What is Acne?
Acne is a skin condition caused when pores or “pilosebaceous units” are plugged with dead skin cells, oil, and sometimes bacteria. It is most common among teens, though it can affect people of all ages. There are effective treatment options available.
There are a variety of different forms of acne, including:
- Whiteheads/closed comedones.
- Blackheads/open comedones.
- Small red bumps (papules).
- Inflamed pimples.
- Large, solid, uncomfortable bumps under the skin (nodules).
- Painful, pus-filled bumps under the skin (cystic lesions).
Acne commonly forms on the face, especially the forehead, chest, upper back, and shoulders, because these areas of skin have many oil glands. Certain factors such as hormonal changes, certain medications, diet, and stress can trigger or worsen acne.
Acne Treatment Options
There is a large selection of acne treatment options available today. These include:
- Retinoids: These are often used for moderate acne, and are available as creams, gels, and lotions. These prescription medications can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so be sure to take proper precautions.
- Benzoyl Peroxide: This agent has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial activity and can be used in combination with other medications like retinoids and antibiotics.
- Antibiotics: These medications work by killing excess bacteria in the skin and reducing inflammation and redness.
- Azelaic Acid and Salicylic Acid: Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring acid made by yeast, and has antibacterial properties. Salicylic acid may help to prevent hair follicles from becoming congested and is available as leave-on or wash-off products.
- Dapsone: This comes in prescription gel form and is recommended to treat inflammatory acne.
- Antibiotics: For moderate acne, oral antibiotics can be used to reduce bacteria. They should, however, be used for the shortest possible time to prevent secondary complications and antibiotic resistance.
- Anti-androgen Agents: If antibiotics do not work for women or adolescent girls, anti-androgen agents such as spironolactone may be used. It works by blocking the effects of androgen hormones and oil-producing glands.
- Combined Oral Contraceptives: Certain combined oral contraceptives are approved to treat acne in women who also wish to use them for contraceptives.
- Isotretinoin: For severe or stubborn acne that has not responded to other treatments, isotretinoin (a derivative of vitamin A) can be a good option.
These non-prescription therapies are available to help improve acne and work differently than regular prescriptions.
- Chemical peels: This treatment uses applications of a chemical solution to improve the appearance of the skin. It is commonly used to improve mild acne.
- Steroid injection: Cystic and nodular lesions can be treated by injecting a steroid drug into them.
Who is a Good Candidate for Acne Treatment?
Individuals who have tried self-care remedies or over-the-counter therapies but still have not seen an improvement in their acne can benefit from acne treatment. For many patients, especially women, acne may persist throughout their lives, with flares common before menstruation. The best way to determine if acne treatment is a good option for you is to schedule a consultation at DermAtelier on Avenue with Dr. Beach.
What to Expect After Acne Treatment?
After regular use of acne treatment, patients should see an improvement in the look of their complexion. While some patients may experience a drastic improvement in their acne, it is important to understand that acne can be stubborn, and new sites may crop up as others begin to heal. We recommend being patient with your treatment to see the best results.
Contact Us Today
If you would like to learn more about acne treatment at DermAtelier on Avenue, contact our office today! We will inform you how to schedule your consultation with Dr. Beach, which is your first step on your acne treatment journey.