Dermatologist-Tested Acne Treatments
Acne is a very common disease, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). The causes of acne are commonly associated with the hormonal changes that occur as children enter puberty. The AAD says thanks to scientific research, acne treatments have made great strides in the last couple of decades. There are a number of treatment options approved for use by the AAD.
Topical retinoid acne medications (Avita, Retin-A, Renova, Tazorac, Avage) are derivatives of vitamin A. While early versions of retinoids frequently caused irritating side effects such as stinging and redness, the more advanced forms are not only less apt to cause adverse skin reactions, but the dosing is customized for each patient. The AAD says tests performed during research indicate that topical retinoids can effectively diminish mild to moderate cases of acne.
It has become commonplace for dermatologists to prescribe a topical retinoid in combination with a topical antimicrobial (benzoyl peroxide) or an oral antibiotic (tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, erythromycin trimethoprim or azithromycin).
The ADA says since most acne treatments attack only one source of acne, using more than one treatment allows different causes of the skin condition to be treated at the same time. The ADA says most patients using combination medications experience faster results that last for a longer time.
When conventional treatments fail to provide the desired result, the ADA says laser and light therapy may help improve acne. According to the Mayo Clinic, laser- and light-based treatments penetrate the deeper layers of skin without damaging the surface of the skin. Laser treatment appears to work by zeroing in on the bacteria that cause acne inflammation.
When acne results in large, painful lesions, the Mayo Clinic says corticosteroid injections may be beneficial. These injections diminish pain and help expedite the clearing of a large lesion.
The AAD says some birth control pills have been approved for the treatment of acne in women. According to the Mayo Clinic, these include a combination of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol (Ortho-Cyclen, Ortho Tri-Cyclen).
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