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Acne – Different Treatment Methods

Acne is a common disorder among teenagers. About 80% of teenagers and young adults suffer from acne. This disorder can sometimes continue into adults, especially in women. Here Dr. Swetha explains the causes, treatment, and other details of acne. If you are in search of a dermatologist in Indiranagar, Dr. Swetha is the right choice.


  1. Increased oil Production: Sebaceous glands secrete sebum.When sebum secrets in excess quantity, the skin becomes oily and may lead to the formation of acne.
  2. Hyper Cornification: It is a thickening of the lining of the epithelium.
  3.  Bacterial infection: Bacteria are blocking skin which leads to acne.
  4. Diet: Diet plays a significant role in acne formation. It would be best if you avoided oily and sugary things.

Factors which develop acne:

  1. Genetic: If your parents have had acne there are high chances that even you will suffer
  2. Hormonal changes: This is why we see a lot of reform eruptions during puberty
  3. Applying thick oily products on the face or excessively oiling your head, also leads to acne.
  4. Stress: It plays an essential role in the formation of acne. That is why we see a lot of eruptions during exam times.

Treatment of acne

Both females and males are affected by acne, but females are affected more and are more bothered by the condition. They are the one who is more likely to seek help from dermatologist. It is essential to seek help for your acne to prevent the sequel of your acne.

The choice of acne treatment depends upon the type of acne and its severity. There are two categories of acne treatment:

  1. Non-prescription treatment
  2. Prescription Treatment


Non-prescription treatment:

  1. Water and Soap: You have to gently wash your face with soap and water for maximum two times. This method can help you with acne, but it won’t clear the existing acne.


  1. Cleansers: Cleansers allow you to reduce pore blockages formed from dirt, makeup, oil etc. These are the better option than soap and water for acne.


  1. Benzoyl peroxide: It is the non-prescription drug for mild acne. It destroys the bacteria associated with acne. You will have to wait for a minimum of four weeks for results. It is available in the form of face washes, lotions, gels etc. Be careful while using Benzoyl peroxide as it causes dry skin.


  1. Salicylic acid: salicylic acid corrects the abnormal shedding of the skin cells. It also helps clear the pores to resolve and prevent lesions. Like Benzoyl peroxide, its effect stops if you discontinue use of it. It is available in creams lotions and pads.


  1. Sulfur: The use of sulfur with any other substance like alcohol is always acceptable. Because of its unpleasant odour and temporary skin discolouration, the application is limited. It prevents pores from being blocked and inhibits the growth of bacteria.


  1. Topical retinol gel or creams: Retinol stops acne from being formed. It affects cell growth by increased cell turnover to unclog pores. Unlike previous treatments, this will help in treating acne already forming under the skin. You have to use it continuously for 8-12 weeks to get results. Differin Gel is the only topical retinoid endorsed as a non-prescription treatment for acne.


Prescription Treatment:

You have to consult a dermatologist for such type of treatment.

  • Antibiotics:Antibiotics are applied over the skin or taken orally. It clears the skin of acne-causing bacteria and reducing inflammation. There are two types of antibiotics.
    1.  Topical antibiotics penetrate the skin and clear more deep-seated acne.
    2.  Systemic antibiotics flow throughout the body and also into sebaceous glands.

Systemic antibiotics have more side effects than topical, but for more severe acne, only systemic antibiotics are effective.


  • TopicalRetinoids:

Topical retinoids treat moderate and severe acne by affecting the way the skin grows and sheds. The combination with other acne products, such as benzoyl peroxide and oral antibiotics makes it more effective. Topical retinoids don’t have chronic side effects, but, the prescription for pregnant ladies or nursing mothers is not advisable. Side effects of topical retinoids are redness, dryness, and itchy skin.


  • Azelaic acid:It is available in cream, gel or foam. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.


  • Oral contraceptives: Contraceptive pills contain female hormones, and it works by neutralizing the effect of male hormones on acne. The result of oral contraceptives on acne occurs in three to four months. The side effects include nausea, spotting, breast tenderness, and blood clots.


  • Spironolactone: It blocks the body’s hormone’s action on the oil glands of the skin. This medicine is not FDA approved, but it is helpful for women’s acne, which comes during menstruation or menopause.


  • Clascoterone (Winlevi): It is a newly approved topical treatment for moderate to severe acne. This is an alternative to spironolactone. It treats acne in both males and females over the age of 12.


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