Fast Acting Acne Solutions
If you have pimples, you're not alone--especially if you're a teenager. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that up to 50 million Americans, mostly teens, suffer from acne lesions each year. Pimples may seem to pop up overnight and take forever to go away without treatment. Even with treatment, it takes a while to get rid of acne. Dermatologists offer several relatively fast-acting acne treatments, although some are reserved for patients whose acne looks severe enough to leave scars.
Three factors contribute to acne formation, according to the Mayo Clinic. First, the skin's sebaceous glands begin to produce too much oil. Next, this oil combines with dead skin cells, especially if the skin sheds these cells too quickly. The oil and the skin cells irritate the skin's hair follicles and also clog pores. Pimples begin to form. Finally, bacteria begin to grow too fast in the overly oily skin and behind the blockages, causing infection and inflammation.
The fastest way to get rid of individual acne lesions involves corticosteroid injected directly into inflamed cysts, according to the AAD. If your acne looks severe enough, your dermatologist may recommend these injections, which use very dilute corticosteroids to reduce the inflammation fast. Such an injection can "melt" the acne lesion in less than one week, the AAD reports. However, dermatologists generally reserve these treatments for acne patients at high risk of scarring from their pimples.
Another fast acting acne solution involves blue LED light therapy. This treatment often works within one or two months to clear your skin, according to the AAD. Generally, patients receive eight treatments over the course of four weeks. After treatment, two-thirds of patients see the majority of their acne lesions clear, although the therapy doesn't work for everyone. Side effects include temporary redness, skin dryness and swelling.
Dermatologists also offer oral isotretinoin, a synthetic version of vitamin A. The AAD calls isotretinoin the most effective acne treatment available, and the drug often will clear acne almost completely--and permanently--after four or five months of use. However, isotretinoin carries the risk of serious side effects, including severe birth defects, depression and suicidal thoughts. Therefore, dermatologists generally reserve it only for patients with severe acne that hasn't responded to other medications.
Although some acne products may advertise fast or even overnight results, curing most cases of acne takes time. If your acne looks severe enough, your dermatologist may recommend fast measures aimed at preventing scars from forming. If you've had little success with other acne medications, you might try isotretinoin. And if you have fairly mild acne, blue LED lights might provide partial clearing within one to two months. But unfortunately, no acne treatment will provide instant results.
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