Acne is the most common of all skin problems in the United States, affecting up to 80% of adolescents and adults at some point in their lives.

Moderate acne may include pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads, while more severe acne causes deep cysts and nodules that appear as lumps under the skin.

What Causes Acne?

Acne occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It usually appears on the face, forehead, chest, upper back, and shoulders because these areas of the body have the most oil-producing glands.

Factors that contribute to the development of acne include the following.

  • Age:Anyone can get acne, but it’s most common in teenagers due to hormonal changes.
  • Genetics:If acne is in your family history, you are more likely to have it at some point in your life.
  • Greasy substances:You may develop acne if your skin has a lot of contact with oil or grease.
  • Friction or pressure:If you often wear tight-fitting collars, helmets, or backpacks that rub against your skin, you may be at higher risk of developing acne.
  • Stress:Stress doesn’t cause acne, but it can make your existing acne flare-ups worse.

Acne Symptoms

Depending on the severity of your condition, you may experience one or more of these acne symptoms.

  • Whiteheads: closed plugged pores
  • Blackheads: open plugged pores
  • Papules: small, sensitive bumps
  • Pustules: pus-filled papules
  • Nodules: solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin
  • Cystic lesions: painful, pus-filled bumps beneath the skin

Acne can leave scars and cause emotional turmoil. The good news is that many effective treatments are available, and the earlier you seek a dermatologist’s help, the more you will decrease your risk of these problems.

How to Treat Acne

There are four grades of acne, and the best treatments usually involve more than one method. Our goal at Comprehensive Dermatology Center of Pasadena is to heal existing pimples, stop new breakouts, and prevent acne scarring.

Toward that end, we offer the best and most advanced acne treatments available today. Using the latest technologies to reduce the production of the skin’s natural oils and speed up the creation of healthy cells, we treat adult acne, teenage acne, back acne, and baby acne.

If the over-the-counter products you have tried haven’t worked, and your acne is interfering with your self-esteem or is leaving you with scars and discoloration, seek medical help. Today, we can successfully treat existing acne, prevent new breakouts, and reduce your chance of developing scars.

Our acne treatment plans are highly customized based on each individual, as no single treatment is effective for all patients. The regimens are based on your skin type, your age, and the severity of your acne. While results may take a few weeks to show up, we will find the best remedies for you so that you can gain control over your appearance and the health of your skin.

The various treatments we offer for acne include:

Topical Medications

After an examination of your skin, we choose a prescription topical medication that is best suited to your skin type, condition, and grade of acne. These medications include alpha hydroxyl acid and Retin-A formulas. Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most effective bacteria killers, or we might give you a prescription for antibiotic cream.

Oral Medications

We sometimes prescribe oral antibiotics or medications such as isotretinoin and spironolactone. Your physician will closely monitor the effectiveness of these medications.

Steroid Injections

Steroid injections are most often used for nodules and cysts, which are two types of acne that cause large, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin. These types of acne can take weeks to resolve on their own.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels come in a variety of formulas and intensities. These peels rejuvenate and improve the appearance and texture of the skin by removing damaged skin layers, causing them to flake off to reveal the healthier, new skin underneath.

Exfoliating dead skin cells also unclog pores and make room for more new skin cells to multiply and move up to the surface of the skin. Though you will notice a distinct improvement after only one treatment, you may see even better results after a series of peels spaced several weeks apart.

Call Comprehensive Dermatology Center of Pasadena today for an examination of your skin or to consult with us if you have been diagnosed with skin cancer.

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Laser Treatments

Most laser and light-based therapies reach the deeper layers of skin without harming the skin’s surface. Because this technology treats the deeper layers, it is one of the best solutions for treating acne scarring and its damaging effect on the skin.


Microdermabrasion is primarily used to treat acne scars rather than acne itself. Known as “skin-sanding,” this non-chemical, minimally invasive procedure removes the very outer layer of the skin, eliminating skin depressions and smoothing the surface. Microdermabrasion is a two-phase process. First, a gentle stream of tiny crystals exfoliates the surface of your skin, creating a renewed appearance by removing dull, dead skin cells. Then, a vacuum whisks the debris away, revealing a clearer, softer complexion. For best results, microdermabrasion generally requires four to six brief in-office treatments per year.

Soft Tissue Augmentation

This procedure involves using an injectable dermal filler to minimize the depressions of acne scars. These fillers are not permanent, however, and typically last about nine months.


We sometimes prescribe deep-cleansing acne facials with our aesthetician as part of your acne treatment. These soothing facials include steam, blackhead extractions, and a healing facial mask.

Don’t Let Acne Take Over Your Life

Though acne is common, that doesn’t make it any less frustrating for people who have it. At Comprehensive Dermatology Center of Pasadena, we know how disruptive acne can be. This skin condition can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, and can negatively impact your quality of life.

Our experienced dermatologists are proud to provide cutting-edge treatment for people living with acne. Our in-house Acne Treatment Center offers complete care for all ages and acne stages, and we are committed to providing a safe, comfortable, and exceptional patient experience. To schedule your appointment, contact us today.


Our treatment suites are equipped with the latest dermatological lasers, for advanced, safe, comfortable treatment of your skin's medical and cosmetic needs. Our in-house Acne Treatment Center offers complete care for all ages and acne stages. We offer a full line of skin care products designed to suit your unique...

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