Before starting an acne treatment, it is very important that the patient understands that acne is going to last throughout their adolescence years; and that the person does not get healed, rather they only control the acne. This is because acne is due to hormone imbalances that will continue until the person reaches adulthood, which is when they are around 23 years old.
The acne treatment will depend on the acne type, however, there are a few basic steps that everybody should follow:
- Wash your face every morning and night: This basic step not only cleanses the excess fat produced by the skin produces with acne, but it also allows the penetration of products that we want to apply to the skin.
- Exfoliants: All skin with acne requires exfoliation and this can be done using scrubs.
- Application of medications: These are selected depending on the type of the acne. In the case of a patient with many inflammatory lesions, we prefer to use benzoyl peroxide; and for a patient with many comedones, we prefer products with salicylic acid or derived from vitamin A such as retinol, retinoic acid or adapelene. Often we use local antibiotics such as clindamycin or erythromycin.
4. Sunscreen: Sun protection should be part of the treatment because the medications that go into the skin may produce irritation; hence, the skin may become more sensitive to the sun and can develop spots.
5. Oral medications: Oral medications such as antibiotics should be prescribed in cases with lots of inflammatory lesions such as papules and pustules, and sometimes anti-inflammatories are also needed. In the case of nodules, cysts and acne with inflammation that do not respond well to antibiotics, the patients might need to take isotretinoin. This last medication should only be prescribed by a doctor and be carefully followed up by the doctor.
6.Facials: Even though facials are not always required, getting them helps to see improvements faster, especially in the case of comedones.
7. Chemical Peels: Chemical peels really help with the treatment of any type of acne, and they also help with secondary spots that may exist.
8. LED LIGHT: This is a relatively new treatment to improve any type of acne and residual spots, and it also reduces residual scars. When combined with any type of treatment it speeds up the improvement.
9.TREATMENT FOR SCARS: Micro-needling is an extraordinary treatment to reduce scars produced by the acne. Depending on the number and depth of the scars, several treatments may be required.
As mentioned in a previous blog, food is only restricted in cases where it has been proven that a type of food causes the acne and also for the patients taking isotretinoin.