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Dorset Street Dermatology -  - Dermatology

Dorset Street Dermatology

Dermatology & Cosmetic Dermatology located in South Burlington, VT

As many as 50 million Americans have acne. When your acne becomes uncomfortable, embarrassing, and upsetting, it’s time to see the medical dermatology specialists at Dorset Street Dermatology. Mitchell Schwartz, MD,Wendy Shedd, PA-C, Kara Rozendaal, PA-C and the team provide patient-centered care in their South Burlington, Vermont, office. Book your appointment online or call the office for help now.

Acne Q&A

Who develops acne?

It’s a common fallacy that acne is only a teenage issue. Although it's true that teens are especially prone to acne due to hormone spikes, you can have acne at any point in your life. Up to 40% of women with acne first experience it as an adult. Hormone fluctuations likely play a role in adult acne, as well. 

While certain foods, some medications, lack of sleep, stress, and oil-based cosmetics don't necessarily cause acne, they can worsen existing acne. 

What are the different types of acne?

While clogged pores cause all types of acne, the way it forms varies by type.


Whiteheads occur when oil and dead skin accumulate to clog the pore opening. That creates a white or skin-colored bump. 


Blackheads form in the same way as whiteheads, but instead of causing a bump, the debris widens the affected pore. That causes a flat, round, and dark-colored blemish.


Pimples develop when oil, dead skin, and bacteria all accumulate in a pore. The bacteria grow quickly within the extra oil, causing swelling and a bump. Pimples with pus inside are pustules; those without pus are papules.

Nodules and cysts

Nodules and cysts develop when a large amount of bacteria, dead skin, and oil build up and cause swelling in the deeper layers of your skin, causing a significant (and often painful) large bump. Nodules are hard bumps without pus, while cysts are less hard and contain pus. Nodules and cysts are the types of acne most likely to lead to acne scars.

The Dorset Street Dermatology team can identify what type of acne you have and start an effective treatment plan immediately. 

How is acne treated?

At Dorset Street Dermatology, the team offers a variety of different solutions for acne. Your specific treatment depends on the kind of acne, its severity, and other unique aspects of your case. 

For mild-to-moderate acne, the team may recommend 

  • Topical treatments
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Laser services
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Chemical peels


For serious acne, particularly nodules and cysts, the team can do individual cortisone injections to minimize inflammation and speed healing. They may recommend Accutane®, a very powerful drug that permanently stops acne in about 50% of people who take it. A course of Accutane lasts four to six months. You can repeat the treatment once if needed.

No matter what the approach to acne, maintaining healthy skin is essential. The team can recommend medical-grade products from Skinceuticals® and Obagi® to help you prevent breakouts while protecting your skin.   

If you need help with acne, call Dorset Street Dermatology or book an appointment online now.