Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in the world. People can experience this skin condition for several years, starting from puberty and continuing into adulthood. If you have been suffering from acne breakouts for several years, you may be eager to find a cure. Fortunately, working with dermatologists at Prizant Dermatology in Pittsburgh, PA can help you find the acne treatment to control your breakouts.
Can Acne Be Cured?
First and foremost, it’s important to realize that acne affects everybody differently. While some people may grow out of acne during puberty, other people may struggle with acne throughout adulthood, particularly women who are still menstruating. Acne can be temporary or chronic depending on various factors, including genetics, skincare habits, and lifestyle factors.
All that said, the good news is that you can control acne breakouts and cure your skin condition when you use the correct medications and acne treatments. Curing acne in the long term means adopting a consistent skincare routine that will prevent acne in the future.
Common Treatments for Acne
There are several common medications and aesthetic treatments that are used to control acne. Depending on the type of acne you have and the severity of your skin condition, one or more treatments may be appropriate for you. In general, all acne treatments seek to address two causal factors for the condition.
The first is exfoliating dead skin cells away from the surface of the skin, and the second is controlling oil production to prevent future acne. Some treatments for acne take it a step further and use methods that will kill acne-causing bacteria on the surface of the skin.
Accutane is likely one of the most well-known treatments for acne, particularly cystic or nodule acne that lies deep below the skin surface. Because cystic acne is more likely to cause scarring on the skin, it’s important to find a treatment for cystic acne to protect your skin.
Accutane works by altering the production of oil within your pores. When you take Accutane, your oil glands produce less oil, which helps prevent clogged pores that can lead to acne.
Tretinoin is a vitamin A derivative or retinol-based topical medication that resurfaces the skin and accelerates wound healing. As an acne medication, this is often the first line of defense against pustule acne, whiteheads, and other surface types of acne. Essentially, this topical medication prevents dead skin cells and oil from sticking to your pores.
Benzoyl peroxide is another very common topical medication that is used to control acne. Available both over the counter and by prescription, benzoyl peroxide works by unclogging the pores and killing acne-causing bacteria on the surface of the skin. When used consistently, benzoyl peroxide can prevent acne.
Salicylic acid is a common exfoliating ingredient found in many skin care products for acne-prone skin. Using salicylic acid can exfoliate skin cells from the surface of your skin and also reduce oil production, both of which can prevent the formation of blackheads and whiteheads.
For certain types of acne, it may be necessary to use topical or oral antibiotics to control breakouts. Usually, antibiotics are recommended when acne is severe but not responsive to other treatments. Using antibiotics to control acne works by killing acne-causing bacteria that cause pimples.
LED light therapy can also be a good option for certain patients, particularly those who have mild acne. LED therapy uses two different wavelengths of light to control acne breakouts. For example, blue light therapy kills acne-causing bacteria on the surface of the skin and deep within the pores, while red light therapy reduces inflammation and helps acne heal faster.
Chemical peels may also be an option for those who have mild to moderate acne. Chemical peels exfoliate the surface skin cells that can clog pores, and may also use acids that can control oil production and kill acne-causing bacteria. A side benefit of using chemical peels is that it will also generally correct any superficial skin concerns that are caused by acne, such as dark spots.
Certain facials may also be used to control acne. Depending on your skin type, using facials that are designed for acne-prone skin can unclog pores, extract oil, remove dead skin cells, deeply hydrate the skin, and spot-treat certain types of acne.
Which Treatment Is Right for You?
Choosing the best treatment for you will depend on the specific type of acne you have, your skin type, your skin tone, and your preferences. For some people, using a topical medication is more effective than aesthetic treatments, while for others, topical treatments and oral medications are too harsh on the skin. A dermatologist will analyze your skin, examine the type of acne you have, and identify the best treatments for you.
Will You Need a Combination of Treatments?
Because dermatologists prioritize the overall health of your skin, many dermatologists like to take a conservative approach to treating acne. However, when conservative methods don’t work, your dermatologist may try a combination of treatments so you get the best results.
For example, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids are often combined to address moderate to severe acne that is not responsive to single-channel treatments. Certain people may also require both antibiotics and other oral medications, such as birth control, to treat acne.
How Often Do You Use These Treatments?
You will usually need to use these treatments every day or a few times a week, depending on how tolerant your skin is. For example, some people may find retinol-based medications too strong to use daily, so these medications may only be used one to three times a week. Aesthetic treatments, on the other hand, can usually be used once a month for the best results.
How Long Will You Need These Treatments?
For some medications, such as Accutane, you only need to use the treatment for six months. For other treatments for acne, you may need to use these treatments for several months or even years, based on the condition of your skin. Because acne is chronic and can often be influenced by hormones, you may need to use certain treatments for a long time before revisiting treatment options with your dermatologist.
How Long Does It Take for Treatments to Work?
Usually, treatments for acne can produce results in several weeks. It’s always a good rule of thumb to give acne treatments at least four to six weeks to be effective. Although you may be looking for instant results, the best acne treatments will require several months to be most effective.
Can Acne Treatment Reduce Scarring?
Early treatments for acne can reduce the risk of scarring. When you can treat acne early, you can reduce inflammation and speed up wound healing, which will preserve the texture, tone, and appearance of your skin. The desire to reduce the risk of acne scarring is one of the reasons why people visit a dermatologist.
What Is Essential After Your Treatment?
After any treatment for acne, it’s essential to use suncare to prevent hyperpigmentation. Both topical and oral medications for acne can cause sensitivity to light and a higher risk of developing dark spots, which is why you should incorporate suncare into your daily routine.
Can You Enhance Your Results?
You can enhance your results by adopting healthier lifestyle practices. Your skin often reflects the state of your health, so even if your acne is caused by hormones, having a healthier lifestyle may benefit the condition of your skin. Some things you can do include removing excess salt, sugar, and grease from your diet, exercising regularly, and drinking plenty of water.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Most people who have mild to severe acne are good candidates for acne treatments. You may want to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist if over-the-counter products for acne are not effective. People of all ages, genders, skin types, and acne types are good candidates for multiple treatments to control acne.
Take Control of Your Acne
If you’re tired of acne breakouts and being embarrassed by your skin, it’s time to take control of your acne. A dermatologist can help you identify the treatments that are most appropriate for your skin type and acne type so that you can feel more confident about your skin appearance. Get in touch with Prizant Dermatology in Pittsburgh, PA to schedule your initial consultation today.