Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. A common myth is that acne should be allowed to “run its course.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. There are a number of different kinds of acne and treatments for each. Treatments for acne are unique to the individual patient. Some do well with over-the-counter (OTC) medications and washes while others may need prescription treatments. The best way to treat acne before it becomes a serious problem or leaves scars is to see a dermatologist, who can come up with the best treatment plan for you. Request an appointment with Dermatology Consultants online.
What are the different types of acne?
Acne includes blackheads and whiteheads, papules, pustules (what most people call pimples), cysts and nodules. It can appear on the face and also the back, chest, neck, shoulders, upper arms and buttocks.
What causes acne?
Acne occurs when a pore becomes clogged. Bacteria on our skin can also get inside a pore, causing inflammation.
Do topical solutions work?
For mild acne, OTC treatments like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can work well. A prescription retinoid will work well on blackheads and whiteheads, while a prescription topical antibiotic may be needed for more advanced acne.
How is severe acne treated?
Acne can also be treated from within the body. We prescribe birth control pills, antibiotics and isotretinoin, or Accutane. Lasers and light therapies as well as chemical peels can be used to treat certain types of acne, too.
Tips for those with acne:
- Wash twice a day and after sweating.
- Use a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser. Don’t scrub!
- Shampoo regularly, daily if you have oily hair.
- Keep your hands off your face and don’t pick or pop.
- Use OTC salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or retinoid solutions.