Silicon Valley Dermatology

Mychael Luu, M.D.

General & Surgical Dermatology located in San Jose, CA

Most people attribute acne to their teenage years, but acne can appear at any age and at any level of severity. At Silicon Valley Dermatology in San Jose, California, Mychael Luu, MD, and his team treat all cases of acne, including those that are severe or long-lasting. To get expert treatment for your acne, call the office or book a consultation online today.

Acne Q & A

What causes acne?

Acne is a chronic condition of your skin’s glands and hair follicles. It appears when pores clog with oil from your glands, known as sebum, and dead skin cells. Bacteria builds up in your clogged pores, resulting in the bothersome bumps that appear during a breakout.  

Acne often appears in conjunction with:

  • Puberty
  • A woman’s monthly period 
  • Starting or stopping birth control
  • Other hormonal changes
  • High stress
  • A diet full of carbohydrates 

You might also be predisposed to acne because of your genes. Dr. Luu and his team can help you pinpoint risk factors and causes to help you limit future breakouts.

What are different types of acne?

Acne affects everyone of all ages — from preteens to adults. Here are four of the most common types.


Whiteheads occur when pores become clogged with bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells, and skin grows over the blocked pore.


Blackheads form the same way as whiteheads, but skin doesn't grow over the pore. When exposed to oxygen, the blocked pore turns black.


Nodules are hard, red lumps that develop on your face and body. Caused by irritation and infection, they need prescription treatment like isotretinoin and antibiotics.


Pustules contain pus. They have a white head surrounded by a red ring, and they're usually painful.

Never squeeze, tweeze, or scratch acne — you could make it much worse.

What are my treatment options for acne?

Dr. Luu can use professional treatments to treat acne. 

Your acne treatment may include:

  • Prescription topical medications
  • Prescription oral medications
  • Laser therapy
  • Manual extraction of whiteheads and blackheads

After acne treatment, you need to take extra care of your skin. Depending on your treatment, Dr. Luu may recommend that you stay out of direct sunlight, protect your skin from the sun, keep your skin clean, and avoid irritating products.

How can I prevent future acne breakouts?

You can’t always avoid a breakout, especially if hormones are the cause. To keep your acne under control, you can:

  • Avoid oily cosmetics and products
  • Wash your face gently twice a day
  • Avoid picking at your skin and existing acne

Taking good care of your skin and living a healthy lifestyle minimizes your chances of getting an unsightly breakout of acne. Your dermatologist can advise you on taking care of your skin to keep acne at bay.

If red bumps, whiteheads, blackheads, and pus are causing you to keep your face hidden, call Silicon Valley Dermatology or book an appointment online to explore acne treatment options today.