How to Treat Acne?


Acne is a common skin condition. It may appear on your face, affecting your appearance. Thus, you want to get rid of it. If you are concerned about how to treat acne effectively, this article will provide you with basic information.

The goals of treatment

Treatment for acne aims to heal the pimple, stop new pimple from developing, prevent acne scars, and reduce emotional problems related to acne.

How to treat mild acne

Mild acne includes whiteheads, blackheads, small pimples. Wash your skin with warm water and mild cleanser. Doctor may recommend you to use over-the-counter or prescribed medicines. The medicines can be applied to the acne or the affected areas.

Common ingredients that are used to treat acne include:

  • Benzoyl peroxide: Benzoyl peroxide can help kill bacteria called P. acnes, and reduce oil.
  • Resorcinol, salicylic acid, and sulfur: these ingredients help break down comedones (blackheads and whiteheads).

Medicines can be lotions, creams, ointments, or gels. However, they may cause some side effects such as dry skin, irritation, burning, tingling, redness. If you experience these symptoms, you should tell your dermatologist.

You may have to wait for weeks to notice the improvement.

How to treat moderate to severe inflammatory acne

Moderate to severe acne required more complicating treatment. The doctor may prescribe topical and oral medications. These medications can be used alone or in a combination.

Topical medicines containing antibiotics (kill bacteria and reduce inflammation); retinoids (unplug whiteheads and blackheads); or other ingredients (kill P. acnes and reduce oil on your skin). If you have sensitive skin, you may be beneficial from creams and lotions because they provide moisture. If you have oily skin, you may be recommended to use alcohol-based gels. However, alcohol-based gels can cause dry skin.

The side effect can occur in some people. Possible side effects include burning, redness, scaling, discoloration. Always follow the instruction and report side effects to your dermatologist.

Oral antibiotics are used to control the growth of bacteria. However, some people experience side effects of antibiotics, such as illness of the stomach, dizziness.

How to treat severe nodules and cysts

If you have nodular or cystic acne, you should have it treated by a dermatologist. Do not try to treat it yourself, you can make the condition get worse. If antibiotics and retinoids do not work, the dermatologist may prescribe isotretinoin. This medicine reduces the size of oil glands and prevents scarring. However, isotretinoin can cause birth defects so if you are pregnant, do not take this medicine. Ask your dermatologist carefully about this treatment. It may not be suitable for you.

How to treat hormonal acne in women

Acne can be caused by excessive growth of hair, irregular menstrual cycles, or premenstrual acne flares. In these cases, you may be recommended to take birth control pills, corticosteroid drugs in low dosage, or antiandrogen drugs. These treatments can reduce the production of oil and androgen.

Other treatment

Doctor may remove your acne with drugs and special tools. This procedure will be done during your visit. Laser therapy or dermabrasion can be used to treat acne scars.

Treatment for acne depends on the type or acne and the severity. Mild acne can be treated with over-the-counter products. Moderate to severe acne require more complicating options including antibiotics, injection, or acne removal. Work with your dermatologist to find out what is suitable for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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