If you ever struggled with acne or are struggling with acne, you know how it feels like wanting a skin without imperfections. There are different types of acne depending on the type of skin you have and this can leave different scars or marks on the surface of your skin.
In this article we will go trough the best treatements for acne you can follow if you want to get rid of your acne or the scars your acne left on your skin.
The first thing you should do is define which kind of acne you have. In this post, we explain what is acne, what are the diferent types of acne and also what are the causes and symptoms of having acne. If you notice you have ance, you should also consult your doctor, he will help you define which type of acne concerns you, if it’s mild, moderate or severe. Each type of acne acts different and has different solutions to treat it.
If the doctor recommends it and if the medication you have been following has not worked, you should consult a dermatologist. They are specialists about skin concerns and acne and they will be the best guides for the cure of your acne. They are the only ones that can prescribe strong medications, such as isotretinoin.
If your acne is moderate or severe, your doctor can prescribe you the following medication.
Benzoyle peroxide : works as an antiseptic to reduce the number of bacteria on the surface of the skin. It also helps to reduce the number of whiteheads and blackheads and has an anti-inflammatory effect. The side effects include dry and tense skin and some redness and peeling of the skin.
Topical retinoids : work by removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin (exfoliating), which helps prevent them building up within hair follicles. Topcal retinoids increase your skin’s sun sensitivity. It is important to avoid excessive exposure to sunlight and UV, they can cause dry skin and redness.
Topical antibiotics : help kill the bacteria on the skin that can infect pluged hair follicles and reduce redness and inflammation. There are some side effects like redness and burning of the skin or peeling of the skin but are usually uncommon.
Azelaic acid and salicylic acid : azelaic acid is often used as an alternative treatement for acne if the side effects of benzoyl peroxide or topical retinoids are particularly irritating or painful. Azelaic acid works by getting rid of dead skin and killing bacteria. Salicyclic acid may help prevent plugged hair follicles and is available as both wash-off and leave-on products but studies showing its effectiveness are limited. Side effects include skin discoloration.
Antibiotic tablets (oral antibiotics) : are usually used in combination with a topical treatement to treat more severe acne. In most cases, a class of antibiotics called tetracyclines is prescribed unless you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Side effects are uncommon but they can make your skin sensitive to sunlight and UV light.
Oral contraceptives : are products that combine progestin and estrogen. If you do not alreade use it, a doctor may recommend a combined oral contraceptive pill even if you’re not sexually active.
It is a derivative of vitamin A treatement for severe acne that comes in capsules. It has a number of beneficial effects:
it helps normalise sebum and reduce how much is produced
it helps prevent follicles becoming clogged
it decreases the amount of bacteria on the skin
it reduces the redness and swelling in and around spots
However, the drug can have a wide range of side effects. Therefore, it is only recommended for severe cases of acne that have not responded to other teatements and only dermatologists can prescribe it. All the people receiving isotretinoin will need to see their dermatologists regularly to monitor for side effects.
Non-pharmaceutical treatements and therapies
Some treatements for acne do not invlove medicine. Moreover, some of them, like chemical peel, can only be done after erradicating acne.
Photodynamic therapy : light is applied to the skin in an attempt to improve symptoms of acne. There is a variatey of light-based therapies which showed some success. Most will require multiple visits to your doctor’s office.
Comedone extractor : a small pen-sharped instrument that can be used to clean out blackheads and whiteheads or cysts that haven’t cleared up with topical medications. This technique temporarily improves the appearance of your skin but it might also cause scarring.
Chemical peel : a chemical solution (salicyclic acid, glycolic acid or retinoic acid) is applied to the face, causing the skin to peel off and new skin to replace it. The procedure has to be repeated and is specially for mild acne. It might improve the appearance of the skin, though the change is not long lasting and repeat treatements are usually needed.
Steroid injection : Nodular and cystic lesions can be treated by injecting a steroid drug into them. This terapy has resulted in rapid improvement and decreased pain. Side effects may include skin thinning and discoloration in the treated area.
However these treatements may not work and cannot be routinely recommended.