Acne is a skin condition which occurs when oil and dead skin cells collect in a person’s pores and obstruct them. Acne is usual among teenagers, but adults can suffer with this condition as well. Acne can have a damaging affect on people’s self confidence but there are a wide range of treatments that can help.
Acne affects at least 85% of teens. 25% of all men and 50% of all women get acne in their adult lives. Acne can be difficult to cope with at every age. The consequences of acne being left untreated can be more than skin deep. If you find yourself skipping outings with friends and events, or your breakouts just upset you, it is time to see the dermatologist.
At first, you might turn to over the counter remedies to treat your acne. Mild acne will often go away in four to six weeks with the use of drugstore creams, gels and cleansers that contain benzoyl peroxide and/or salicylic acid. For some, these may work but for others acne may be more severe and you should consider seeing your dermatologist. Dermatologists often prescribe a retinoid and possibly an oral antibiotic initially.
Sometimes you might be dealing with more than just superficial pimples. You may have cystic acne which is the most severe type. Cystic acne develops because there is a severe inflammation in the region of the outbreak. Cystic acne is often painful. Try to avoid the urge to pick or pop nodules or cystic acne. To reduce inflammation and boost the healing process, your dermatologist may administer an injection directly into the lesions. The doctor will prescribe a regimen appropriate for your skin type, the severity of the acne and the progression of your scarring.
When acne is hormonal such as acne that occurs with menstruation, oral contraceptives may be a valuable treatment. There a few FDA approval birth controls for the treatment of acne. The pills must contain both estrogen and progestin to be effective against acne. Another medication that may help hormonal acne is spironolactone which blocks the hormone’s effect on the skin thereby preventing outbreaks.
When your acne is serious and you have tried literally everything to clear up your skin, your dermatologist may recommend isotretinoin or Accutane. This is a powerful acne medication and is only to be used under the supervision and recommendation of a dermatologist. Isotretinoin is a retinoid, or Vitamin A derivative, that works by decreasing the amount of pore-clogging oil your body produces, even after you stop taking it! It addresses acne all over the body and not just on your face. Isotretinoin is the most powerful drug dermatologists prescribe to help the patient prevent and manage their acne with long term improvement.
There are a few other small ways to control and manage your acne:
- Wash your face daily and always wash your face after sweating. Remove makeup nightly.
- Be gentle with your skin and do not use products that irritate your skin. Dry and red skin can make your acne appear worse.
- Avoid touching your face. Touching your face throughout the day can cause flare ups.
- Let your skin heal naturally. If you pick, pop, or squeeze your acne, your skin will take longer to heal and increase your risk of getting acne scars.
- Stay out of the sun and tanning beds. Tanning damages your skin. Some acne medications make the skin very sensitive to UV light, which you get from both the sun and tanning beds.
If all the acne products you have tried have not worked, your acne is leaving scars, or you’re just embarrassed by it, Dr. Kurzman is here to help. Dr. Kurzman also has his very own line of excellent skincare products to keep you protected. He is happy to evaluate your skin and recommend a perfect skincare regimen just for you! Take a stand against your acne and make an appointment with us today.