The new falcon herald logo.
Health and Wellness


In his monthly column, Dr. Kent Herbert answers your questions related to health care matters. Simply submit your question to It’s your chance to ask the doc.Question: I have acne on my face. What can I do to treat this?Answer: Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting 17 million people, mostly teenagers. Acne is caused by the buildup of sebum, oil made by glands in the skin. Sebum mixes with dead skin cells and clogs hair follicles, causing whiteheads and blackheads. Bacteria on the skin can get mixed in with the oil and cause irritation, and this can lead to red bumps and pimples.Acne is common in the teenage years and can also occur in young adults. It is genetic and often occurs in teenagers whose parents have had acne. Boys and girls can both get acne, but boys tend to get it worse because they make more skin oils. Acne usually fades by age 25, but it can sometimes last into adulthood.There are certain things that can make acne worse, such as using oil-based makeup and skin products. Hard scrubbing of the skin and picking or squeezing skin blemishes will also make it worse. Acne is often linked to hormonal changes, so it can get worse around the monthly period in girls. Acne is not caused by foods, as once thought, such as chocolate or french fries. It is also not caused by dirt or poor hygiene. The blackheads that occur with acne are caused when the oils in the skin come in contact with air and not by dirt. Good hygiene is important for good skin health but will not by itself treat acne.If you have acne, it is best to start by washing the skin daily with a mild soap and water. It is important to avoid hard scrubbing of the skin or abrasive washcloths, as these will make it worse. The best way to wash the skin is with the fingertips in gentle circular motions. Over-the-counter products can be helpful in treating acne. Look for products that contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or sulfur. They will come in a variety of forms, such as creams, lotions and soaps. It is important to choose a form that matches with your skin type. For example, people with oily skin should avoid heavy creams, as they can make the skin oilier, and some of the pads can be very drying, so are not good for those with dry skin. Any product will take time to work, and it is important to give any one product a full eight weeks before determining if it works or not.If these measures have not worked, your doctor can help. Prescription antibiotic creams or pills can reduce the bacteria in the skin and help tremendously, as can retinoids, which are creams that act as exfoliants and remove dead skin. These come in many different forms and strengths and can be combined with an antibiotic. Like OTC products, they need to be matched to your skin type. For severe acne, these medications also come in pills, which can be extremely effective but also need to be monitored closely.Acne affects many teenagers and is highly treatable. It can lead to scars of the skin that can be permanent. For this reason, it is important to treat acne when it arises. With the variety of OTC products available, many people are successful at doing this on their own, but if acne persists, see your doctor.Dr. Kent HerbertBoard-Certified Family PhysicianFalcon Family Medicine7641 McLaughlin RoadFalcon, CO 80831(719) 494-2006(719) 494-8448

StratusIQ Fiber Internet Falcon Advertisement

Current Weather

Search Businesses

Search Businesses