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Valley Dermatology


Acne poses both physical and emotional challenges for many individuals. In fact, it’s estimated that approximately 85% of individuals experience acne at some point in their lives, so it’s a very common cosmetic concern.

Valley Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center provides expert assistance for those dealing with acne. From tailored skincare plans to advanced procedures, Valley Dermatology is committed to helping individuals achieve clearer, healthier skin and regain confidence.

What is Acne?

What is Acne?

Acne is a common skin condition characterized by the presence of various lesions on the skin, typically on the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders. Acne usually occurs during puberty due to hormonal changes that stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. The excess oil, along with dead skin cells, can clog hair follicles, leading to the development of acne lesions.

Factors like genetics, hormonal fluctuations, certain medications, and lifestyle choices can contribute to the development and exacerbation of acne. Dermatological treatments aim to manage symptoms, prevent scarring and improve the overall appearance of the skin.

What are the Different Types of Acne?

Acne comes in various forms and can be identified by different characteristics. Understanding the types of acne you are dealing with is helpful in determining the underlying causes or triggers.


Non-inflammatory lesions caused by the clogging of hair follicles with oil and dead skin cells are called comedones (blackheads and whiteheads). Blackheads are open comedones exposed to air, while whiteheads are closed comedones beneath the skin’s surface.


Papules manifest as small, red, raised bumps on the skin that may be tender to the touch. They result from inflammation and the immune system’s response to clogged pores.


Characterized by inflamed, pus-filled lesions with a red base, pustules are a visible sign of bacterial involvement and immune response in the hair follicles.


Nodules are large, solid, painful lumps that form beneath the surface of the skin. These deeper, more severe lesions can cause significant discomfort and may lead to persistent inflammation.


Representing one of the most severe forms of acne lesions, cysts are deep, painful, pus-filled nodules that can result in scarring. Seeking professional treatment is crucial for managing and preventing potential scarring associated with cystic acne.

Service Guide

Download the exclusive Valley Dermatology Service Guide to learn more about our aesthetic and medical dermatology treatments.

What Causes Acne?

What Causes Acne?

Acne is a multifaceted skin condition and its causes can vary from person to person. Some common triggers and contributing factors include:

What Types of Treatments Help Acne?

At Valley Dermatology, we employ a variety of treatments to address acne based on its severity, type, and skin characteristics. Common approaches include:

Topical Medications

Dermatologists often prescribe topical treatments containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, or antibiotics to reduce inflammation, unclog pores, and control bacterial growth.

Oral Medications

In cases of moderate to severe acne, dermatologists may prescribe oral antibiotics or oral contraceptives (for females) to address hormonal factors and control bacterial overgrowth.


HydraFacials are effective for all skin types due to its gentle exfoliation system. It safely removes impurities in the skin that cause many of the signs associated with early aging and works well for improving acne-prone skin.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels with ingredients like glycolic or salicylic acid help exfoliate the skin, unclog pores and improve skin texture.

PRP Facials

An effective treatment to ease acne and old acne scars is a PRP facial. This custom facial uses your own blood’s platelets and plasma on your face to promote healing and trigger collagen production.

Laser and Light Therapies

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) therapy and laser treatments can target acne bacteria, reduce inflammation and promote overall skin rejuvenation.

Valley Dermatology’s Approach to Acne

Valley Dermatology employs a comprehensive approach to address skincare issues, including acne, providing specialized care tailored to individual needs.

First, we create a personalized treatment plan based on the specific type and severity of acne, as well as the unique characteristics of each patient’s skin.

From there, we have a variety of effective treatment options to choose from including topical medications, oral medications, in-office procedures like chemical peels, microneedling, facials and photofacials.

At Valley Dermatology, we place an emphasis on patient education, empowering individuals with knowledge about their skin condition and equipping them with the tools for effective self-care and radiant, healthy skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Acne is primarily caused by the overproduction of oil (sebum), clogged pores, bacterial overgrowth, and inflammation. Hormonal changes, genetics, and environmental factors also contribute.

Acne is most common during adolescence due to hormonal changes, but it can affect people of all ages. Adult-onset acne is not uncommon, particularly in women. Hormonal fluctuations, stress, and other factors can contribute to the development or exacerbation of acne in adulthood.

Practices like maintaining a consistent skincare routine, avoiding pore-clogging products, protecting the skin from excessive sun exposure and managing stress can help prevent acne breakouts.

Why Should I Choose Valley Dermatology for My Acne?

Valley Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center is your premier destination for comprehensive and compassionate dermatological care in the Pacific Northwest. Led by Dr. Scott Smith, our skilled team is dedicated to delivering top-notch medical services and ensuring an optimal patient experience. We prioritize attentive listening, addressing concerns, and crafting personalized skin treatment plans.

Specializing in skin cancer treatments, including Mohs micrographic surgery, as well as cosmetic services, our experts are here to assist with concerns ranging from acne to skin conditions. Trust us for unparalleled service on your journey to healthier, beautiful skin. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.


(509) 892-6708

Service Guide

Download the exclusive Valley Dermatology Service Guide to learn more about our aesthetic and medical dermatology treatments.