Acne and Eczema

Treating Acne in St. George UT


There are many different types of acne. Classically acne is classified as comedonal (blackheads and whiteheads), inflammatory (red bumps and pus bumps) and cystic (superficial and deep nodules). Generally these subtypes occur in combination affecting the face, chest and upper back. This occurs most often during adolescence but can be seen at other times in life. Clogged pores are the main cause for acne and result from increased oil production in the skin. The increase in oil production is most frequently associated with an increase in hormones which is why acne is commonly seen in teenagers. In addition to clogged pores, inflammation is a major component of acne and its potential to scar. The inflammation is often associated P. acnes, common bacteria found on the skin.

Acne treatment should be designed to target the type of acne the patient has (comedonal, inflammatory or cystic) and the major causes of that acne. For many patients topical therapy is appropriate but often a combination of topical and oral therapy (including antibiotics) is required to achieve the desired response. Rarely, a patient may require treatment with isotretinoin (formerly known as accutane) in order to reduce the risk of scarring and provide a sustained response for the patient.


Often referred to as dermatitis by dermatologists, eczema can result from both genetic and environmental causes. Plants, metals, chemicals, clothing and other external forces can all lead to skin irritation and ultimately eczema. Poison ivy, diaper rash and dandruff are all different forms of dermatitis. Other names for eczema include atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, irritant dermatitis nummular dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis. In order to effectively treat eczema, an investigation into the cause is can be an important part of the evaluation by your dermatologist and may require more specialized testing.

Treatment includes avoiding environmental triggers (if possible), restoring the barrier function of the skin and reducing inflammation. Topical steroids are an important consideration in the treatment of many forms of eczema.