Healthy Skin: Taking action against acne

IT’S TIME for back to school, and for teens with acne, this can be even more stressful. Acne is the papules and pustules that develop on the face, back, and chest usually at the onset of puberty. It is not uncommon to have acne as early as 10 years of age. Normal onset is between ages 10 and 15, but it can continue into adulthood.

Many old wives tales say that a diet high in fat and oils cause acne. That is not always true. There were a few recent studies presented at the Florida Society of Dermatology PAs Conference that did find chocolate as well as a diet high in sugars (high glycemic diet) seem to influence an increase in acne eruptions.

Washing twice a day with a gentle acne wash and warm water help remove the excess oil. I recommend Cetaphil Oil Control wash and sunscreen moisturizer. Use cosmetics that are non-comedogenic. Over-the-counter products with Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic acids can be used daily if needed. Do not over wash, scrub, pick, or pop; this causes irritation and can lead to scarring.

There are treatments for acne scarring that can improve the appearance of the skin. Chemical peels with glycolic or Salicylic acid are sometimes used to help open blocked pores. Normally costing between $60 and $100, it may take a series of three or more to achieve the results you are wanting. Laser treatments are sometimes recommended because they achieve greater results more quickly than other methods, making it a worthy investment.

For acne that is persistent, I recommend seeing a dermatologist for an evaluation. Often an oral antibiotic and a topical medication can improve acne within a few months.

This column is sponsored by Central Florida Dermatology.



BIO: Christy A. Merrick, ARNP-C, is an AANP board-certified advanced registered nurse practitioner. She attended Polk State College for her AA and AS in Nursing in 1995; earned her BSN in Nursing from the University of South Florida in 2004; and her Master’s Degree from Florida Southern College in 2007. She also obtained her post Master’s from Florida Southern College in 2011. For more information about Christy and the staff at Central Florida Dermatology, go to or call (863) 293-2147 to make an appointment.

Accessibility Toolbar