Medicine for Acne Keloids
Acne keloids are scars occurring on the nape of the neck that begin as small, itchy red bumps. The excess tissue growth results from accumulating collagen or from chronic skin irritation by coarse, curly ingrown hairs. According to the Skin Care Physicians site of the American Academy of Dermatology, there is a hereditary component to the development of acne keloids, and the condition predominantly affects people of African descent. The National Institutes of Health explains that the condition is rarely curable, and treatment is difficult and usually only moderately successful.
The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology outlines two primary purposes of medicines in the treatment of acne keloids. They are used to reduce inflammation and to heal bacterial infections. Though medications are used to help heal the condition and prevent further growth of acne keloids, they can't cure the condition.
Corticosteroids are commonly used to treat acne keloids for reducing inflammation. Triamcinolone acetonide, prednisone, clobetasol propionate and fluocinonide are the four corticosteroids most frequently prescribed for the condition. Typically, topical creams are used, but Skin Care Physicians points says corticosteroid injections are sometimes administered with successful results--especially in conjunction with surgery. The retinoid medicines isotretinoin and tretinoin may also be prescribed for their anti-inflammatory properties. For staving off infections that often come with acne keloids, regimens of antibiotics are needed. Prescriptions may be for topical applications or oral forms. Erythromycinm, mupirocin, doxycycline, rifampin, tetracycline and clindamycin are all used. Certain medicated cleansers can play a preventative role when used in lieu of regular shampoo, too. These include products with benzoyl peroxide, chlorhexidine or keratolytic cleansers with alpha-hydroxy acids or tar.
When highly visible, acne keloids can be emotionally and socially devastating. This is especially true considering the age of those who suffer from the condition; dermatologist Dr. Philip Letada of the Naval Medical Center in San Diego says almost all cases occur in people 14 to 25. The New Zealand Dermatological Society says expansion of scars can persist for years, and if untreated they are permanent. This makes acne keloid medications' roles of accelerating healing and reducing risk of recurrence important to a patient's mental health. Of course, with the treatment of infection, these medicines are essential to physical health as well.
All of the acne keloid medications carry risk of minor and serious side effects. Corticosteroids in particular carry significant risks of long-term effects. These can include steroid atrophy, diminished ability for wounds to heal, increased risk of infection, adverse systemic effects and others among the different types listed. Retinoids can cause vision disturbances such as decreased night vision or sensitivity to light and other side effects. Many antibiotics can lead to stomach problems, liver damage and other complications. In addition, the medicines used for acne keloids can have dangerous interactions with other drugs or supplements, and some cannot be taken by patients with other health conditions.
Skin Care Physicians says that although medications are often used primarily for the purpose of skin rejuvenation during a course of acne scar treatment, physical procedures are the main method of treatment. Laser therapy and surgical excision can be performed to treat acne keloids. The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology says that although surgical excision may be the best option, it has the significant drawback of requiring wide and deep cuts around the tissue to prevent recurrence. Radiation treatments may also be used after surgery to ward off recurrence. In addition, techniques including dermabrasion and chemical peels may be used to treat mild cases of acne keloids.
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