Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Advanced Acne Solutions

Advanced Acne Solutions

Overview

Pimples affect almost everyone older than age 12 at some point. The American Academy of Dermatology, or AAD, notes that 85 percent of those between 12 and 20 will suffer from acne each year. Most acne sufferers will get relief by taking good care of their skin, and perhaps through an acne product purchased over the counter at a drugstore. But some need advanced acne solutions offered by dermatologists.

Acne Causes

When you reach your teen years, rising levels of circulating hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands in your skin to produce a substance called sebum, which is a thick lubricating oil, according to the Mayo Clinic. Too much sebum, combined with overactive shedding of skin cells, can clog your pores. Bacteria thrive behind these blockages, creating inflammation and infection. As a result, acne lesions form.

Treatment Goals

Those with moderate to severe acne most likely will benefit from advanced acne solutions offered by dermatologists, according to the AAD. More serious acne, especially cystic acne and nodular acne, likely will leave behind scars if not treated aggressively. Cysts and nodules, which feel like large lumps under the skin's surface, indicate pockets of deep infection. Advanced acne solutions aim to clear pores, slow sebum production and kill the bacteria causing the infection.

Prescription Medications

If you have persistent acne, your dermatologist may recommend oral antibiotics, which work to curb bacterial infection in your skin, according to the AAD. Topical prescription antimicrobials also can help to kill the bacteria that causes acne inflammation, and topical retinols, such as Retin-A, help the skin renew itself, which clears your pores. For very stubborn and severe acne, your dermatologist may prescribe isotretinoin, an oral anti-acne medication. Isotretinoin can be very effective, but carries a risk of several severe side effects, so dermatologists generally reserve it for the worst cases.

Physical Treatments

Physical treatments for acne, such as laser and light therapy, also are gaining in exposure, according to the AAD. Blue LED light treatments fight acne-causing bacteria, potentially leading to partial or complete clearing within a month's time. Lasers used to treat acne shrink the skin's sebaceous glands, which leads to less oil production over time. Your dermatologist also might recommend a light chemical peel, which can help to loosen blockages in your pores. For very severe acne, you may need surgical extraction of acne lesions to prevent scarring.

Considerations

There's no one best acne treatment, and what works for other people may not work well for you. You may need to combine two or more different types of treatments to see good results, according to the AAD. If you have acne that requires advanced acne solutions, your best bet is to set up an appointment with a dermatologist who treats a range of acne patients to determine your options.

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