Proudly Serving Central Iowa from our Ankeny and Ames Locations!


What is Acne?

Acne is a very common skin condition, affecting about 85% of teenagers.  It consists of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and cysts on the face, neck and upper body.  In some cases, it may even cause scarring.  It affects both males and females and usually starts during the teen years.  Sometimes it improves with age.  However, it can continue well into adulthood and often persists especially in adult women.

What Causes Acne?

There are many causes of acne.  Hormones, stress, bacteria, sebum (oil on the skin) and genetics may contribute to breakouts.  While the role of diet is controversial, it appears that diets with a low glycemic index (low carb diets) may help acne.  This means avoiding foods with sugar such as soda, juice, candy, bread, pasta and sauces.  A healthy diet consisting of lean meat, fish, poultry, fresh vegetables and fruits may be helpful in controlling acne.  For some people, their acne may still need medical treatment.

How do You Treat Acne?

A dermatologist will recommend several medications.  Commonly, a benzoyl peroxide topical wash or cream is used, which can be purchased over-the-counter.  Topical retinoids can also be applied to improve breakouts.  Adapalene gel is now available over-the-counter, but other topical retinoids such as tretinoin or tazoratene may be prescribed.  In more widespread or persistent acne, a dermatologist will prescribe an oral antibiotic.  These can be very helpful, but ideally should be used for a limited time period.  For more severe acne, especially if there is scarring, isotretinoin pills are very effective.  This medication is typically taken for 5-7 months.  Hormonal therapy can also be used for treating acne in women.  Light treatments, laser and chemical peels are less commonly used.  All treatments have a few potential side effects and this should be discussed with your dermatologist.

Additional Acne Resources

Links to Additional Information:

American Academy of Dermatology Acne Videos:

Why Iowa Dermatology Consultants?

Iowa Dermatology Consultants believes in a patient focused approach to care.  We work with patients forming an active partnership in treatment to help repair the physical and emotional damage of skin disease.  Our Ankeny and Ames locations allow us to conveniently treat patients across the Des Moines metro area and all of Central Iowa including Ames, Carroll, Fort Dodge, Iowa Falls, Marshalltown, Huxley, Slater, and Indianola.  

At Iowa Dermatology Consultants, all of our physicians are board-certified dermatologists. Your care provided by Dr. Snider, Dr. Smith, or Dr. Myers is founded in knowledge and experience which exceeds that of a general practitioner.  Together they have almost 50 years of combined experience in diagnosing and treating a vast array of skin conditions.  This includes over 16,000 hours of patient care training to ensure that a board-certified dermatologist can expertly diagnosis and treat over 3000 dermatologic conditions.

Whether you’re coming to us for help with skin cancer or diseases like acne, psoriasis, and eczema; or to reverse the signs of aging with Botox, chemical peels or other cosmetic procedures, at Iowa Dermatology Consultants you will be getting the best dermatologic care in Central Iowa.