Many patients suffer from acne vulgaris for years. The condition usually starts around puberty and persists even in one’s third, fourth or fifth decade. Adult acne lesions are the number one skin condition warranting visits to a dermatologist’s office. In this guide, we will cover the most effective dermatological solutions and options for treating and healing adult acne once and for all.
What are some of the most effective dermatology acne treatment options?
Adult acne stems from sebaceous glands which produce an oily substance called sebum. These glands tend to get clogged resulting in comedones or pimples, which are usually seen on cheeks, forehead and chin as well as on other body parts like the buttocks, back etc.
A dermatologist will first evaluate several factors to assess the exact cause of acne. This helps him/her recommend the most effective dermatology solutions for eradicating acne from the roots. Factors such as hormones (androgens), diet, stress, age etc all play an important role in acne formation. Many women also develop adult acne thanks to a condition called Poly cystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS. Naturally, a dermatologist, on his/her part must take each patient seriously as acne tends to have a devastating impact on the sufferer’s life. Most people come into dermatologist’s office for treating their acne owing to complete loss in confidence. Most have also tried hundreds of thousands of solutions as well as over-the-counter products without results. Hence early and effective dermatological acne treatment is of utmost importance.
The acne treatment ladder for most patients begins with the following dermatological solutions:
- Topical treatments– Benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or Retinol based products are best for treating adult acne.
- Systemic treatments– If the topical dermatological solutions do not show improvement in the condition, a dermatologist might recommend systemic antibiotics like Erythromycin or Tetracycline.
- Hormonal preparations– Most female adult acne sufferers are put on hormonal dermatologist acne solutions, as these are known to give very good results.
- Isotretinoin– This is usually the last resort when all other dermatology acne treatment options fail. Isotretinoin is a vitamin-A derivative which provides highly targeted acne treatment by controlling clogged pores and overzealous sebaceous glands. While it is one of the most effective dermatological solutions for adult acne, it is considered as a last resort owing to its highly undesirable side effects. These include birth defects (as a result of which it cannot be recommended to women of child bearing ages), excessively dry skin, adverse reactions on the liver, depression as well as severe mood changes. Hence, it is not recommended to patients having a history of mental illness. That being said; few women have seen good results by taking cumulative target doses of Isotretinoin in the range of 120-150mg/kg of body weight over a period of 6-9 months.
Dermatological solutions for acne scarring
Once the acne disappears, it gives rise to darkish scars which are often permanent. Hence it is a good idea to get the acne nipped in its bud by using effective dermatology options. The dark skin that is left behind after the acne has healed is mainly due to the skin’s reaction to inflammation arising from the acne. This usually fades, but most take at least 6-8 months for the scars to go away completely. Also, the redness might pursue even after the acne scars have gone, particularly in sufferers with very fair skin. Benzoyl peroxide and Retinol products are often the best and most effective dermatological solutions for healing acne scars. The former actually bleaches the skin while Retinol peels the skin to reveal younger looking layers beneath. For excessive scarring from acne, one might consider dermatological solutions like laser treatment (Q- switched laser or Picosure®) for permanent scar reduction. Other less invasive solutions include Chemical peels or pinch grafts, both of which are proven remedies for residual acne scars.
There are several effective dermatological solutions for treating acne and its scars permanently. However, most of them need careful prescribing and monitoring and must be done after considering all other options.