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Different types of treatments for acne are available both in over-the-counter and prescription medications, creams, and ointments. There are also several surgical techniques and procedures that are available for people with serious acne. Because there are so many options, and many have little or no scientifically proven evidence, it is important to consult an experienced and reputable acne treatment doctor before undergoing any sort of surgical procedure or other type of therapy.
Many times, acne can be treated effectively with an assortment of proven techniques. One initial way is to kill bacteria that have colonized within the blocked hair follicles. Antibiotics taken orally or topically can usually provide protection against the excessive bacteria buildup. Several strains of acne have become resistant to antibiotic treatment, however.
In addition to getting rid of the excessive bacteria, reduction of oil production is also a key component in acne treatment. Reduction of oil production can occur through medication like Isotretinoin, containing the substance retinol, a Vitamin A extract. Consult your doctor for information on this medicine, which, while highly effective in acne treatment, can have many side effects.
Related to Isotretinoin is the group of topically applied medicines known as retinoids. These ointments have fewer side effects, but also slower results than Isotretinoin. Types of retinoid medications are tretinoin (Retin-A), adapalene (Differin), and tazartotene (Tazorac). These medicines affect the cell growth near the hair follicles in the skin. These medicines are also only available by prescription and from your doctor.
A physical scrubbing of the skin can also be applied in acne treatment, either by the patient or doctor themselves. This exfoliating can help unblock pores that are clogged. Chemical peels are a type of this acne treatment. Several mild forms of exfoliating agents can be found in over-the-counter creams and topical ointments. Prescription strength peels and other medicine has a better success rate in serious cases of acne.
Other types of treatments involve hormone therapy for females, including a dosage of the estrogen/progestogen contraception pill. Phototherapy, or UV exposure can also help in treating acne naturally, or under controlled environments, though the risk of sunburn or other skin-related problems still exist.
Finally, lasers have been long used in treating acne scarring and are recently having successful acne treatments as well. Lasers are quick, painless, and provide the patient with a fast-acting alternative.
In all cases of acne treatment, only a board-certified skin doctor can help in planning out a course of healing that can curtail acne. Combinations of therapies are often used and can help reduce or diminish effects of acne problems.