Treatment of Acne
Treating mild acne
Most of people who get acne will usually develop mild acne. This can usually be treated with OTC (over-the-counter) medications. OTC medications will be bought at a pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription. They are usually applied to the skin – topical medicines.
Most acne OTC products contain the following active ingredients:
Resorcinol which helps break down blackheads and whiteheads. This is a crystalline phenol and comes from various resins. Resorcinol is also used for treating dandruff, eczema and psoriasis.
Benzoyl Peroxide – kills bacteria and slows down your glands’ production of oil. Benzoyl peroxide is a white crystalline peroxide used in bleaching (flour or oils or fats) and as a catalyst for free radical reactions. It works as a peeling agent, accelerating skin turnover and clearing pores, which in turn reduces the bacterial count in the affected areaof skin.
Salicylic Acid – helps break down blackheads and whiteheads, also reduces shedding of cells which line the follicles of the oil glands, effective in treating inflammation and swelling. Salicylic acid is a white crystalline substance which is also used as a fungicide, or in creating aspirin or dyes or perfumes. It causes the epidermis to shed skin more easily, prevents pores from becoming blocked while at the same time allowing room for new cells to grow. It is commonly added to shampoos used for treating dandruff.
Sulfur – helps break down blackheads and whiteheads. Sulfur, in its native form, is a yellow crystalline solid. Sulfur has been used for centuries for treating acne, psoriasis and eczema. Scientists are not sure how sulfur works to help skin diseases. We already know that elemental sulfur does oxidize slowly to sulfurous acid which is a mild reducing and antibacterial agent.
Retin-A – helps unplug blocked pores. Retin-A contains Tretinoin, an acid from of vitamin A, also known as all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA). Tretinoin is also used for the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia. Retin-A has been used widely to combat aging of the skin, it also acts as a chemical peel.
Azelaic Acid – strengthens cells that line the follicles, stops oil eruptions, reduces bacteria growth.
It is a saturated dicarboxylic acid found naturally in wheat, rye, and barley. Azelaic acid also mops up free radicals, which reduces inflammation. It is useful for patients with darker skin who have dark patches on their face (melasma), or whose acne spots leave persistent brown marks.
You can buy acne medications of gels, soaps, pads, creams and lotions. If your skin is sensitive you will prefer a cream or lotion. Gels, which are usually alcohol based and tend to dry the skin, are better for people with oily skin
With more severe cases of acne, you should visit a skin specialist. The specialist may prescribe a treatment that contains some of the active ingredients mentioned above, such as benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid, as well as adabalene. Prescription medications for acne are presented in many forms, such as creams, lotions, etc. Your dermatologist will decide what is best for you.
You may be prescribed an oral or topical antibiotic. Antibiotics can combat the growth of bacteria and reduce inflammation. Most commonly Erythromyocin and Tetracycline are prescribed as antibiotics for the treatment of acne.