Acne, while a common skin problem, is a complex process with varied causes. Effective treatments of acne usually involve a combination of different therapies, however, in order to choose which treatment is right for you, an accurate understanding of the cause is necessary.
Four key factors are associated with the cause of Acne: the clogging of a hair follicule, an increase in oil secretion, bacteria (particularly Propionibacterium acnes), and inflammation. The result of these four factors is what we eventually see on the skin: blackheads, red bumps, an oily shine and, residual scarring from repeated outbreaks.
Classically the first treatment offered is topical creams: like Retin-A and/or benzoyl peroxide; however these may cause dryness. Newer agents have been developed to address sensitive skin, including Fincea, which contains azelaic acid, along with sulfur based creams like Clenia, and the newer Vitmain A creams. Oral minocylcine or doxycline is usually chosen next, in low doses, which has recently been shown to have postive effects with minimal side effects.
Other treatments include chemical peels, cortisone injections for the quick fix. More recently, lasers have been used to shrink up the oil glands with varying degrees of success.
Though all the above may do the trick, acne that won't quit and is forming scars can be helped greatly with Accutane, an oral vitamin A derivative. Because of aggressive press detailing the possible associations with depression and the risk of birth defects, Accutane has developed a bad reputation. Dr Brad Katchen believes that when prescribed and monitored appropriately, patients on accutane are extremely happy with its results. The current trend is a low dose of accutane, which minimizes the side effects. Within a short period of time your skin can be clear.
every decade of life we seem to be fighting the same battle, but now the choices
are varied and quite effective.