Acne is one of the most common skin conditions affecting both adults and children across the world. While many assume that acne is almost exclusively a teenage issue, in reality, acne issues are just as common in adults as they are in teens – with nearly 50% of the world dealing with some form of acne.
An important thing for patients to understand is that not every case of acne is the treated the same, and there are many rashes that can mimic acne. It is important to be evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist to appropriately diagnose the correct type of acne so that we can discuss options that are right for your skin and lifestyle. It is also important to discuss lifestyle and environmental factors that could be contributing or exacerbating factors.
Once we have correctly diagnosed the type of acne, we can offer a variety of different types of treatment. Some of the more common acne treatment methods include:
- Topical Antibiotics /Anti-inflammatory (ex: Clindamycin, Duac®, BenzaClin®, Acanya®,Aczone®, Finacea®, Sulfur containing creams)- used to decrease inflammation causing small inflammatory pink papules on the skin
- Topical Retinoids/Exfoliating Agent (ex: Differin®, Retin-A®, Tazorac®, Tretinoin)/ (Glycolic or Salicylic Acid)- used to decrease blackhead and whitehead formation
- Oral Antibiotics (ex: doxycycline, minocycline, Bactrim®, Keflex®)- used temporarily for larger, painful inflammatory papules
- Aldactone® (generic: spironolactone)-this oral medication blocks hormones that can exacerbate acne
- Birth Control Pills-decreases hormonal fluctuations that affect acne.
- Accutane® (generic: isotretinoin)
This oral medication is a retinoid (Vitamin A derivative) used to treat severe scarring acne that does not respond to the above medications. Accutane® shrinks oil glands and decreases sebum production and prevents pores from getting clogged. It can produce permanent clearance of cystic acne.
- Light chemical peels help improve skin texture, blackheads and whiteheads, decrease mild dyspigmentation & increase absorption of your topical treatments.
- Blue/Red Spectrum Light Therapy consists of a concentrated visible light that kills bacteria and decreases inflammation/redness. For more serious acne, ALA (a topical solution) may be applied prior to the light therapy exposure in order to enhance light penetration and target oil glands. This is called photodynamic therapy and can achieve clearance in 1-3 sessions monthly.
- Laser- IPL and laser may also decrease inflammation and improve certain post-acne redness. Co2 laser or microneedling with PRP may improve the appearance of acne scars and pigmentation.
- Extractions- made famous by “pimple-poppers”, blackheads and whiteheads can be drained to remove debris.
For more information on all of our acne treatment options or to schedule a consultation, be sure to contact Nova Dermatology today.