Acne is a condition that has affected many people at some point in their lifetimes. As would be true of any widespread skin condition, several treatments exist that aid in relieving and controlling acne. These treatments may vary in their application and effectiveness, but patients should consider all of their options when considering finding treatment for their acne problem. Acne may be mild, moderate or severe and patients should take this into account when considering the different treatments. The best resource for information about acne and acne treatment is a skincare professional. Patients should be sure to speak to a skincare professional before making any decisions regarding their treatment.
Patients in Tampa, Florida and around the country have seen the television and magazine advertisements promoting acne treatments and over-the-counter creams that promise to relieve acne. Before jumping at any one treatment, it is important that patients realize that they have several options when treating their acne and should be sure to consult a skincare professional with knowledge of the condition and the possible treatments.
There are several salicylic and benzoyl peroxide products that are available at drug stores. A combination of topical products may be the first option for many patients suffering from acne. A retinoid and a topical antibiotic such as benzoyl peroxide may be used. Systemic treatments may be necessary for patients who find that topical treatments are not effective. Some women find that oral contraceptives help to prevent acne as well.
Isotretinoin may be prescribed for patients with severe acne. This medication may prove to be extremely effective and can sometimes be said to cure acne. Patients should be very cautious when using this treatment, however, as birth defects may occur when taken by pregnant women. Dry lips and peeling skin may be other side effects. Also, some people believe that this medication can cause suicidal symptoms, although this is controversial. The possibility should be discussed with a doctor.
As the possible risks associated with systemic treatments may turn off some patients, several treatments are now available that utilize laser and light technology in treating acne. These may be less invasive than medications, although patients should always discuss the risks and benefits associated with all treatments they are considering.
Light therapy utilizes blue light to treat acne. Blue light is absorbed by porphyrin, which is produced by bacteria in the skin, which causes a chemical reaction that destroys the bacteria. Also, red light may help to reduce inflammation in the skin, which often improves acne. This treatment may be more effective for patients with mild to moderate acne, as patients with severe acne may not see improvement.
Only a few lasers have shown to be effective in treating acne. The pulsed-dye laser and the 1450 nm infrared laser have performed well in tests. Patients should discuss the possible laser treatments before deciding to undergo treatment with any laser.
Photodynamic therapy is a treatment that combines the use of a drug and light therapy. The drug, called a photosensitizer, and the light destroy the targeted cells when used together. Hyperactive sebaceous glands are the targeted cells in cases of acne. The photosensitizer is applied to the skin and left to sit for a certain amount of time. The patient's skin is then exposed to the light source and the photosensitizer is then removed. Pain during the procedure and discoloration afterwards are possible side effects of this procedure and should be discussed with a doctor.
Chemical peels, microdermabrasion and radiofrequency therapy may also be effective treatments against acne. Patients in the Tampa area who want to know more about these and other treatments should consult a skincare professional.