Almost all cases of acne can be effectively treated. Treatment goals are to heal existing acne lesions, stop new lesions from forming, and prevent acne scars from developing.
Acne treatment aims to control one or more of the underlying causes of acne. For instance, topical retinoids, such as Differin, Retin A Micro or Tazorac, may help unclog sebaceous glands and keep pores open. Antibiotics may be used to fight the P. acnes bacteria. Isotretinoin (Accutane) or hormonal agents, such as birth control pills, may be used to reduce sebum (oil) production.
Procedures for Acne
For persistent acne lesions that are inflamed or unresponsive to medications, some doctors recommend additional methods, including extraction, photodynamic therapy, or corticosteroid injections.
Dr. Goodman utilizes Salicylic acid peels which can be found with concentrations ranging from 20%-30%. Salicylic acid peels work by encouraging the shedding of outer layers of skin and dislodging dirt and sebum from pores. Salicylic acid also possesses anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to shrinks pore size by stimulating cellular renewal.
Acne Treatment Plan
Your doctor will recommend an acne treatment regimen based on these factors:
- Severity of your acne. Mild acne may respond well to a topical retinoid alone. Moderate acne may respond better to a combination of topical retinoid with an antibiotic or other medication. Severe acne with scarring may need treatment with an oral retinoid (Accutane, Sotret).
- Results of previous treatments. Medications may be added in a step-wise fashion, only if previous treatments are found to be ineffective.
- Degree of scarring. More aggressive therapies may be started earlier if acne scars have already started developing.
- Gender. Some treatments are available only for females, such as birth control pills.
Whatever your treatment plan, it is important that you give it enough time to work. This may mean waiting 6 to 8 weeks to see results. While the older acne lesions are healing, the medication is hard at work keeping new lesions from forming. Staying on your medication is the most important step to getting acne under control.