Acne Treatment Options
The treatment of acne can include topical medications, oral medications, and other therapies such as the following:
Retinoic acids or tretinoin are often used for moderate acne and are available as creams, lotions, and gels. These topical medications prevent the plugging of hair follicles.
Taken either orally or applied topically, antibiotics kill bacteria on the skin and help in reducing redness and inflammation.
Produced by yeast, azelaic acid is a naturally occurring acid that has antibacterial properties. It is a topical medication option for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.
Salicylic acid helps prevent plugged hair follicles and is available as an ingredient in facial washes and leave-on products such as creams.
Combined oral contraceptives
Oral contraceptives that combine progestin and estrogen can be used as acne therapy in women who also wish to use them for contraception.
Dapsone is available in gel form and is a recommended treatment for inflammatory acne.
Spironolactone, an anti-androgen drug, can be used for women if oral antibiotics aren’t working. It decreases the activity of the sebaceous glands by blocking the effect of androgen hormones.
Isotretinoin is a derivative of vitamin A and is available in oral form. It may be prescribed when moderate or severe acne fails to respond to other treatments.
Light therapy or phototherapy has been successful at times. Most will require multiple sessions for it to take effect.
Salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or retinoic acid are repeatedly applied to the skin to improve the appearance of the skin and treat mild acne.
Drainage and extraction
Using special tools, the doctor removes whiteheads and blackheads or cysts that remain after the use of topical medications. This however might cause scarring.
Nodular and cystic acne can be treated by injecting a steroid drug into the lesions.