Acne occurs when the skin's sebaceous glands overproduce oil and it becomes trapped in the sebaceous ducts. This initial lesion of a blocked sebaceous duct is called a comedone. If the comedone is large, it is usually called a blackhead. Oil that is blocked by the comedone builds up behind the blocked pore causing the duct to rupture. When this happens, the body's reaction is to cause inflammation, resulting in a tender red bump we call a pimple. Comedones and pimples resolve within 2 months with prescription retinoid creams such as Retin-A or Tazorac. Topical and oral antibiotics are usually not required unless a skin infection is also present. Acne is caused by eating a high carb diet. so proper nutrition should be addressed as well.
Occasionally deep nodules are seen with acne that leads to severe inflammation and scarring. Oral retinoids such as Accutane may be required to control this type of acne. Once the inflammation is controlled, the scarring may improve significantly within a year. If scarring is still of cosmetic concern, the Active FX fractional CO2 laser improves or eliminates the scarring. More than one laser session may be required for optimal results.