications: These are creams or lotions that are either prescriptions or are available over the counter. They are applied to the skin at morning and/or night and are easily integrated into your existing skincare routine. They are helpful in preventing new blemishes, so you should apply them to the entire area rather than "spot treating." Dr. Bahr commonly prescribes or recommends lotions or creams with active ingredients including salicylic acid, retinoids, or benzoyl peroxide. He also favors antibiotics such as clindamycin, sodium sulfacetamide, and dapsone. 

  • Oral Medications: These medications help control more moderate to severe acne. Dr. Bahr may prescribe antibiotics like minocycline or doxycycline. He also prescribes hormonal therapy such as Spironolactone or birth control pills for women who struggle with hormonal acne. Another commonly prescribed medication is Accutane, which is used for moderate to severe acne. Many of our patients experience vast improvement with Accutane therapy.

    • It is important to know that Accutane (Isotretinoin) is a highly-controlled medication that requires monthly monitoring by a dermatologist for use. Females must use two forms of birth control to avoid pregnancy as there is a high risk for birth defects with Accutane. For more information visit ipledgeprogram.com


  • Chemical Peels: Chemical peels can improve light to moderate acne by exfoliating dead skin cells. They can also improve fine lines and wrinkles on the skin.                                                                                                                           
  • Milia Extraction: Dr. Bahr uses a small needle to "de-roof" (the tiny layer of skin trapping the keratin flake inside the pore) He then uses a tool to squeeze or prick out the flake.

 

How Should I Care For My Skin?

Dr. Bahr recommends the following for day-to-day skincare:

  • Be gentle with your skin. Avoid harsh exfoliating scrubs and washes.
  • Wash your face twice a day with warm (not hot) water. Use a gentle cleanser at night and wash with water only in the morning. Excessive washing and scrubbing will not prevent acne, but may irritate it.
  •  Avoid "popping" your pimples. Bacteria from your fingers and under your fingernails can infect open acne wounds.
  • Opt for 'non-comedogenic" cosmetics and sunscreens. Non-comedogenic products do not cause blackheads, whiteheads or red pimples. Bahr Dermatology sells, Elta MD skin care products and our patients love them!

Can I Treat My Scars?

Once your acne has improved you may notice some scarring. Dr. Bahr has several effective treatments for acne scarring including, lasers, chemical peels, microneedling, filler injections, and other procedures.

 

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