All About Acne: Prevention, Treatment and Telemedicine


July 21, 2021

James Bovienzo, D.O.

Acne is the most common skin condition in the U.S., affecting 40 to 50 million Americans. Most are teens and young adults, but acne can occur at any age. Newborns get acne. Children get acne. Even menopausal women get acne. At any age, virtually everyone with acne can have clearer skin. Recent medical advancements and different combinations of treatmentare showing incredible results. 


What is acne?

When most people think of acne, they think “pimples.” But acne can also include:  

  • Blackheads  
  • Whiteheads 
  • Papules (red bumps) 
  • Pustules (red bumps with white centers, what many people call “pimples”) 
  • Cysts 
  • Nodules 

Acne can appear on the face, back, chest, neck, shoulders, and upper arms.  



What causes acne? 

Acne happens when bacteria multiplies inside the pores, especially when skin is “oily.” The combination of bacteria and oil irritates the surrounding skin and in response, the pore becomes inflamed, red and swollen.   


Acne Treatment  

Clearing acne usually improves a person’s self-esteem, helping them feel happier and more confident. And getting treatment can be easy with First Stop Health Telemedicine. Here’s how it works: 

  • Request a visit on the mobile app 
  • Upload a photo of your acne 
  • A doctor will call you (typically within a few minutes) to talk about your symptoms.
  • Your doctor will develop a treatment plan, which may include an oral antibiotic, topical cream or other personalized regimen.

When treating acne, it’s important to have realistic expectations. Know that:  

  • It takes time to see results (at least 4-8 weeks). 
  • “Overnight results” or an “immediate cure” are not possible. 
  • Treatment may work to clear existing acne but is best used to prevent new breakouts.  
  • To continue seeing results after acne has cleared, you must continue treatment. 
  • When red acne bumps go away, they often leave red or brown flat marks which should gradually fade over several months. These are not necessarily permanent scars. 
  • For ongoing care and acne management, it is best to work with your primary care doctor or a dermatologist. 



Skin Care Tips 

Unfortunately, preventing acne isn’t as simple as washing your face. Follow these tips to care for your skin: 

  • Be gentle with your skin. Avoid products that feel rough. 
  • Wash twice a day and after sweating. Know that excessive washing and scrubbing will not prevent or treat acne. Too much scrubbing can irritate your skin and make acne worse.
  • Do not touch your face. Yes, that means you should avoid popping, squeezing or picking at your acne.
  • Don’t get a tan to “treat” your acne. Tanning does not “dry out” acne. In fact, it damages your skin. Some acne medications will make your skin sensitive to UV light, so be sure to talk to a doctor before tanning.
  • Do not smoke or use nicotine. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your skin. 


Get Acne Treatment 24/7  

If your school or employer provides you with First Stop Health Telemedicine, our doctors are here for you anytime, anywhere. Just request a visit on the app, log in online or call 888-691-7867.  

Request a Visit

Originally published Jul 21, 2021 3:52:19 PM, updated August 25, 2021.