ZocdocAnswersWhat causes brown spots to appear on one's face?

Question

What causes brown spots to appear on one's face?

What are my options for dealing with clogged pores? I'm pretty sure my occasional acne is just due to having clogged pores, and I'm tired of it. But I know that squeezing is bad for your skin, and I have no idea about what kind of medicine would work best. What should I do?

Answer

Acne is a common medical problem for which there are many treatment options. The physicians who are best qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care physician, your family medicine doctor, or your dermatologist. Acne is caused by plugging of pores in the skin of the face, as you mention. If the pore remains clogged but open this is referred to as a blackhead. If the pore becomes closed and pus and other material collects behind the obstruction this is called a whitehead. As your physician may advise you, the key to treating acne is to maintain the skin of the face clean and well moisturized. It is important to avoid multiple harsh chemicals and over-washing as these can produce extreme dryness and worsen the problem. The next line of treatment, as your physician may tell you, is generally a 'comedolytic' which means a chemical that cleans out dead skin debris that can clog the pores. The most common comedolytic used is benzoyl peroxide. If these treatments do not work, your physician may be able to prescribe you stronger medications, including combinations of stronger cream products and even, in some cases, pills. As always, the diagnosis and management of your specific problem will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling on office visit to talk with your primary care physician or dermatologist is recommended.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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