Acne is one of the most common reasons patients seek my care. As dermatologists we are seeing a rise in acne in women in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. As a mom of two teenage daughters, this is also a common discussion amongst my kids and their friends. Acne treatment should be tailored to the individual patient and initiated before long term scarring and skin discoloration occurs.
I always ask my patients to bring all of their cosmetic products to the office so I can asses if they’re using pore-clogging topicals.
It’s imperative to use a great face wash that’s suitable for your skin type. For patients with oily skin, I recommend a face wash with salicylic. For those with sensitive and dry skin, I recommend a mild cleanser.
My recommendation is to wash your face two times a day; once in the morning and once before bed to remove all of your sunscreen, make-up and daily grime. I also suggest using mild glycolic acid wipes after going to the gym or after heavy exercise to prevent exercise-induced acne.
Topical Acne Treatment
I routinely prescribe a Vitamin A derivative topical agent such as Retin A or Differin once a day to the skin, which also helps with mild scarring, discoloration and has anti-aging benefits. The strength of the creams used is dependent on each patient’s skin tolerance.
Some patients also benefit from oral or topical antibiotic creams to decrease acne-causing bacteria on the skin. Studies have shown that the use of topical antibiotics in combination with benzoyl peroxide have better treatment outcomes.
In patients with black heads, white heads and discoloration, I treat with mild chemical peels on a monthly basis in our office. Low dose steroid injections are successful for certain inflammatory, painful pustules and nodules on the skin.
Oral Acne Medications
Oral medications include birth control pills indicated in patients with hormonal acne. Spironolactone is another oral medication that when used properly, can help acne. Finally, oral Isotretinoin can be used in those patients with severe scarring.
In-office Acne Treatments
Other in office treatments such as microdermabrasion, incision and drainage, and light treatment can be used for certain patients.
In my next post, I’ll discuss acne scarring and discoloration treatments.
I look forward to seeing you to discuss your acne issues in the near future. Please contact us to book your appointment.