Acne troubles many people throughout their teen years. As people go through puberty, their hormone levels fluctuate, which can lead to blemishes and breakouts. When left unchecked, acne can lead to permanent scarring. It can also damage a person's self-esteem and negatively impact their mental health. Fortunately, a dermatologist can treat your acne. Here are four effective acne treatments that a dermatologist can prescribe:
Retinoids are derived from vitamin A. These medications can be formulated as topical creams or gels. If you have mild to moderate acne, your dermatologist may prescribe a retinoid called adapalene to help you. Unlike over-the-counter products like benzoyl peroxide, which are used as spot treatments, adapalene is applied all over your face. You will need to use retinoids every day to see the desired effect. This medication causes your skin cells to renew themselves more quickly, which can prevent bacteria from getting trapped in your pores. When using adapalene, you must be diligent about using sunscreen, since retinoids cause photosensitivity.
If you have had some success with adapalene, but your acne has not completely vanished, your dermatologist may prescribe a stronger retinoid. Tretinoin is another topical retinoid that can be used to treat moderate to severe acne. Like adapalene, tretinoin is applied all over your face on a daily basis. While using tretinoin, you should avoid over-the-counter acne medication, which may irritate your skin. Make sure to use a good moisturizer while on tretinoin, since this medication can cause skin dryness.
You may have been prescribed antibiotics by a doctor in the past. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, such as sinus infections. In some cases, antibiotics can also be used to treat acne, since acne is caused by bacteria. Antibiotics are hard on your system, so they can only be used for a limited time. However, many patients find that a short course of antibiotics helps to eradicate their acne when used in conjunction with other treatments.
Isotretinoin is a powerful oral acne treatment. It's sometimes known by the brand name Accutane. Isotretinoin is an option for people with treatment-resistant acne that does not respond to other medications. This medication is usually prescribed to people with severe acne. Since this medication works on a systemic level, your dermatologist will need to administer regular blood tests while you're using it. Isotretinoin permanently clears up most people's acne, even after they stop using the drug.