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5 Effective Acne Treatments

If you’re a teen with acne, you’re among the 85% of people your age dealing with the common skin problem to some degree. The numbers get a little better for the older crowd, but acne still affects adults well into their 30s and 40s, especially women. 

Though there’s no cure and no way to prevent acne completely, there are some highly effective treatments that can help you manage your symptoms. Drugstore shelves are lined with products promising to banish your blemishes before Friday night, but most of them don’t live up to the hype. Although some contain ingredients that may help if you have a minor breakout, they aren’t potent enough to tackle tough acne.

When you have serious acne and need serious treatments, the only way to get it is to consult a professional dermatologist. Our team here at Chappell Rosso Dermatology and Laser & Aesthetic Center in Odessa, Texas, led by Dr. Ritchie Rosso and Dr. Robert Chappell, offers the most advanced, clinically proven treatments for all types of acne. Here are the top five.

1. Benzoyl peroxide

We start our list of acne treatments with benzoyl peroxide, because it's a familiar term to anyone who’s ever shopped for acne products. It’s the active ingredient in most over-the-counter topical creams and is effective for mild cases of acne. You can buy it at your local pharmacy in varying strengths, up to 10%. Keep in mind that these can also be quite drying and cause severe skin irritation in some.

Benzoyl peroxide is good for unclogging pores and hair follicles that tend to trap dirt and oil under the surface of your skin. It also kills bacteria and subdues inflammation.

We may prescribe a stronger dose of benzoyl peroxide or combine it with an antibiotic to address moderate acne.

2. Extraction

When you have blackheads and whiteheads that aren’t responding to first-line topicals, we offer extraction treatments. In this case, we use specialized tools to drain fluid and remove hard matter. This may sound the same as popping your pimples at home, but it isn’t. We strongly urge you to resist the temptation to pop your own pimples, because all that does is force the bacteria-ridden contents deeper under your skin, causing more infection and almost ensuring scarring.

Our professional tools safely extract the fluids and solids without pushing harmful substances into your skin. 

3. Oral and topical antibiotics

Topical antibiotics attack bacteria on and just beneath the surface of your skin. We often prescribe topical antibiotics in combination with other treatments, such as benzoyl peroxide to avoid the possibility of antibiotic resistance. 

If your acne is moderate-to-severe, we may prescribe oral antibiotics, including tetracycline or macrolide, to combat bacterial infection from the inside out.

4. Hormone therapy

When acne is hormone-induced in girls and women, the best way to fight back is with hormone therapy, typically in the form of oral contraceptives. These treatments combine estrogen and progestin and may take a few months to kick in and produce results. 

If the androgen hormone is the culprit, you may need to take an anti-androgen agent called spironolactone to curb excess oil production.

5. Tretinoin

You may know this medication as Retin-A, which is used to treat the toughest acne cases. We typically start you on a low dose, about 0.01%. If that doesn’t produce significant results, we can increase the strength. Tretinoin works on sudden breakouts and also serves as an effective long-term treatment. And because it triggers cell renewal, it may help reduce the appearance of acne scars. 

We also offer Fraxel® resurfacing treatments to smooth the texture and appearance of severe acne scarring. This noninvasive technology uses light energy to penetrate the layers of your skin in microscopic columns. This triggers a restructuring and increased production in your natural supply of collagen, the protein that gives your skin its strength and resilience. 

To learn more about our professional treatments for your acne or acne scars, schedule an appointment online, or call us at 432-217-0344 today. 

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