Don’t Pop That Pimple

It’s Not One Size Fits All

Acne, like most chronic conditions, comes in degrees of severity. And, like other conditions, it is treated according to the level of severity presented. Today, it is possible to address and resolve the condition very effectively. It is important to consider that it will take time because there are not usually any quick fixes. While some products may advertise that they can work magic overnight, it probably won’t happen that way. What’s good for the goose isn’t always so good for the gander – meaning that a procedure that works well for one person may not work at all for another and ultimately, you may need the help of a trained professional to deal with your specific acne problems.

Mild Acne Treatment

Mild acne, consisting of small lesions, blackheads, whiteheads or pustules, and appearing on the skin’s surface, can sometimes be managed quite well at home. By cleansing the affected areas with warm water and a mild soap two times a day to remove dead skin cells and excess oils and then applying a topical, over-the-counter treatment which may contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, it’s possible to see improvement within a month or two.

Moderate to Moderately Severe Acne

Moderate to moderately severe acne, where ¼ to ¾ of the face or affected area is covered in pustules, blackheads, and numerous whiteheads, may require the care of a dermatologist. The doctor will assess the condition and develop a course of treatment which may combine two or more protocols. Prescription drugs – both topical and oral, light treatments, extraction and OTC aids may be employed. The sooner the situation is brought under control, the more success in terms of avoiding scarring.

Treatment for Severe Acne

Characterized by deep cysts, inflammation, and extensive skin damage and scarring, severe acne requires aggressive treatment by a dermatologist. Severe acne can be disfiguring and may require years of treatment. However, the success rate for treating even very severe acne is high. The dermatologist may use physical methods as well as prescription medication to treat severe acne. Drainage and surgical excision, which should only be done by a professional under sterile conditions, opens and drains deep cysts and when done properly, reduces the incidents of scarring. If done at home by an individual, the risk for infection is high and scarring is probable.

Corticosteroid injections lessen inflammation and promote healing in inflamed cysts. The injection works by melting the cyst and usually takes about three to five days. Isotretinoin, considered today to be the most effective acne drug available, works effectively on all aspects of acne production, however it has side effects which can negatively impact some people, so it isn’t always prescribed. Oral antibiotics have been the basic mainstay of treatment for severe acne and oral contraceptives have also been shown to be effective in treating acne in women by suppressing overactive sebaceous glands.

Regardless the treatment, the best source of information and help is a dermatologist.

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