Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Medical Acne Treatments

Medical Acne Treatments Medical Acne Treatments Medical Acne Treatments

If you suffer from acne and haven't had any success with over-the-counter products, you may be wondering what else can be done to clear up your skin. The next step toward clearing up your acne would be to visit a dermatologist who can work with you to find a comprehensive treatment plan for your acne. Dermatologists often use multiple prescription medications to fight all the possible causes of acne.

Antibiotics

Oral antibiotics have been proven effective at treating moderate to severe acne or persistent acne. According to AcneNet, antibiotics fight P. acnes, the bacteria that contribute to the development of acne. Treatment may last up to six months, starting with a stronger dose and tapering slowly. Erythromycin, tetracycline, doxycycline and minocycline are antibiotics commonly prescribed for acne. The most common side effect with antibiotic use is digestive tract irritation.

Antimicrobials

Like antibiotics, antimicrobials fight the P. acnes bacteria, but they are applied topically, or directly to the face. Antimicrobials come in the form of creams or gels, and are most effective at treating mild to moderately severe acne. Erythromycin, benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin and azelaic acid are commonly prescribed antimicrobials. The most common side effect with antimicrobial use is skin irritation.

Retinoids

Retinoids are derived from vitamin A, and are often very effective at treating acne. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, retinoids are effective at expelling comedones and preventing new ones from forming. They also have anti-inflammatory effects. Retinoids may cause sun sensitivity and skin irritation, especially early in treatment. Retinoids generally come in cream or gel form and are applied directly to the face, with the exception of isotretinoin.

Isotretinoin

Isotretinoin is a synthetic form of vitamin A that is taken in pill form, and is more commonly known by the brand name Accutane. It is normally taken once or twice a day for up to four months. Isotretinoin battles the P. acnes bacteria, reduces inflammation, reduces excess oil production and unclogs pores, making it a very effective treatment for acne. Because of the high incidence of birth defects, women of childbearing age are required to use two reliable forms of birth control. Enrollment in the iPLEDGE program is required, which is a registry of all isotretinoin users. Side effects may include drying of the skin and eyes, depression, nausea or headache.

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