Acne is embarrassing, annoying and can even be painful. If you have acne that just won't go away, a dermatologist can provide specialized treatments to help clear up your skin once and for all. If you are considering going to a general dermatology specialist, check out these five common acne treatment methods, so you know what to expect.
They Prescribe Topical Acne Medications
There are many different types of acne medications, and when over-the-counter medications and cleansers don't work, dermatologists prescribe more powerful solutions. Most treatments your dermatologist offer are applied directly to the skin. The active ingredient varies and depends on your specific case. For example, some patients require treatments with salicylic acid to reduce oil, while other patients need antibiotic treatments to kill the bacteria that causes acne.
They Prescribe Medication that Works Throughout the Body
If you have acne cysts that are red and swollen, a topical treatment isn't always enough because there is more causing acne than just oil on the skin. These treatments work throughout the body and are taken orally. Antibiotics fight bacteria and inflammation, and birth control pills are beneficial for women with hormonal acne. The most powerful acne medication is isotretinoin, which is effective in about 85 percent of patients and treats all causes of acne. However, it has major side effects, including birth defects, which is why women taking this pill are required to take steps to prevent pregnancy.
They Provide Non-Invasive Skin Treatments
Dermatologists also offer some non-invasive skin treatments to fight acne. One such method is light therapy. This treatment uses specialized lights that actually destroys the bacteria that causes your acne. Another treatment is a chemical peel. The chemical peels used by dermatologists are powerful, and they are great at getting rid of stubborn blackheads and papules. Microdermabrasion can also be used to reduce blackhead and white heads. Chemical peels and microdermabrasion work by removing the top layer of your skin, which can be painful. Plus, these treatments are often considered cosmetic and aren't always covered by insurance.
They Offer Acne Removal Procedures
If your acne is severe and difficult to treat, dermatologists can perform procedures that actually remove the acne. If you have cystic acne that does not respond with medication, your dermatologist drains the pus from the cyst. Medication is then placed inside the cyst to help with healing. This procedure often leaves less scarring than medications, and it is inexpensive. Unfortunately, it also takes a long time to successfully treat each cyst. Acne removal can also be used to help extract blackheads and white heads or just clean clogged pores.
They Treat Acne Scars
Severe acne tends to leave scars, especially cystic acne that isn't treated correctly. Even when you finally fight the war against your acne, you may be left with depressed or raised acne scars. Luckily, there are many ways dermatologists help reduce the appearance of these scars. Depending on your type of scar, treatments include scar surgery, resurfacing, fillers, skin tightening, collagen-induction therapy, electrodesiccation, injections, lasers, cryosurgery and scar creams. Each treatment offers different results, different downtime, different treatment times and different costs, so you'll need to work with your dermatologist to choose the perfect treatment.
Whether you're a teenager or an adult, acne can affect you. Many over-the-counter medications and cleansers have enough acne-fighting ingredients to stop mild breakouts. However, if you have severe acne that just won't go away, it's time to seek help from a dermatologist. If you are ready to finally see clear skin, contact a dermatologist in your area. Schedule a consultation and create your own treatment plan for beautiful skin.