There are numerous treatments for Acne. The type of treatment usually depends on the degree and severity of Acne. Acne treatments work by reducing oil production, speeding up skin cell turnover, fighting bacterial infection or doing all three. In general the following treatments are available to treat acne.
Topical treatments: Topical treatments generally cleanse the skin of oil, kill the bacteria and help removed the dead skin cells. This prevents plugging of the pores. Products available over the counter include:
- Benzyl peroxide
- Salicylic acid
- Lactic acid
These products may be helpful for very mild acne.
Topical Retinoids: When the acne fails to respond to the above treatments, a prescription is required for stronger and more effective Retinoids. These vitamin A related products are effective for mild to moderate acne. The products Tretinoin (Avita, Retin-A, Renova) and adapalene (Differin) are examples of topical prescription products derived from vitamin A. They kill the skin bacteria and help decrease the production of oil from the glands
Antibiotics: In those individuals with red papules and inflammatory acne, both oral and topical antibiotics can be used. The various antibiotics available to treat acne include:
- Benzamycin (a combination of Benzyl Peroxide and Erythromycin)
- Benzaclin (a combination of Benzyl Peroxide and Clindamycin)
- Tetracycline, Doxycycline, or Minocyline (Minocin)
Oral Contraceptives: In some individuals, especially females, oral contraceptives may be prescribed to treat acne. OC are very effective in eliminating acne.
Accutane: Accutane is probably the best drug to treat acne. It is very effective and rapidly clears acne. It does have a few serious side effects in the female and thus a discussing with a female is a prerequisite before a prescription is administered.
Other Acne Treatments
When all the medical therapy has failed and the acne is chronic and recalcitrant, a visit to the dermatologist is a must. The other available treatments for care include:
- Chemical Peels
- Collagen injection
- Comedo Extraction
- Drainage and Surgical Extraction (Acne Surgery)
- Laser and Light Treatments
- Scar surgery
Not all individuals respond similarly to acne treatments and thus one may have to try out a few products.
Acne does not resolve immediately disappear with any treatments, except Accutane. So one has to be patient and persistent with the treatment for at least 4-6 weeks for visual improvement.
Oral medications should not be used during pregnancy.
For persistent acne, a visit to the Dermatologist is highly recommended