A teen boy in a gray polo shirt smiles confidently at the camera.
Whether you’re a teenager or an adult, acne can flare up on the face or the body in ways that range from mild to severe. The good news is that we offer all of the latest and greatest strategies and treatment options to get your skin looking and feeling healthy.

About the condition

What is acne?

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting up to 50 million Americans each year. While it most commonly affects adolescents and young adults around puberty, acne can manifest at any age. Acne occurs when hair follicles under the skin become clogged with oil and dead skin cells, causing outbreaks or lesions (commonly called pimples or zits). Most often, the outbreaks occur on the face but can also appear on the back, chest, and shoulders.

Acne can manifest itself in various ways, including, but not limited to:

  • Whiteheads: lesions or pimples that stay under the skin and produce a white bump
  • Blackheads: lesions or pimples that reach the surface of the skin and open up
  • Cystic acne:  large, solid lesions that are deep within the skin and feel hard and painful to the touch

What causes acne?

Many factors can contribute to the development of acne. Some are avoidable, while others are not. Avoidable triggers of acne include stress, diet and sleep, reactions to hair or skin products, and medication-based side effects. Unavoidable causes include hormonal changes, genetic predispositions, or other medical conditions.

When should I see a dermatologist about acne?

While there are plenty of over-the-counter treatments for acne, their efficacy and appropriateness vary significantly from product to product. Seeing a dermatologist is important because it’s nearly impossible to know whether your acne will get better or worse over time without medical intervention. If it worsens, you’ll run the risk of experiencing painful breakouts that can leave long-lasting scars. At Valley View Dermatology, our board-certified physicians have a broad range of tools in their arsenal to help you achieve and maintain a healthy complexion.


I brought my son in to see Dr. Kokkonen for his acne. The check-in staff and the doctor’s assistant were all very friendly and helpful. Dr. Kokkonen did a great job of communicating to both me and my teenage son. He offered different options, and discussed the pros and cons of the different treatments, and then encouraged my son to make the decision. Overall very impressed with the completeness and professionalism.
– J. T., via Yelp

Diagnosis and treatment options for acne

Blue Light Therapy

As an FDA-approved acne treatment, blue light therapy utilizes a high-intensity, narrow-band light to treat mild acne. It offers a safe and pain-free treatment option that neutralizes the bacteria primarily responsible for acne breakouts. Blue light therapy can be administered alone or in combination with other acne treatment solutions. Treatment typically requires weekly sessions for several weeks until the desired results are achieved, with a single treatment lasting only about 20 to 30 minutes.

Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic Therapy is a new and exciting treatment used to treat a variety of dermatologic conditions, such as actinic keratosis and acne. This treatment involves the application of natural photosensitizing medicine, followed by the administration of a laser light source to activate the medicine. Depending on the part of the body undergoing treatment, the photosensitizing medication will be applied topically or administered through an injection. Acne lesions absorb the medication, leading to the selective destruction of acne bacteria or overactive sebaceous glands.

Acne Surgery

Acne surgery is an umbrella term that describes a variety of treatment options designed to help improve the complexion of a patient’s skin. While these procedures don’t rank as a patient’s first line of defense against acne, they are excellent an option for treating recurring acne breakouts that are not responsive to treatment.

Our team at Valley View Dermatology includes some of the best acne treatment specialists that the Willamette Valley has to offer. Using surgical instruments, our provides can remove acne lesions, thereby eliminating any chance of further infection and scarring caused by popping pimples at home.

Schedule an appointment

We look forward to creating a personalized treatment plan that will get you on the road to clear, radiant skin. Take the first step today: book an appointment at the clinic that’s convenient for you.

Call 971-374-2150