Understanding Acne

Acne. Stop right there! Your teenager just ran out of the room screaming!

Yes, that single word, clinically known as acne vulgaris, is way scarier to a teenager than Saw V. Acne can ruin a young person’s life, at least in their minds, or surely cause a crimp in their self-esteem. What causes this scourge of youth?

What’s behind those zits?

acne treatmentAcne comes down to the sebaceous glands at the base of the hair follicles. The sebaceous glands produce oil, keeping the skin and hair lubricated and moist. Acne forms when the hair follicles under your skin clog, trapping the oil beneath the skin. You know where acne is more prevalent: on the face, back, neck, shoulders, and chest. It appears as occluded pores (blackheads or whiteheads), red bumps (pimples), pustules, or cysts.

The condition isn’t serious — although don’t tell this to your 16-year-old daughter in the midst of a breakout — unless the acne is cystic in nature. Those cysts can scar the skin.

Causes of acne

Acne is still somewhat of a mystery, believe it or not. Doctors believe it’s due to a combination of factors. The rise in the male sex hormone androgen in teenagers of both sexes is thought to be the primary cause. When androgen levels increase the oil glands enlarge and produce more oil.

Genetics also play a role. Some people are simply more prone to the condition. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can trigger acne outbreaks, even if you got off easy as a teenager. Certain cosmetics and medications cause breakouts for some people, as well. Research has not proven any link between foods such as chocolate or junk food and acne.


At Deschutes, every acne case is individual, so our treatments are always varying. We employ products that contain active ingredients such as Retin-A and Resorcinol. We also put patients on skin care regimens with various products. If these options don’t work we may work with oral antibiotics or topical antimicrobials such as adapalene, tazarotene, and tretinoin.

If your teenage is suffering with acne, let’s have a look. Call us at 541-330-0900

Rip that Earlobe? We’ll Fix It.

Modern earrings can be a challenge. Big hoops. Big plugs. If they’re not getting caught on things and tearing the earlobe, they’re stretching the earlobe beyond its ability to snap back.

What do you do then?

Come to Deschutes and let us repair those earlobes.

What is earlobe repair?

Earlobe repair is a specialized field in cosmetic dermatology that addresses the correction, repair, and reshaping of earlobes that have been split, stretched, or are naturally out-sized.

Split earlobe repair

When an earring catches on something, the post can rip completely through the earlobe. This, of course, leaves the patient with an unpleasant looking earlobe, and the person can’t wear an earring again in that ear.

ear surgeryThe procedure is simple. After local anesthesia takes effect, Dr. Carter will cut away any skin that has healed on both of the split sides. This needs to be removed because this skin will no longer heal together. Next, the two incision sides are sutured together to make the lobe whole again.

Stretched earlobe repair

The bigger the plugs, the more the lobe can be stretched beyond the point where the elastin in the skin will allow it to come back to its original form when the plug is removed. And plugs keep seeming to get bigger and bigger!

When the wearer wants to repair the damage, he or she needs to first remove the plug and let the lobe settle into its shape. Once the lobe has healed as much as it can, then it’s Dr. Carter’s turn. Like in the repair of a torn earlobe, she’ll stitch the two stretched sides together to eliminate the hole. If some skin is stretched so much that suturing it together will still leave some loose skin, she may need to remove the excess.


After five days, the stitches will come out. Future piercing? Do not do it on the scar or adjacent to the scar because this skin is weaker and will tear again more easily.

Need to repair your earlobes? Let us handle it at Deschutes. Call us at 541-330-0900 for an appointment.