Acne Treatments

Acne is not just a teenage problem. Many people suffer from acne well beyond this age. There are now many medical options to help acne, including correct skincare advice, and topical and oral therapies. Treatment could prevent the life-long complication of acne scarring, if it is begun in time. Acne is caused by a combination of genetic, hormonal and local factors. The bacterium named P.acnes has also been implicated as a cause of acne.

There are many products available to treat acne. Popular over-the-counter options include Proactiv, Clearasil and Benzac. Topical prescribed treatments consist of antibiotics, vitamin A derivatives and combination products. Hormonal manipulation to decrease the male acne-causing hormone androgens is achieved by using contraceptive pills. More serious acne is usually treated with a 6 month course of oral antibiotics. The most severe cases of acne may respond to a 6 month course of an oral vitamin A derivative, which is associated with significant side effects such as severe dry skin and lips, liver impairment, depression etc, and can cause serious birth defects.

For milder acne, a combination of glycolic acid products from ASAP skincare and topically prescribed combination products should be sufficient. Moderate cases of acne may in addition require oral antibiotics and/or the contraceptive pill. If there are side effects, or for optimal results, a course of blue light intense pulse light (IPL) treatments to kill the acne causing bacteria may be beneficial.

Severe cases of cystic or inflammatory acne may respond to Photodynamic Therapy (PDT), where a compounded pharmaceutical medication is applied for up to an hour, which is preferentially absorbed by the sebaceous (oil) glands and acne causing bacteria. The medication is activated and destroys these cells when exposed to blue light IPL. PDT is extremely ideal for those intolerant of vitamin A and it's side effects, or who have failed a course of vitamin A. PDT is not suitable if you are pregnant or breast feeding, have a history of keloid scarring or photo-sensitivity, or have taken vitamin A in the last 6 months. It is very important to wear sunscreen and stay out if the sun for 48 hours after PDT treatment.