Acne Treatment Options
Acne Treatment Options
What is acne? — Acne is the medical term for pimples. Pimples happen when pores get clogged with dead skin and oil, and bacteria build up. Then the skin gets inflamed and can turn red or swell.
Is there anything I can do on my own to reduce acne? — Yes. The way you take care of your skin has a big effect on your acne. Here's what you should do:
- Wash your face no more than twice a day. Use warm – not hot – water, and do not use harsh soaps. Instead, use a gentle non-soap facial skin cleanser. Do not scrub your face, because that can make acne worse and damage the skin.
- Do not pick or squeeze pimples. This can make acne worse and damage the skin. Plus it can lead to infections.
- Avoid oil-based make-up and skin products. They can make acne worse. If you use a moisturizer for your face, a moisturizer labeled as "non-comedogenic" is often best.
Can I treat my own acne? — If you have mild acne, you can try non-prescription acne products. You might even try using more than 1 product at once. That might be more effective than using 1 single product alone. In rare cases, people have a severe allergic reaction to acne products, so for the first 3 days, try them on just a small area. If you do not improve after 3 months, or if you have moderate or severe acne, ask your doctor or nurse for advice.
How is acne treated? — Doctors can treat acne using different types of medicines. Sometimes doctors suggest trying more than 1 medicine at once.
There is no 1 medicine or combination of medicines that works best for everyone. Instead, people often need to try different medicines until they find what works best for them.
Most acne medicines require a prescription. Your doctor might suggest:
- Medicines you put directly on your skin – These can be gels, creams, or lotions. There are different types. Some examples are:
- Vitamin A analogs – These are medicines that help keep your pores unclogged. Vitamin A analogs can also help improve dark spots on the skin caused by acne.
- Pore uncloggers – These help remove dead layers of skin. They can reduce acne by helping to unclog pores.
- Antibiotics – Antibiotics reduce acne by killing the bacteria inside pimples. They also help bring down inflammation.
Medicines you take as a pill – These include:
- Antibiotics – Antibiotic pills work for the same reasons antibiotic gels or lotions work. But they tend to be stronger and can cause unpleasant side effects.
Vitamin A analog pills – These are very effective against severe acne. But they can also cause serious side effects and birth defects. Women who want to take them must follow very strict safety rules to prevent pregnancy.
What if I want to get pregnant? — If you want to get pregnant, talk to your doctor before you start trying to get pregnant. Many of the medicines used to treat acne are not safe for a growing baby.
Will my diet affect my acne? — Some studies have found that acne seems to be more common in people who drink a lot of milk. But more research is needed to understand the link between the types of foods people eat and acne.
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Do you give 100% guarantee?
No doctor can give 100% guarantee that the treatment or surgery would be beneficial for the patient. For that matter, no guarantee is given by any doctor or surgeon that the patient would be "cured".
Anyone considering a cosmetic procedure should ensure they are informed enough to understand the limitations and risks of any procedure. Remember, no procedure is 100% risk free and no surgeon can give a 100% guarantee of the results.
The only assurance which a doctor can give or can be understood to have given by implication is that he is possessed of the requisite skill in that branch of profession which he is practicing and while undertaking the performance of the task entrusted to him he would be exercising his skill with reasonable competence.
Unless the circumstances are exceptional, it is advisable to avoid surgery if you have recently experienced major life events such as moving house, changing job, losing a loved one, the break-up of a relationship or the arrival of children. Undergoing cosmetic surgery results in emotional changes as well as physical ones, so it’s wise to choose a time when there aren’t other stressful events going on in your life.
How many sessions do I require?
The healthier your skin/hair are when starting out, the easier it will take the treatment. The sessions must be spaced to allow adequate healing in between. Skin/Hair that are healthy enough to regenerate fairly quickly will be able to endure more sessions of a treatment in a shorter period of time.
While these aren’t the only factors involved, they are the most common. Don’t be surprised, however, if your doctor mentions another situation that could impact the length and/or number of sessions you may require. Every person is different, and your circumstances will be unique only to YOU.