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A sure way to flare up acne
A girl with her face in her handsVery important, yet often unrecognized causes for exacerbations of acne are occlusion and pressure on the skin. Teenagers often, without realizing it, lean their face into their hands, or press the phone against their face. This can be a cause of acne, or significantly aggravate the condition, and is referred to as "acne mechanica"(1)  
Treatment of acne

Very simple measures can make a big difference in the control of acne. Here are some important tips from the American Academy of Dermatology:


News, Headlines, and Research

A comparison of chemical peels used in facial acne
In a recent small study, two of the most commonly used chemical peels for acne treatment, salicylic acid and glycolic acid, produced significant results after 2 treatments by dermatologists, however, the salicylic acid led to more sustained improvement and caused fewer side effects than the glycolic acid peel. MedPage Today, Mar 2008

Note: Chemical peels improve acne in that they help remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, remove whiteheads and blackheads, and can generate new skin growth. These chemical peels are often used with acne creams or gels for better penetration of the medication.

A chemical peel is a significant procedure, however, and depending on strength of the chemical, side effects of chemical peels range from temporary redness, blisters, scaling and crusting to scarring, infection and abnormal skin coloring. Also, if your skin tends to form scar tissue, chemical peels or microdermabrasion could make your complexion worse. Before considering this treatment, it is important to discuss the procedure, necessary precautions, potential side effects and likely results with at least two qualified dermatologists.


1) Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology, Thomas B Fitzpatrick, et al. 4th ed, p. 2
2) Two Chemical Peels Rated Equal for Facial Acne from MedPage Today, March 2008
3) Chemical Peels Information from the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery
4) Topical acne medication can clear acne from the American Academy of Dermatology

Written by N Thompson, RN, MSN, ARNP and M Thompson, MD, Internal Medicine, March 2008

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