Acne treatments work well If used correctly. They clear the spots as much as possible and also prevent scarring. There are different types of treatments that work in different ways. Depending on the severity of the condition these treatments are decided by the doctor.
If you have mild acne, that is, blackheads, whiteheads, or mild pimples, you would prefer no treatment for the same. Mild acne usually disappears after some time without leaving any scars. However, if this becomes severe and inflamed, it can cause scars which would require treatment. It is best to treat acne at the early stages. This helps prevent the scars.
For mild acne conditions, use topical treatments and for moderate to severe conditions, where you have blackheads and whiteheads as well, tablets would be recommended along with topical treatments.
· Do not wash the face more than normal which is twice a day
· Use a mild soap and lukewarm water to wash your face
· Do not scrub hard when washing acne-affected areas
· Use antiseptic washes which may be beneficial
· The black tip of a blackhead is actually skin pigment which cannot be removed by cleaning or scrubbing. Hence, do not try to clean off blackheads
· Some acne treatments may dry the skin. Hence, use a mild water-based moisturizing cream
· Do not use ointment or oil-rich creams
Apply topical treatments to all the affected areas of the skin and not just the spot.
It is a common topical treatment. It is used to perform three actions: 1. It kills the germs, 2. It reduces inflammation, and 3. It helps to unblock pores. Benzoyl peroxide often works very effectively to clear inflamed spots and helps clear blackheads and whiteheads. It is available in the pharmacies without a prescription.
o Wash your skin 20-30 minutes before use of benzoyl peroxide
o Apply twice a day
o Keep it away from hair and clothes, as it has a bleaching effect
o It may cause mild skin irritation
o If irritation is caused, avoid using it till irritation subsides
These are used to unblock pores and have some effect on inflammation. Various brand names are tretinoin, adapalene, and isotretinoin. Use retinoids at an early stage of acne. This helps unblock pores and treats blackheads and whiteheads. You need a prescription to purchase retinoids.
o This may cause mild skin redness and skin peeling
o The spots may worsen before improving
o Sensitivity to sunlight may be experienced while using retinoids
o Apply retinoids at night and wash off in the morning
o You may experience a burning sensation
o Skin dryness is also a common side effect of retinoids
o Avoid pregnancy if you are using retinoids
Antibiotics reduce the number of bacteria and inflammation. Hence, they are good at curing inflamed acne. However, they have little effect on the pores. Therefore, blackheads and whiteheads cannot be treated with antibiotics. They may cause mild irritation but have fewer side effects as compared to other topical treatments. Usually, these are prescribed in combination with other medicines for better effect. Using them alone can increase the risk of the germs getting used to the antibiotics reducing the effect of the treatment. Also, you need a prescription for topical antibiotics.
Some treatments combine with other preparations to increase their effectiveness. For example, antibiotic when combined with benzoyl peroxide or retinoid can be more effective.
Antibiotic tablets work by killing the germs that cause acne. They also reduce inflammation and spots. However, they have little effect on blocked pores. Antibiotic tablets, in combination with topical treatments, are used for moderate to severe acne conditions. Common antibiotic tablets contain tetracycline. These include tetracycline, doxycycline, oxytetracycline, and lymecycline. Children under 12 are recommended not to take tetracycline-based antibiotics. Women should avoid pregnancy if on any of these medicines. Take the tablets empty stomach for better results.
Some antibiotics include erythromycin and trimethoprim.
The combined contraceptive pill can also help reduce acne problems in women. This reduces the imbalance caused by hormonal changes in the body.
Isotretinoin tablets are also very effective as they reduce the oil produced by the skin. They clear the spots. However, they may cause severe side effects. Hence, consult a doctor before taking these medicines.
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