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Acne Specialist

Leon E. Brown, MD

Dermatologist located in Takoma Park, MD

Acne may be a minor inconvenience for some and a major cause of facial scarring for others. Leon Brown M.D., private practice dermatologist in Takoma Park, Maryland has over 30 years of dermatology experience, treating both the condition and its effects. Make your appointment today for clearer skin tomorrow.

Acne Q & A

What is acne?

When hair follicles become plugged with body oil and dead skin cells, blackheads, bumps, and pimples result. While most prominent on the face, a person’s neck, back, shoulders, and chest may also be affected. It’s common during the adolescent years, with over 70% of all teens affected. How acne manifests varies between patients, with differing symptoms and severity. The most frequent signs of acne include:

  • Whiteheads: Which are closed and plugged pores
  • Blackheads: Like whiteheads, but open, causing the oils to turn darker when exposed to air
  • Papules: Small red bumps that may feel tender
  • Pustules, or pimples: Papules with a pocket of pus in the center
  • Nodules: Solid and often painful lumps under the surface of the skin
  • Cystic lesions: Pus-filled sacs beneath the skin surface

How do acne bumps and lesions form?

Hair follicles produce an oily substance called sebum, a natural lubricant for skin and hair. Sebum normally travels along hair shafts out of the follicles and onto skin and body hair. When the body over-produces sebum while simultaneously over-producing dead skin cells, the mixture of the two build up in and around follicles, forming a soft plug. When bacteria take hold in these plugs, skin pores and follicles develop infections, with inflammation as a result. These may turn into any of the skin bumps or lesions described above.

Among the contributing factors that aggravate acne are hormones, a typical reason why teens are prone. Pregnancy and birth control may also contribute to increased sebum due to hormone production. Some medications also increase the severity of acne, including corticosteroids, lithium, and androgens. There are some dietary connections between food and acne, including dairy, carbohydrates, and chocolate. Genetics may also increase the risk of experiencing acne.

How should I treat acne?

Over-the-counter treatments are a good place to start, but use products as directed and avoid the temptation to over-wash or scrub too aggressively. These may both aggravate the condition. If you’re losing the battle, it’s time to call Dr. Brown. He can prescribe medications, help you minimize scarring, and reduce the appearance of visible scars.

Accepted Insurances

Dr. Brown accepts most insurances. Please contact the office for further insurance information.


Adventist Health
Anthem Blue Cross
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee
Blue Shield of California
Capital Blue Cross