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Dermatologist Doctors & Clinics
in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

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Duane J. Lichtenwald, MD
211-39 23rd Street East
Saskatoon, SK S7K 0H6

Peter Robin Hull, MD, PhD
Division of Dermatology
Royal University Hospital
103 Hospital Drive
Saskatoon, SK S7N 0W8



Causes of Acne & Treatment Options

Acne is the term used for inflamed pores (blackhead or whitehead), nodules or even cysts that occur on face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and the upper part of arms. Though is not a dangerous disease, it can be annoying. In those with severe acne, it may cause permanent marks.

Acne affects 90 percent teenagers (12-17 years) and can continue to occur with less frequency in adults aged 20 to 40 years. Acne effects in both women and men, but males are predisposed to more grave forms of acne.

The main causes of acne include:

  • Hormones – the period when acne begins coincides with period when the body starts to produce androgen hormones. One of their actions is to enlarge the sebaceous glands which increase sebum production.
  • Cosmetics – some cosmetic and hygienic products contain substances that have as effect to close hair follicles. It’s an easy form of acne, but a persistent one.
  • Increased production of sebum – blemishes are due to the hair follicle’s obstruction by a mixture of sebum and dead epithelial cells. The sebum lubricates the skin and has the role of a protective wall to avoid drying.
  • Changes in the hair follicles – normally, dead epithelial cells are eliminated without any problems. Increased sebum production combined with hyper-stimulation caused by androgen hormones lead to hair follicle’s obstruction and a sebum accumulation in the cell.
  • Bacteria – on skin surface and inside of the hair follicle exists a bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes that is responsible for inflammation of the follicle and skin.
  • Environment

Some people try to treat acne at home using treatments suggested by friends or natural remedies. These have no success because acne develops emotional and physical effects which last longer than eruption itself. They should see a dermatologist when:

- Lesions produced by acne are big and create scars;
- Improperly treatments used have no results.

Acne can be treated using:

Self care at home – face has to be washed with a soft soap once or twice a day with the purpose of eliminating oil surplus from the skin’s surface. It’s compulsory to make a gentle massage of the skin and do not scrub it roughly; this will make the acne worse.

Medical cure – there are a lot of treatments to help fight acne troubles. People can use special creams that are applied directly on the skin’s surface, while strongly medication, like hormonal therapies and antibiotics, are taken oral. Creams don’t have secondary effects. Most popular are:

  • Benzoyl peroxide, inhibits skin’s dryness and kills Propionibacterium;
  • Retin-A, inhibits acne’s occurance;
  • Acetylsalicylic acid.

Antibiotics complete the treatment of special creams. They are prescribed by dermatologist and its role is to kill bacteria, decrease redness and inflammation of the skin. Can be find in different shapes: lotion, gel, pills.

Myths about Acne

  • Frequent washing of the face helps to eliminate spots. Acne is not caused by dirt and excessive washing irritates and dries the skin. Exfoliating products have to contain small particles because the bigger ones scratch membranes.
  • Acne is caused by diet. Researches couldn’t find a connection between food and acne. Changing diet does not affect acne.
  • Sun is good for acne. The sun can rush healing but also produce skin’s lesions. After exposure acne will be amplified.
  • Acne is caused by stress. Stress doesn’t have as effect acne, but some pills used to treat it can guide to incidence of acne.
  • Heredity.

Prognosis for some acne types is brilliant. Treating acne means not only to heal, but also to prevent the scars which occur. Though scars can be treated by dermabrasion technique, chemical peels or laser sessions.


Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Dermatologist Doctors & Clinics