Acne Treatment Iowa City IA

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Theodore James Alkousakis
(319) 356-7546
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialty
Dermatology

Data Provided By:
Christopher James Arpey, MD
(319) 356-2856
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialties
Dermatology, Internal Medicine
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Rochester Sch Of Med & Dentistry, Rochester Ny 14642
Graduation Year: 1986
Hospital
Hospital: U Of Iowa Hosp & Clinics, Iowa City, Ia
Group Practice: University Of Iowa Clinic-Derm

Data Provided By:
Vincent Liu, MD
(319) 384-6845
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialties
Dermatology, Dermatopathology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Pa Sch Of Med, Philadelphia Pa 19104
Graduation Year: 1996

Data Provided By:
John S Strauss
(319) 356-1604
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialty
Dermatology

Data Provided By:
Darin S Epstein, MD
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialties
Dermatology, Dermatopathology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Johns Hopkins Univ Sch Of Med, Baltimore Md 21205
Graduation Year: 1998

Data Provided By:
Carrie E Cera Hill
(319) 356-2256
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialty
Dermatology

Data Provided By:
Seema Sahai
(319) 356-2256
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialty
Dermatology

Data Provided By:
Katherine J Ayers, MD
(319) 356-2274
200 Hawkins Dr # BT 2045-1
Iowa City, IA
Specialties
Dermatology
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

Data Provided By:
Mary Seabury Stone, MD
(319) 356-0556
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialties
Dermatology, Dermatopathology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Baylor Coll Of Med, Houston Tx 77030
Graduation Year: 1981
Hospital
Hospital: U Of Iowa Hosp & Clinics, Iowa City, Ia
Group Practice: Faculty Practice Plan Univ Of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics

Data Provided By:
Michael J Messingham
(319) 356-2856
200 Hawkins Dr
Iowa City, IA
Specialty
Dermatology

Data Provided By:
Data Provided By:

Suggestions for Acne Treatment?

Q. Do you have any suggestions for the treatment of acne? -Karen

Q. Do you have any suggestions for the treatment of acne? I’ve been researching accutane but am looking for a safer solution. Thank you, Karen

Hi Karen,

Acne is a common problem for many which occurs when oil and sebaceous glands that produce sebum to lubricate the skin get clogged by skin cells. The obstructed gland swells with excess sebum and becomes inflamed and sometimes infected. This results in a variety of appearances from whiteheads, blackheads, papules and pustules, to cysts that are large inflamed pus filled lesions that leave scars. 

The cause of this increase in sebum production is not really known but it’s thought that hormones play a role. For women, the week before menses is a common time of occurrence. High testosterone levels, especially in people who abuse exogenous testosterone, is known to correlate with acne. The use of hair and face products such as make-up that contains vegetable or animal oils will certainly contribute to blocking the oil glands. Medications linked to an increased occurrence of acne include: corticosteroids, androgens, birth control pills, lithium, halogens, isoniazid, phenytoin, and phenobarbitol.

Treatment options begin with the basics, which you have likely already addressed such as keeping the skin free of oils, washing with soap to reduce bacterial counts, and over the counter use of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.

Your doctor will likely recommend antibiotics such as clindamycin or erythromycin to kill bacteria in an attempt to reduce inflammation. If you choose this approach I would recommend the topical varieties so that you avoid a systemic exposure. Antibiotics will kill bacteria in your bowel that are important for immune system to work effectively. Other options like retinoids (Retin-A) are medications derived from vitamin A and work by unclogging pores and reducing inflammation but can cause significant side effects such as peeling, redness and photosensitivity (sun burn).

Accutane is another well known acne treatment but we are not sure exactly how it works. Has great potential to cause birth defects in women.

Food and acne is always a popular discussion but from a scientific aspect there is no evidence that food effects acne, not even chocolate. The one possible exception would be that if you have a food allergy then this can upset your delicate immune balance and play some role. Many people have IgG food sensitivities and are completely unaware. If you have any symptoms such as joint pain, headache, rash, gas, bloating, congestion, cough after eating a particular food then you may have an allergy to that food and should get further evaluation which can be done through a simple blood test. Look at Alletess or Immuno Lab online for more information.

Natural therapies that offer hope:
Zinc has been shown in studies to reduce the effects of acne. Be careful not to take too much as zinc excess can...

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