Painful Acne Bumps
Several forms of acne can affect your skin. Acne is a common condition that affects approximately 17 million Americans, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Of the 17 million affected, 85 percent are teenagers, but many adults also suffer from active acne.
There are four severe types of acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Acne conglobata, also known as acne vulgaris, is the most common form of acne, characterized by inflammation, deep abscess, scarring and severe skin damage. Acne fulminans is often followed by a sudden onset of a dangerously high fever and ulcerating acne and may be accompanied by joint pain, such as pain in the hips or knees. Nodulocystic acne is acne that produces deep cysts that can grow several centimeters wide. Cysts are uncommon and appear to be filled with thick, yellowish pus. Gram-negative folliculitis is another form of severe, painful acne that is the result of long-term antibiotic use. Bacteria within the body becomes resistant to antibiotics with this type of acne.
Depending on the type of acne you suffer from, topical treatments can clear acne. Topical treatments can include cleansers, topical antibiotics applied directly to problem areas and topical retinoids, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. All topical medications are applied directly to the skin. Topical medications can cause dry skin, peeling skin and flaky skin.
Oral treatments can attack acne in a different way than topical medications can. Oral treatments include oral antibiotics, oral contraceptives and isotretinoin. Isotretinoin carries dangerous side effects such as depression and suicidal thoughts, as well as nose bleeds and severe dry skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
For stubborn or severe acne, combination therapy may be the best treatment option, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Combination therapy can consist of using oral medications and topical medications. In certain cases of acne, it is necessary to treat for bacteria by taking an oral medication as well as using a topical medication to help clear pores. Combination therapy can also be the use of two types of topical treatments, such as using benzoyl peroxide in the morning and salicylic acid at night.
When to See Your Dermatologist
If your acne has not responded to over-the-counter medications or has not responded to your prescribed medication, you may need a different type of prescription to treat your acne. Your dermatologist will need to know which treatments you have tried in the past and will ask how your skin responded before recommending a new medication. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, your dermatologist will need to decide which treatment option is best for you, whether it be a topical treatment, systemic treatment or a combination therapy. An in-office procedure may need to be performed to drain cysts under sterile conditions.
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