Acne ... Again?
Just when you thought your "bad skin" days were over, adult acne strikes. Fight back with adult-strength treatment.
The Solution continued...
Or you can check out the skin care products aisle at your
local drug store. If you've ever tried to buy acne remedies, you know the drug
store is loaded with all kinds of products. Which ones should you use? It's not
an easy choice, says dermatologist Julie Anne Winfield, Mill Valley, Calif.
"Which treatment is best depends on which type of acne you
have," Winfield tells WebMD. "It may well be worth a visit to dermatologist.
They often have samples they could give you to try. People can spend a fortune
on over-the-counter medicines when there is maybe one single prescription drug
that could solve the problem. Be sure to use oil-free, non-comedogenic lotions
or sunscreens. Use something very simple to wash your face with, as well as
low-strength benzoyl peroxide. But it would
be best to see a doctor to prevent possible acne scarring."
The biggest breakthrough in acne treatment has been the
development of topical retinoic acid, a form of vitamin A. New slow-release
forms of this medicine greatly reduce the irritation it can cause.
Other acne treatments target the various causes of acne. They're often
used in combination. These acne treatments include:
- Azelaic acid cream
- Alpha-hydroxy acids (including glycolic acid, lactic acid, and gluconic
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Topical antibiotics (gels, lotions, and solutions)
- Antibiotic pills (haphazard use may lead to antibiotic resistance)
- Birth control pills for women
- Accutane or Sotret for severe acne
One caveat: Accutane and Sotret can cause birth defects. Women who opt
for this treatment must use foolproof birth control. Despite this and other
concerns, these drugs are the treatment of choice for severe acne.
Originally published August 2003.
Medically updated June 2006.