Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acne Treatments by a Dermatologist

Acne Treatments by a Dermatologist

Acne is a common skin problem that can occur for a variety of reasons including irregular skin cell shedding, excess production of sebum oil from the glands of the skin, infection by Propionibacterium acnes bacteria and inflammation. Mild cases of acne, such as blackheads, usually are remedied easily by over the counter treatment methods such as a salicylic acid gel. More severe cases of acne, such as nodular or cystic acne, may need the intervention of a dermatologist for treatment.

Topical

Dermatologists have the ability to prescribe several topical medications to help treat more severe cases of acne. For example, the retinoid tretinoin is often prescribed to treat serious cases of acne. Other topical medications include benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid, adapalene and tazarotene. Your dermatologist will look at the cause and effect of your acne breakout and then prescribe the appropriate topical medication to treat the affected areas.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics, such as erythromycin and clindamycin, are also commonly used by dermatologists to treat acne and can be taken both orally or used topically. Antibiotics are reserved for serious acne breakouts where the P. acnes bacteria has caused infection and inflammation. Antibiotics kill off the colonies of bacteria, allowing the swelling to subside. Antibiotics may be combined with other anti-microbials, such as benzyole peroxide, to help reduce the chances of the P. acnes bacteria developing a resistance to the medication.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy may also be used by a dermatologist to treat your acne outbreak. Laser therapy uses a high energy beam propelled directly at the sebacious glands beneath your skin, damaging the glands in the process. Sebacious glands are responsible for producing an oil called sebum, which when produced in excess, can lead to acne breakouts. The laser treatment damages the glands and causes them to produce less oil.

Blue Light Therapy

Light therapy is also used by dermatologists for acne treatment. Blue light therapy targets the P. acnes bacteria colonies beneath the skin. Light therapy projects wavelengths of blue light at inflammed acne lesions. The light interacts with molecules called porphyrins, which are produced by the P. acnes bacteria. This interaction produces free radicals, which, in turn, attack and kill the acne bacteria.

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