Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Remedies to Reduce Acne

Remedies to Reduce Acne

With modern medicine and emerging technology, reducing and treating acne has become easier. Today, several over-the-counter and prescription medications can help treat acne as well certain therapies. Dermatologists can recommend and prescribe different treatment options to help you become acne free based on your skin type and the cause and severity of your acne. You may need to use more than one treatment option if you suffer from severe or stubborn acne.

Over-the-Counter Treatments

Several over-the-counter medications can help reduce and clear your acne such as benzoyl peroxide, sulfur and salicylic acid. They are available in forms such as washes, medicated pads, creams and lotions. They also vary in strength, as some acne requires stronger medication. Benzoyl peroxide helps dry up oil produced by your sebaceous glands, according to WomensHealth.gov. It also helps kill the bacteria that causes pimples. Salicylic acid and sulfur help break down existing blackheads and whiteheads. Over-the-counter medications range in price but are generally less expensive than prescription medications. If over-the-counter products can't clear your acne, you may need to see your dermatologist for a prescription-strength medication.

Prescription Medications

Your dermatologist may prescribe retinoic acids, derived from vitamin A, or antibiotics, according to WomensHealth.gov. These medications may increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun. In certain instances, birth control pills may be used to treat acne, according to the Mayo Clinic. Three different types of birth control pills have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat acne in women. These brands include Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Yaz and Estrostep. Birth control pills help control your hormones to reduce acne. When taking birth control, women may experience side effects such as breast tenderness, nausea, headaches and changes in menstrual flow.

Modern Technology

Your dermatologist may recommend laser and light therapy as an alternative treatment option. Laser and light therapies consist of blue light therapy, diode laser and pulsed light and heat energy therapy, according to the Mayo Clinic. Blue light therapy is a painless process that exposes your skin to a low-intensity blue light, which helps destroy the bacteria that causes acne. Ongoing treatments may be necessary for best results. A diode laser helps destroy overproductive oil glands without harming your skin; however, the procedure may be painful, according to the Mayo Clinic. Pulsed light and heat energy therapy help destroy acne-causing bacteria while shrinking your oil glands. Your dermatologist will recommend the procedure that is best for you based on the severity of your acne and your skin type.

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