If you are among the people who have tried using over-the-counter acne treatments to no avail, then it is high time that you turned to a dermatologist. This is because they can help in controlling the acne, avoid scarring and to make acne scars much less visible.
Acne medications operate through decreasing the production of oil, enhancing the turnover of skin cells and decreasing inflammation or fighting bacterial infection. All these prevent scarring. Most prescription drugs for acne do not show results immediately, the likely period is usually 4 – 8 weeks. It should also important t note that the condition of your skin might get worse prior to improving. However, for the acne to completely clear up, this might take several months or even years. A situation that calls for patience.
Doctors will recommend acne treatment regimens depending on any of the following factors:
- Severity of the acne.
- The treatment that you are willing to commit to.
- The type of acne.
- The age of the patient.
Topical Acne Medications
There are various prescription medications that are used topically for the treatment of acne, the main ones are as follows:
Dapsone or aczone 5% gel is highly recommended for people who are suffering from inflammatory acne. Adult females suffering from acne would be found in this group. It is effective, but its side effects are dryness and redness.
2. Azelaic acid and salicylic acid
Azelaic acid is an acid that naturally occurs in animal products and whole-grain cereals. It contains anti-bacterial properties. 20% azelaic acid cream is an effective treatment that is as good as numerous conventional treatments for acne that are available on the market. It should be utilized twice a day for a period of at least 4 weeks.
These are very effective treatments because they operate by exterminating excess skin bacteria as well as decreasing redness. Patients can use a combination of an antibiotic and a retinoid. The ideal way to go about this is to apply the retinoid in the evening and antibiotic in the morning. Antibiotics for acne tend to be combined with some benzoyl peroxide to decrease the chances of the patient resistance to antibiotics. It is not advisable to use topical antibiotics on their own.
These are available in form of lotions, gels and creams. Retinoid drugs come from vitamin A, they are inclusive of tazarotene, adapalene and tretinoin.
Oral Acne Medications
Acne can also be effectively treated through oral medication, the main ones include the following:
This is a very good medication for individuals who have severe acne and have failed to respond to other kinds of treatment. However, doctors require to monitor closely the patients who are using oral isotretinoin despite its effectiveness. This is because of the serious side effects associated with it.
b) Anti-androgen agents
Aldactone is a good alternative for adolescent girls and women with acne if oral antibiotics fail to help.
c) Combined oral contraceptives
The FDA has approved 4 combined oral contraceptives with regard to women who would like to utilize the drugs for the purpose of contraception. These products combine progestin and estrogen.
These are ideal for moderate acne and severe acne. They help in fighting inflammation and decreasing bacteria. Oral antibiotics ought to be utilized for very short periods to prevent the patient from developing resistance to antibiotics.
The following are some effective therapies that can help out people with an acne problem:
a) Steroid injection
Cystic and nodular lesions should be treated through the direct injection of steroids. It is an effective form of therapy that reduces pain and leads to rapid improvement.
b) Extraction of blackheads and whiteheads
Doctors may use certain special tools in the gentle removal of blackheads and whiteheads that topical medications have failed to clear up. However, it is a technique that might result in scarring.
c) Chemical peel
It is a procedure that employs the repeated applications of chemical solutions like retinoic acid, glycolic acid or salicylic acid. It is important to undergo repeat treatment because improvement in acne conditions does not last too long.
d) Photodynamic therapy and lasers
An array of light-based therapies is effective, but the best dose, light source and method are yet to be determined.
Acne Home Remedies
The following are some self-care techniques that can be used in both the effective control acne and avoiding it altogether:
Sweat and oil on the skin can result in breakouts thus it is good to shower after any strenuous activity. This helps to control acne.
Areas of your skin that have an acne problem should not be picked or touched. This avoids scarring and infection. This is a common mistake that people with kidney do.
Shield your skin from contact with backpacks, straps, tight collars, helmets and phones. This is because they can result in acne.
Avoid the sun
The sun worsens acne for some individuals while certain medications for acne make people more susceptible to the rays of the sun.
You should completely avoid acne concealers, hairstyling products, sunscreens, greasy or oily cosmetics. The best products to use are the noncomedogenic and water-based ones because they irritate the skin much less.
A gentle cleanse should be used in washing the problem areas. Use your bare hands with warm water and mild soap. Try to avoid facial masks, astringents and scrubs. This is because they irritate the skin hence can make acne worse.
Integrative and alternative medicine approaches that are effectively being used in the treatment o acne are topical tea tree oil, oral zinc, probiotics, brewer’s yeast and fish oil.
Most people have not had adequate exposure to these treatments, but they are actually quite good.
Check out the infographic below to better understand how acne works and how to treat it…
Acne and its scars have the potential of causing anxiety and this might have a negative effect on self-image and relationships. Stress is a causative agent for acne and that is why people are encouraged to practice relaxation techniques and get adequate sleep. Acne that has failed to respond to over-the-counter treatments and self-care, can be effectively tackled with any of the treatments outlined above.