How Can You Treat Severe Acne
If you have severe acne and you have tried nonprescription (over the counter) acne products for some time with no positive results, you should ask your doctor regarding prescription medications. A dermatologist can help in:
- Controlling your acne
- Preventing scarring or any other damage on your skin
- Making your scars less visible
Acne medications usually work by decreasing swelling and oil production and treat bacterial infections as well. When you use most prescription acne treatments, you will notice results after about one or two months. However, clearing acne completely could take months or even years.
The treatment regimen that your doctor will prescribe will be dependent on your age, the severity and type of acne you’re suffering from, and what procedure you’re willing to commit to. For example, you may have to apply the acne treatment to the affected area for weeks and use oral medication. Keep reading to know how you can treat severe acne.
Medications for Acne
The most common prescription drugs for acne are:
- Retinoids. Medications that have tretinoin or retinoic acids are crucial for moderate acne. They come in the form of lotions, creams, and gels. Some examples of such drugs include adapalene, tretinoin (Retin-A, Avita, etc.), and tazarotene (Avage, Tazorac, etc.). This medication has to be applied every day in the evening and prevents hair follicles from plugging.
- Antibiotics. Antibiotics work by eliminating excess bacteria from the skin and minimizing inflammation and redness. For the first few weeks, you can mix an antibiotic and a retinoid – using an antibiotic in the morning and a retinoid in the evening. Antibiotics are mostly used together with benzoyl peroxide to reduce the chances of experiencing antibiotic resistance. They include clindamycin, lymecycline, erythromycin, and many more.
- Dapsone. It is recommended that you take dapsone like the aczone gel for inflammatory acne, especially for ladies with acne. Its side effects include dryness and redness.
- A blend of oral contraceptives. Four combined oral contraceptives have been approved for acne therapy by the FDA – estrogen, and progestin (Yaz, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, and others). The results of these medications are observed after a few months. Side effects may include breast tenderness, nausea, and weight gain. This is a risky method, however.
You can treat severe acne with nonprescription treatments, proper skincare, and self-care such as:
- Washing the affected area with a gentle cleanser. Wash the area twice daily with a gentle cleanser (Vanicream, Cetaphil, and others) or mild soap and warm water. Use shampoo if you have oily hair. Avoid products like astringents, facial scrubs, and masks. They irritate the skin, which can worsen acne.
- Eat the right diet. If you want to treat severe acne, you should eat a low-glycemic diet. A low-glycemic diet consists of beans, fresh vegetables and fruits, and steel-cut oats.
- Avoiding irritants. Greasy or oily cosmetics, hair styling products, sunscreens, and acne concealers can only worsen the acne. Instead, opt for products that are labeled as non-comedogenic or water-based. They are less likely to cause acne.
- Protect your skin from the harsh sun. The sun worsens the acne discoloration for some people that sometimes remain even after the acne has been cleared. More so, some acne medications could make you susceptible to sunburns. Confirm with your doctor which ones are these. Use a Noncomedogenic (nonoily) moisturizer which comes with sunscreen.
- Shower after performing strenuous activities. Sweat and oil on your skin can result in breakouts.
- Avoid pressure or friction on your skin. Protect your skin from contact with things like helmets, phones, straps, tight collars, or backpacks.
Conclusion – Wrapping it Up
Severe acne can be stubborn, but you can deal with it by taking the appropriate medication, eating the right foods, and implementing the necessary lifestyle changes.
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