Acne Specialist

Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston

Dermatologists located in Cypress, TX

Whether you’re a teenager or older, if you have acne, you’re looking for solutions to make your skin smooth and clear again. Lisa Hitchins, MD, an acne expert at Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston in Cypress, Texas, tailors acne treatments to help your skin regain its balance. If you’re a man, woman, or teen in the Houston area who wants to clear away acne lesions from your face, neck, chest, back, or shoulders, contact Dr. Hitchins by phoning her friendly staff or booking a consultation online.

Acne Q & A

What is acne?

Acne is a common skin disorder that tends to afflict young men and women in their teens. However, about 20% of acne sufferers are adults.

Acne usually appears in conjunction with the hormonal changes associated with puberty, starting somewhere around the ages of 10-13 years. Acne develops when secretions from your sebaceous glands -- otherwise known as your oil glands, which are located at the bottom of your hair follicle -- clog the follicle opening.

Large clogged openings appear as small, dark spots called blackheads. Small clogged openings look like flesh-colored or whitish bumps known as whiteheads.

Both blackheads and whiteheads (also known as comedones) can progress to full-blown, inflamed acne lesions (papules) or pus-filled lesions (pustules).

In severe acne, the pores are so clogged that firm, inflamed, and sometimes hard, painful, infected nodules form underneath the skin, too. Cystic acne is characterized by deep, painful, pus-filled pimples (cysts) that may cause severe scarring.

Why do I have acne?

You didn’t get acne because you ate too many chocolate bars or potato chips. Your genes and hormones cause acne. Other factors that contribute to acne include:

  • High levels of androgens, like testosterone (common in both girls and boys during puberty)
  • Oily skin
  • Bacterial overgrowth in the clogged follicles (Propionibacterium acnes)
  • Some oral contraceptives
  • Injectable contraceptives
  • Hormone-releasing IUDs
  • Stress

How do dermatologists treat acne?

Dr. Hitchins helps you get your acne out of control with lifestyle adjustments, topical medications, and — in severe or recalcitrant cases — oral medications. She advises against popping or squeezing acne lesions yourself to avoid damaging your skin or causing an infection.

Possible adjustments and therapies include:

  • Gently cleansing skin with mild cleanser and astringent twice a day
  • Only using non-comedogenic cosmetics
  • Protecting your skin with daily sunscreen
  • Topical preparations with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulfur, or Resorcinol
  • Prescription medications such as antibiotics or Accutane
  • Oral spironolactone (recalcitrant cases and women who have PCOS)

When you’re ready to get your acne under control, contact Dr. Hitchins at Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston by contacting her friendly and supportive staff.