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Acne: What Are The Causes? - Dr. Heck

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Dr. Heck describes acne and its most common causes, and explains how hormones affect the skin.

Dr. Heck:
I am Dr. Shannon Heck. I am a dermatologist practicing at private practice at Southwest Skin Specialist in Scottsdale, Arizona. I see patients for general dermatologic issues, as well as cosmetic issues.

Acne is a very common dermatological disease state affecting approximately 40 to 50% of adolescence. It’s composed of many different lesions. I have patients coming in that tell me, “I have a pimple; I don’t have acne”. Well acne is a pimple. Acne is open and closed comedones, which are black heads and white heads. Pimples are red bumps and nodules are cysts.

The causes of acne are unknown but we do know what exacerbate the acne – hormones, genetics, stress, menstruation for females or when a woman begins her period, all of those factors can exacerbate acne.

Hormones are one of the main causes of acne. So as women age they get a higher percentage of testosterone to estrogen ration in their body and so they start noticing things like unwanted hair growth and they can develop acne when they have never had acne before in their lives. I frequently see women in their 40s and 50s who tell me, “I shouldn’t have to ask you about wrinkles and acne.” It’s a very common problem.

About Dr. Shannon Heck, M.D.:
Shannon Heck, M.D., F.A.A.D., is a board certified dermatologist and a partner in a large, thriving dermatologic practice in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona. She specializes in general and cosmetic dermatology.



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