Dr. Cedric Strong, MD MBA

Dr. Strong was always inspired by his father, a doctor who also sought to help and serve his community.
After completing his residency at Tufts University in Massachusetts, Dr. Strong worked at hospitals in Florida and New Hampshire before moving to Hawai’i in 2007. (He still wonders how he made it through all those harsh New England winters.)

Dr. Strong experienced the unique pressures of Hawaiian healthcare right away. He traveled between the islands for several years treating patients before putting down roots in Honolulu. Dr. Strong loves his work in Hawaii, and is inspired everyday by the place and people to make a positive difference both in his own life and in the community.



Many teenagers suffer from a skin condition called acne. It causes white, red or black spots on the face. We also know the tiny boils as zits or pimples. To note, acne is very common. In fact, it affects babies, middle-aged people and teenagers in particular.

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What Causes Acne Breakouts

Although concerning, acne is curable with correct treatment and cleanliness. Of note, treatment lasts about 4-6 weeks. However, treatment is important to continue even when the acne clears. Additionally, treatments include over-the-counter topical creams and skin cleansers. To learn more about acne and what causes acne breakouts, read below.


Acne is very common. It can affect the face with tiny clustered white, red or black spots. It can also affect the chest or shoulders. The common symptoms range from pus-filled pimples to red and tender bumps on the skin. The most common age group is between 13 and 24 years. It affects both males and females. In fact, males are more prone to acne. To add, over 80% of teenagers have suffered from acne in their lives. If left untreated, acne cures itself within 4-5 years. Around 30% of the acne-prone people need medical treatment. This is because of the stubborn nature of their acne and to prevent scarring and itchy skin, too.

What causes acne breakouts

Acne forms as oil and dead skin cells block hair follicles under the skin. Thus, causing a spot to form. Often, bacteria grow inside the blocked hair follicle. As a result, the spot turns red and can be painful. To start, hormonal imbalance is the primary cause of acne for teens during puberty. In girls and women, certain issues cause acne to get bad. Issues such as polycystic ovary syndrome, for instance. Similarly, in boys, too much testosterone can cause increased acne. It can also cause the thinning of hair on the head, excess hair growth on the face, and more. Certain chemicals like halogenated hydrocarbons can also cause acne in middle-aged people.

Keeping acne in control

  • Try to avoid using heavy make-up since acne forms from blocked sweat pores. Many use make-up to cover their acne. Yet, that can make it worse. It is important to allow the skin to breathe. Use skin-friendly, natural and mild make-up.
  • Avoid touching your face if you have acne. This prevents the spreading of infection to other parts of the body or other people. Picking or squeezing the pimple will cause further inflammation and scarring.
  • Excess sweating or humid conditions worsen acne. Wearing tight nylon clothes block sweat pores and aggravate the acne condition.
  • Some medications like phenytoin for epilepsy or steroid creams and ointments for eczema are known to make acne worse. We also know contraceptive pills to improve or worsen acne. Also, anabolic steroids taken by bodybuilders worsens acne.

Myths about acne

  • Acne is from unclean skin. Yet excessive face washing can make acne worse.
  • Stress and anxiety do not cause acne. It aggravates acne if it is already present. Acne is a complicated reaction to bodily changes. For example: changing hormones or hyperactive sweat pores. Acne cures on its own with age.
  • Acne is not cured by drinking lots of water. Alcohol, excess consumption of tea, coffee or soda increases acne. Diets high in sugar content or milk products do not make acne worse.
  • Sunbathing or sunbeds do not help to clear acne.

Skincare for people with acne

The goal of acne treatment is to unblock the pores or hair follicles. Additionally, it’s important to prevent and treat any infection in the existing acne. Treatment focuses on what causes acne breakouts. It also focuses on preventing it from happening.

  • Gentle removal of blackheads on nose and cheeks may contain the spread of pimples.
  • Physicians recommend washing the face and affected area with warm water twice a day. Skin doctors prescribe medicated facial washes instead of strong soaps. Antiseptic washes are also helpful.
  • Do not scrub hard when washing acne-affected skin. Topical acne treatments may dry the skin. Use a fragrance-free, water-based moisturizing cream. Avoid using oily creams or oils as they clog pores.
  • Avoid the use of abrasive soaps and cleansers containing granules, astringents, or exfoliating agents. Excess washing and scrubbing cause more inflammation and makes acne worse. The skin should be air-dried. Therefore, towels can spread the bacteria.

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