Acne is a very common skin condition that can last for a few years during puberty or can follow you into adulthood. There are many common causes for acne, but the consensus is that acne is caused by a combination of hormones, improper cellular turnover, excessive oil production, and acne-causing bacteria that lives on the skin. At Premier Dermatology and Mohs Surgery of Atlanta in Alpharetta, GA, we offer several acne treatments that work so you can manage your breakouts and achieve healthier skin.
How Long Do Acne Treatments Take?
The thing to remember about acne treatments is that these treatments will generally take time, patience, and consistency before you will see results. On average, most people will not see any significant improvements in the condition of their skin for at least four to eight weeks, depending on which treatments are used. Several treatments are commonly used to address acne breakouts, such as:
Prescription-strength medications are usually recommended for moderate to severe acne. The goal of prescription medications is to tackle acne at the root to reset the health of your skin and regulate normal skin function. Some common prescription medications include benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and retinoids. Your provider may also recommend oral antibiotics to address acne-causing bacteria. Prescription medications may take several months to produce results.
Most dermatologists agree that some of the most effective treatments for any type of acne are topical retinoids, which regulate skin cell turnover so dirt, oil, and bacteria are not trapped by dead skin cells. Similarly, salicylic acid is a chemical exfoliant that clears the skin of dead skin cells so other acne-fighting products can work better. The prescription medication ideal for you will be determined by the type of acne you have.
Skincare products and a good skincare routine should be the first line of defense against acne. Even something as simple as correctly washing your skin can improve the health of your skin by removing oil, dirt, and bacteria. The cleaning products you use should be selected based on your skin type, but most people will benefit from a double-cleanse method that will deeply, yet gently, clarify the pores.
Equally as important as correctly cleansing your skin is correctly moisturizing your skin. Many people who have acne-prone skin struggle with adequate skin hydration, which then makes the skin produce more oil that contributes to acne. By keeping your skin moisturized, you can regulate the oil production of your skin so that breakouts happen less frequently. Using skincare products should be a consistent part of your acne treatment.
Some aesthetic treatments, such as chemical peels and HydraFacials, are highly effective for improving the tone, texture, and health of the skin. For example, chemical peels can exfoliate the skin and also eliminate acne-causing bacteria. A HydraFacial exfoliates, cleanses, and extracts dirt, oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria from the skin, while also soothing and hydrating the skin to promote skin health. Aesthetic treatments can help maintain the results of other treatments for acne-prone skin.
Energy-based treatments, such as photofacials, LED treatments, or other light treatments can be extremely effective for treating acne breakouts. Energy-based treatments work by using certain wavelengths to reset the behavior of the skin cells, eliminate bacteria on the skin, and regulate oil production. Energy-based treatments can also be useful to treat acne scarring, particularly post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Which Acne Treatment Is Right for You?
The acne treatment that is right for you will depend on your acne type, acne severity, skin type, skin tone, and lifestyle. Furthermore, acne treatments that work for some people may not work for you, which is why over-the-counter products may not have been an effective remedy for treating your acne. During a consultation, a dermatologist will assess the condition of your skin and recommend an acne treatment plan that is ideal for you.
As a note, it’s common to combine several treatments to customize your acne treatment. Using multiple treatments can address different types of acne, scarring, and other skin concerns. For example, it’s common to combine prescription medications with skincare products and aesthetic treatments to effectively treat all of your acne skin concerns.
Will Acne Treatment Make Your Breakouts Worse?
No. When it comes to prescription medications, there may be some regimens that seem to make your skin worse rather than better. For example, people who use topical retinoids for acne may experience more acne shortly after starting the medication. However, it’s important to understand the difference between acne breakouts and skin purging, which is what happens when acne medications are working effectively to treat the acne on your skin.
Skin purging is usually temporary and will clear up in only a few short weeks. It’s important to continue using prescription medications as directed throughout skin purging so that acne-causing bacteria can be treated effectively and so you can have faster control over your breakouts. Please speak with your provider about what else you can expect after starting any acne treatment regimen.
Achieve Healthier Skin
Treating acne can be a challenge since everyone has a different combination of treatments that will work best for them. However, with the help of a dermatologist, you can identify effective treatments and build a treatment plan to improve your acne condition. Contact us at Premier Dermatology and Mohs Surgery of Atlanta in Alpharetta, GA to schedule your first appointment today.