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San Diego Acne Treatment

Acne is a common skin condition characterized by plugged pores (blackheads and whiteheads), inflamed pimples (pustules), and deeper lumps (nodules). Acne occurs on the face, as well as the neck, chest, back, shoulders, and upper arms. Although acne is more common in teenagers, adults can develop acne. Adult acne which can occur in the 20`s, 30`s, 40`s or later, may be related to hormone changes, childbirth, menopause or in relation to oral contraception. Acne not only can be painful and socially stigmatizing, but untreated inflammatory acne can cause permanent scarring.

Adult Acne

Adult acne which can occur in the 20`s, 30`s, 40`s or later, may be related to hormone changes, childbirth, menopause or in relation to oral contraception.

Diet

In general, a link between acne and certain foods has not been proven. Certain food such as milk, containing hormones, may be associated with the development of acne. If certain foods appear to be making your acne worse, it is best to avoid them.

Make-up

Oil-free, water-based moisturizers and make-up may be used. Choose products that are “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic.” Remove your cosmetics every night with a gentle cleanser and water.

A flesh-tinted acne lotion or loose powder in combination with an oil-free foundation are useful for hiding blemishes. Hair products that are oil-based and greasy are best avoided.

Treatment

The goal of acne treatment often is to achieve adequate control of the acne until your tendency to develop acne decreases. Acne treatments work by preventing new acne lesions from developing, so it may take several weeks for improvement to occur. It is important to inform your dermatologist of any topical or oral medications you are using. Many acne medications have a tendency to make your skin dry, so use of a moisturizer is often recommended.

Topicals

  • These include topical creams, gels, or lotions containing benzoyl peroxide, derivatives of vitamin A such as tretinoin cream and adapalene, antibiotics and mild acids to help unblock the pores and reduce bacteria. These products may cause some drying, redness and peeling.

Oral Antibiotics

  • Antibiotics taken by mouth such as doxycycline, minocycline or tetracycline are often prescribed. These medications should only be used for the short-term control of acne flares. Long-term use is associated with decreased effectiveness and antibiotic resistance.

Birth Control Pills

  • In women, certain formulations of birth control pills may significantly improve acne. This is particularly true if acne flares tend to occur just prior to, during or immediately after the menstrual period. Check with your dermatologist and gynecologist to determine whether this treatment would be appropriate for you.

Accutane® ,

  • Isotretinoin (Accutane®), a vitamin-A derivative, is a powerful and effective medication appropriate for severe, nodulocystic, scarring acne or acne that does not respond adequately to other acne treatments. Because there are potentially serious side effects associated with this medication, it is tightly monitored by the FDA. Prevention of pregnancy while taking this medication is crucial, since the drug causes severe birth defects. Use of isotretinoin requires registration with the IPLEDGE program, laboratory monitoring and monthly follow-ups with your dermatologist.

Other Treatments

  • Acne surgery: the manual extraction of whiteheads and blackheads.
  • Chemical washes for acne.
  • Women may also use medications that decrease the effects of male hormones to help control their acne.
  • Photodynamic therapy using the administration a chemical in combination with visible light can be helpful in treating acne.

No matter what special treatments your dermatologist may use, consistency of medication and treatment use, in combination with good skin care yields the best results. Appropriate treatment of acne not only improves your appearance, but may prevent scars.