Best Acne Treatment Options

What is Acne Treatment?

Acne flare-ups begin when the sebaceous gland, which lies at the root of every hair follicle, secretes an oily substance known as sebum. Normally, this substance moves along the hair strand, through the pore, and onto the epidermis. If this process doesn’t go smoothly and an excessive amount of sebum is produced, the sebum can combine with dead skin cells and block the pore opening. If these blocked pores become infected, a severe case of acne usually results. All acne treatments work by attacking one or more of these underlying causes.

How Does Acne Treatment Work?

If an acne treatment can reduce the amount of sebum produced by the body, speed the growth of new skin cells and accelerate the sloughing of dead cells, acne can be controlled. Doctors must often use a combination of treatments to achieve this.

What Areas of the Body Does Acne Treatment Treat?

Almost every type of acne treatment is intended for use on the face, neck, chest and back, but some are better suited for a particular area of the body.

What are the Advantages of Acne Treatment Over Other Similar Treatments?

Therapies centered around the light energy and heat of a laser can penetrate beneath the skin surface without damaging the top layer of skin. Some of these treatments work by damaging the sebaceous gland to slow the production of sebum. Others work by killing the bacteria which causes inflammation.

Who is a Candidate for Acne Treatment?

Teenagers and healthy adult men and women are candidates for Acne Treatment. Some forms of Acne Treatment are not appropriate for pregnant women, so a woman should inform her doctor if she is pregnant or trying to conceive. Also, anyone who has an autoimmune disease should refrain from any ablative procedure or medications which further suppress the immune system.

How is Acne Treatment Performed?

Although over-the-counter and prescriptions medications work well for light acne, laser treatment is the newest innovation in the treatment of severe acne. Doctors are finding that three different therapies are promising, used either alone or in combination with other treatments. These include blue light therapy, fractional laser therapy, and diode laser treatment. Doctors have also found that chemical acid peels and microdermabrasion can be used effectively for a reduction in the severity of some acne.

What is the Recovery Like?

If acne has been treated with a chemical peel, microdermabrasion or a laser, the skin will be pink for several days. Cooling compresses may help during this period. After the redness subsides, the dead skin cells will begin to shed and flaking may occur as the skin heals. Eventually, acne blemishes should fade and scarring and pitting may become lighter.

What Will the Results Be Like?

Doctors consistently affirm that acne cannot be cured. All acne treatments are an attempt to control this condition. If the Acne Treatment is working, the skin should begin to clear after six weeks or so. Sometimes the acne may worsen before improvement begins. Some form of continuous treatment may be needed to maintain the gains made during treatment.

What are the Risks?

If a patient has skin which develops keloid scars easily, microdermabrasion and chemical peels may make the facial skin appear worse. Any time ablation is used, a possibility of infection exists. Acne could become resistant to antibiotic treatment over a prolonged period. Some prescription acne medications have been linked to birth defects.

Is Acne Treatment Approved for Use in the U.S.?

All Acne Treatments used or prescribed by dermatologists in the U.S. must be approved by the FDA. This includes prescription antibiotics, topical solutions, and various kinds of laser treatment.

Is Acne Treatment Covered by Insurance Companies?

Because some Acne Treatments are considered medical treatments and others are not, it is best to get any treatment plan preapproved before scheduling a procedure.

Disclaimer: This information is intended only as an introduction to this procedure. This information should not be used to determine whether you will have the procedure performed nor does it guarantee results of your elective surgery. Further details regarding surgical standards and procedures should be discussed with your physician.

By Staff
Updated: November 24, 2009