Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Treatment for Acne Pustules

Treatment for Acne Pustules Treatment for Acne Pustules Treatment for Acne Pustules

Overview

A pustule is one of many kinds of lesions that can characterize an acne outbreak. These inflamed, dome-shaped bumps erupt from a hair-containing follicle, then swell at the head with a mix of dead skin cells, bacteria and white blood cells that form pus. Proper treatment of acne pustules will help them heal without scarring.

Pustule Characteristics

The pus contained in pustules is formed from white blood cell production. These cells are manufactured by the body's immune system to battle P. acnes, the bacteria that cause acne. The resulting pus pools up in the affected follicle, creating the pustule. The face, back, shoulders and breastbone area are the most common sites for an outbreak of pustules, but these common acne lesions can erupt almost anywhere on the body, including armpits, groin and other areas where sweat is prevalent.

Treatment Plan

Treatment of pustules is the same as that for whiteheads, blackheads and other kinds of acne lesions. Effective treatment usually is the result of a combination of approaches rather than a single method, according to the American Academy of Dermatologists (AAD). The group strongly recommends that treatment for pustules and other acne problems should begin as soon as possible to reduce the risk of scarring. This is especially important if you have a history of scarring easily.

Reducing Bacteria

Your dermatologist can prescribe many kinds of topical gels, creams and lotions to initiate a treatment for a pustular outbreak. Most of these formulas are antimicrobials--medications that significantly reduce the population of acne-promoting bacteria on the skin.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide creams, one of the most common acne medications, effectively kill P. acnes. Because they do little to reduce inflammation, however, they are better suited for the treatment of mild acne. For moderate to severe cases, a combination of benzoyl peroxide and topical antibiotics is a winning treatment.

Antibiotics

Topical antibiotics such as erythromycin and clindamycin also control the growth of P. acnes while reducing inflammation of pustules. These medications should be used exactly as prescribed to avoid encouraging bacterial resistance, warns the AAD. Again, when used in conjunction with benzoyl peroxide, the effectiveness of topical antibiotics can be significantly boosted.

Oral antibiotics can also offer pustule control as they reduce the amount of bacteria on the skin and inflammation. These are usually prescribed in conjunction with topical medications.

Retinoids

Topical retinoid, a derivative of vitamin A, is often the treatment of choice for patients with moderate to moderately severe acne pustules. Not only do the prescribed forms of this medications clear pores, but they prevent the formation of pustules and other acne lesions. Known for being harsh on the skin, retinoids are now available in gentler formulas that offer the same effective results. They do increase sun sensitivity, however, so take appropriate sun protection precautions when using topical retinoids.

Other Solutions

There are many over-the-counter acne-fighting products containing milder strengths of benzoyl peroxide, retinoids and other antimicrobials that might help you control a mild case of pustular breakouts. If your condition does not respond to your own efforts to clear your skin, however, consult a dermatologist for expert advice. Delaying treatment could result in a more widespread problem and scarring.

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