Acne is one of the most common reasons teens and young adults turn to the help of a dermatologist. If you are considering dermatology to treat your acne, here are some of the treatments your doctor may recommend.
One of the first things your doctor will likely do is discuss your skin hygiene with you. Contrary to popular belief, poor skin hygiene does not cause acne. Oily skin is not what causes acne, and often overly cleansing the skin and scrubbing it with exfoliants and other products can actually make the acne problem worse. In dermatology, most doctors recommend cleaning with a non-detergent cleansing bar when your face is dirty, and nothing more. Your doctor will also advise you not to pick or squeeze your pimples or nodules.
Your doctor may also instruct you to make some minor dietary changes. You cannot “diet” away your acne, but chocolate, nuts, and colas can make your acne worse. If you commonly consume many of these foods, your doctor may advise you to limit them to help your acne heal.
One of the ways dermatology treats acne is through topical medications. You can get these over the counter or through a prescription. The over the counter options dry up pimples and kill bacteria, while the prescription options promote cell turnover to prevent the hair follicles from plugging, all while killing bacteria. If you have sensitive skin, these may irritate your skin, so talk to your dermatologist about ways to use them without creating irritation.
Sometimes a short course of antibiotics can clear up an acne breakup. Remember, the inflammation is caused by bacteria getting trapped in the skin. Oral antibiotics can help kill that bacteria. However, because antibiotics have long been used in dermatology to treat acne, the bacteria are becoming more and more resistant. This means that some cases of acne will not respond to antibiotics. For this reason, your doctor will not prescribe them for the long term.
For severe cases of acne, your dermatologist might prescribe isotretinoin. This prescription medication is quite effective at drying up acne by actually shrinking the oil glands. However, it can cause severe side effects, particularly in unborn babies if a woman gets pregnant while taking the medication. Your doctor will only prescribe this if you are being closely monitored while you take it.
Once your acne has healed, there are other cosmetic treatments you can use to clear up the scars and remnants of your acne. When it comes to treating this embarrassing condition, dermatology is your best choice.
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