Summertime. We plan for it all year, and then in the blink of an eye, a new school year is upon us. For some adolescents and young adults, the beginning of a new school year can come with the added stress of unwanted, stubborn acne.
Living with Acne
The frustration of trying countless over the counter remedies can be overwhelming.
Oftentimes, patients have been battling their acne for years and the expense of trying and failing various over the counter options far outweighs a visit to the dermatologist.
Unfortunately, there are no overnight cures for acne. With so many prescription treatments available, it helps to have the expertise of a provider that can choose which one is right for you.
Which Treatments Will Work for You?
The regimen your provider chooses will be unique to your specific skincare needs, and there are as many possible ways to combine products as there are people who need them.
Each ingredient used to commonly treat acne uses a different pathway to provide and maintain clear, beautiful skin.
- Topical antibiotics - The most commonly used forms, clindamycin and erythromycin, are usually paired with other topical agents, which make them more effective at decreasing inflammation and lowers the risk for bacterial resistance.
- Azelaic acid - This treatment option works in a similar way to oral antibiotics, by working to reduce bacteria on the skin. It also is an exfoliating agent, that minimizes the dead skin cells that can clog the pores.
- Topical retinoids - The vitamin-A-derived topical retinoids, including tretinoin (Retin-A, Renova), adapalene (Differin), and tazarotene (Tazorac, Avage) not only smooth fine lines and wrinkles, but they also exfoliate the dead skin cells that cause clogs and lead to acne.
- Antibiotics - Prescription antibiotics kill the bacteria in the skin that prompts acne breakouts and are usually prescribed in addition to a topical regimen.
- Contraceptive pills - Combination birth-control pills contain the hormones estrogen and progestin. They help regulate hormones that cause cyclical acne and reduce excess oil. It is common for dermatologists to combine these with topical acne medications.
- Spironolactone - This medication was initially used for patients with blood pressure and heart problems. It decreases testosterone, which was found to be effective at treating female patients whose acne tends to flare with their menstrual cycle.
- Isotretinoin - This vitamin A derivative is a very powerful oral retinoid designed to treat severe acne, and it is usually suggested after all other treatments have failed. It attacks acne at the source by preventing the production of oil in the skin.
Get Clearer Skin!
Start the school year off with confidence and a clear complexion! Call Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater at (757) 461-1033 to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive exam and a treatment plan personalized to your specific skincare needs!