Acne generally affects people between the ages of 10 to 40 and over. It manifests as clogged pores, whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, pustules or cysts. They occur in the oil glands of the face and sometimes the chest and back.
Acne care medications deal with the proactive treatment of acne and helps control the spread and eliminate scarring. There is much that you can to for acne either on your own or with the help of a physician. If you have a mild form of acne, there are many over-the-counter medications that you can find in your local pharmacy. The Internet is also a good place to do research, as there are many companies that offer acne care medications. Just make sure that the company is reputable and has proven results with the products they sell.
If you consult a physician, preferably a dermatologist, there are several drugs that they can prescribe that will be beneficial to your condition. They include topically applied antibiotics and antibacterials like erythromycin, clindamycin, sulfacetamide and azelaic acid. Another popular prescribed medication is an oral antibiotic like tetracycline, doxycycline and minocycline. Cefadroxil, amoxicillin and sulfa drugs are also used. For extreme cases of acne, many doctors prescribe
* Retinoids: Retin-A has been around for years, and has become milder and gentler while still maintaining its effectiveness. Newer retinoids include Differin and Avita. These are especially helpful for unclogging pores.
* Oral antibiotics: Most doctors start oral treatment with tetracycline or one of the related “cyclines,” such as doxycycline and minocycline. Other antibiotics that are useful for treating acne are cefadroxil, amoxicillin, and sulfa drugs.
* Oral contraceptives: Modern contraceptives, which are low in estrogen to promote safety, have little effect on acne one way or the other. One pill, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, has been shown to help acne, but its effectiveness is only modest.
* Isotretinoin (Accutane): Isotretinoin is a wonderful treatment for severe, resistant acne. Used properly, it is safe and produces few side effects beyond annoying, dry lips. The most important issue with isotretinoin is contraception. Women of childbearing age must be sure they cannot become pregnant while taking this drug or for one month after stopping it, because of risk of birth defects.
* Cortisone Injections: To make large pimples and cysts flatten out fast, doctors inject them with a form of cortisone.
Patience, Patients! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and acne won’t clear in a week. Any of the treatments listed above may take 2 or 3 months to start working (even isotretinoin.) Unless there are side-effects such as dryness or allergy, it is important to give each regimen or drug enough time to work before giving up on it and moving on to other treatments. Otherwise, treatment becomes a merry-go-round going nowhere. With patience and perseverance, however, you’ll get there. Just hang in there. And don’t pick!