What is acne?

Acne is a skin disease caused by the excessive secretion of oil called "sebum" by the sebaceous glands in the middle layer of the skin. Classic acne appearance occurs due to the bacteria called Corynebacterium acnes that appear with sebum secretion after the clogging of the hair root chamber.

How does acne occur?

Different stages of papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts occur as a result of the infection of the oil buttons medically known as comedones, which are formed as a result of increased oil secretion on the skin and clogging of the pores, and which are known as blackheads among the people. Inflamed and more severe acne lesions can leave marks and scars on the skin if left untreated.

Who usually has acne?

Acne is usually observed in young people and teenagers. it is more common in 10-17 yo girls of and in 14-19 yo boys. However, it can occur at the age of 30-40, even in the 50s. It can occur quite frequently in the back, chest, and arm regions of the body, mostly on the face. Acne formation is usually more severe in men.

What are the factors that increase acne formation?

Hormonal, genetic, and environmental factors affect acne formation. Among the hormones, the most effective hormone in both sexes is testosterone. In some cases, excess testosterone secretion may be the cause, and the sebaceous glands may over-respond to the normal testosterone level. Genetic factors are important in acne formation. Fine in one of the parents is the most important factor in the formation of acne in their children. Severe acne may be associated with XYY syndrome. Some medications also increase acne formation. Among these drugs such as lithium, hydantoin, corticosteroids and oral contraceptives can cause acne or exacerbate the acne areas. It is well known that acne formation can be increased by emotional stress, mechanical pressure, mineral oils, and in some cosmetics. Finally, acne formation tends to increase in autumn and winter. If there are environmental factors that will cause acne formation, these should be determined by the dermatologist and eliminated as much as possible.

What are the types of acne and how is it graded?

Acne is classified into three different categories.

Acne Vulgaris. It is the simple acne type observed during adolescence. There are no severe cysts and nodules. It consists of black spots called open comedones, white or yellow-headed pimples called closed comedones, red papules, and pustules containing yellow-tipped pus.

Acne Conglabata. It is a type of acne that is characterized by severe cysts and abscesses observed mostly on the body rather than the face. Chocolate ovary cysts, bleeding irregularity hair growth, infertility, and polycystic ovary syndrome in women can be a part of the general picture.

Acne fulminans. It occurs together with fever, malaise, joint pain, and severe cystic acne. It is more common in males aged 13-17 years.

How is acne treated?

In addition to the treatment of formed acne, the prevention of new formations should be at the forefront. For this, small comedones or black spots without inflammation should be treated. For this purpose treatments with acidic products should be applied. Creams containing azelaic acid, salicylic acid, retinoic acid or chemical peeling procedures with glycolic acid constitute are an important treatment step that prevents comedones from getting inflamed and turning into acne. In inflamed (inflammatory) acne lesions called “pustule”, “nodule”, “cyst”, treatment options ranging from superficial cream treatments to oral antibiotics or retinoic acid are applied depending on the degree of acne.

Topical antibiotic creams, creams containing benzoyl peroxide, and topical retinoid creams are used in the treatment of mild acne. Oral antibiotic therapy (especially tetracyclines not exceeding 3 months) and estrogen-containing drugs can be used in women for moderate acne lesions. For severe acne lesions, isotretinoin treatment can be applied. Acne treatment is a long-term and step-by-step process. Therefore, good patient-physician dialogue and regular check-ups are crucial.

You may find some of our before and after results, below;

ACNE TREATMENT - Before and After Gallery

What kind of retinoic acid (isotretinoin) treatment is used to treat acne?

Systemic isotretinoin therapy is the preferred treatment for severe cystic nodular acne and has been reported with very satisfactory results. Provided that the daily dose is in the range of 0.5-1 mg/kg, if the total human dose is 120 mg/kg or more, you can completely get rid of acne by 60-80%. The duration of treatment can vary from 4 to 8 months, the dose is determined by the dermatologist. Because isotretinoin is a teratogenic drug (which can harm an unborn baby), it should never be used by pregnant women. In addition, oral tetracycline antibiotics which are often used to treat acne and preparations containing vitamin A and isotretinoin should not be used together. Isotretinoin treatment can cause serious side effects. During treatment, the patient's blood lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides) should be monitored monthly. Patients often complain of dryness and cracks in the lips and nose. Frequent and regular use of moisturizers minimizes dry skin complaints.

What problems can acne cause if left untreated?

Scarring is an important complication after mishandling and poorly managed acne therapy. Acne scars can be treated with options such as fractional CO2 laser, fractional radiofrequency needle (gold needle), chemical peel, dermapen, subcision, depending on the depth or extent of acne scars. If you need more information on this issue, you can visit the corresponding page on our website:

What should and shouldn't be done to combat acne?

Scientific studies have not found any connection between acne formation and nutrition (such as fat in the diet). For this reason, patients with acne are not prescribed a diet for a long time. Drinking coffee and cola also doesn't make acne worse. However, while acne is caused by genetic factors and hormones, it can be aggravated by some environmental factors. Humid hot air, pressure on the skin, chlorinated water are physical factors that can be noted. In addition to medication for inflammatory lesions, which we call pustules, pimples should not be squeezed out, otherwise the risk of secondary bacterial infections and acne scars increases. It is possible to reduce the number of blackheads and sebaceous formations, which we call comedones, by using a chemical peel with fruit acids every 3-4 weeks. After peeling, stubborn comedones should be cleaned with a special medical cap after applying steam.

What diseases can be confused with acne?

If acne treatment fails, the possibility that the acne has been confused with another disease should be ruled out and then appropriate treatment should be applied. Rosacea, panniculitis, bacterial and fungal folliculitis with acne-like formations should be excluded at the diagnostic stage.