Acne is tough to deal with. This skin condition is common, but it can make you feel self-conscious about your complexion, particularly if your skin is prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and post-inflammatory erythema. However, treating acne is not a one-size-fits-all problem. This is why you may want to discuss acne treatment with the skin experts at Nunnally Dermatology in Baton Rouge, LA
How Does Acne Treatment Work?
Your treatment for acne will be tailored to your unique skin condition, skin type, and other factors that may influence acne. In general, your treatment for acne will begin with a consultation to examine your skin, analyze the type of acne you have, and discuss how long you’ve been struggling with acne. A dermatologist may also ask about previous treatments or skin care products you have tried to control acne.
From there, a customized treatment plan will be designed for you. It’s important to stay consistent with whatever your treatment plan is, whether your dermatologist recommends regular facials or topical medications. Because acne is often chronic, the only way to combat it effectively is to persist in treatment.
The Dynamic Approach
Since acne has so many causal factors, the best way to treat acne is by taking a dynamic approach. Your dermatologist will discuss the factors that can influence your skin condition so that you can understand any lifestyle changes you may need to make. From your general health to preventative measures, the dynamic approach to treating acne will include:
Health and Nutrition
Although research has long debunked the myth that eating chocolate will make you break out, there is research that suggests a diet high in oils and unhealthy fats can contribute to breakouts. Your diet and nutrition can play a big role in the overall health of your skin. For this reason, your dermatologist may recommend drinking more water and eating more fruits and vegetables to see if there is a diet-related component to your acne breakouts.
Furthermore, if you aren’t working up a sweat a few times a week, your skin may be holding in toxins that can contribute to breakouts. Regular exercise may not be a cure for acne, but sweat can cleanse your skin from the inside out and help you maintain a healthier lifestyle that can support your acne treatment.
Skincare and Skin Routine
The cornerstone of controlling acne is your skincare products and your skin routine. Acne thrives in an environment where there is plenty of dirt, oil, and clogged pores blocked by dead skin. For this reason, the skincare products that you use every day should be carefully selected to nurture your skin, while also balancing your oil production and gently exfoliating your skin for healthier cellular turnover.
If you aren’t sure what products are best for you, you can talk to your dermatologist about recommendations. Some people may benefit from using cleansers that are formulated for acne-prone skin because these cleansers will include ingredients such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Others who have more sensitive skin may benefit more from cleansers that contain vitamins and minerals.
The next part of the dynamic approach is targeted treatments. Your targeted treatments can include anything from cosmetic facials to oral and topical medications that directly address the root of your acne. The treatments that your dermatologists will recommend for you will be based on the type of acne you have.
For example, if you’re dealing with cysts or nodules, your recommended treatments will be different from the treatments that are recommended for someone who is having mild breakouts. And if you’re dealing with multiple types of acne, such as pimples and blackheads, your targeted treatments will need to be further customized for your skin struggles.
Finally, your dermatologist may recommend preventative measures that can reduce acne breakouts. For example, if you notice that your breakouts are associated with stress, your dermatologist will likely advise you to learn techniques that can reduce stress in your life.
Preventative measures can also include protecting your skin from the sun. Although sun exposure won’t make acne worse, it certainly won’t do your skin any favors because exposing your skin to sunlight when it is already irritated by acne can create acne scars.
What Acne Treatments Are Available?
There are several types of acne treatments that are available for you. Ultimately, your dermatologist will be able to identify the treatment or treatment plan that will work best for your acne type, your age, and your lifestyle. Many people find that over-the-counter products simply aren’t strong enough to combat chronic acne, which is why professional acne treatments are generally the best way to save your skin.
Oral medication such as Accutane is typically used by patients who have cystic acne, nodules, or hormonal acne. Accutane works by reducing the oil production in your skin, which essentially creates a skin environment that is not conducive to acne. Usually, Accutane is taken for several months at a time to reset the behavior of the skin, which can control acne for several years or months.
Topical medications are a go-to for dermatologists, particularly because topical medications are gentler on the skin and have fewer side effects than oral medications. Topical medications can include prescription-strength retinoids, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and other creams that reduce acne-causing bacteria.
Finally, your dermatologist may recommend cosmetic treatments to control your acne breakouts. For example, regular light facial peels have proven to be an effective way to reduce minor acne breakouts, eliminate acne-causing bacteria, and prevent clogged pores that lead to whiteheads and blackheads.
How Frequently Do You Need Treatments?
The frequency of your treatment will depend on your specific regimen. For example, oral and topical medication should be used daily according to the prescription, while cosmetic treatments can be scheduled every few weeks.
How Soon Will You See Results?
Most people won’t see significant results for four to six weeks after starting a new treatment for acne. This is because the skin must acclimate to the new treatment. You may notice that your skin produces less oil or appears less red soon after you start your treatment regimen.
What Causes Acne?
Acne is caused when pores on the skin are clogged by oil and dead skin, which allows bacteria to grow that causes inflammation and acne bumps. When the skin produces too much oil and does not shed dead skin effectively, acne can appear. There are other factors that can influence acne breakouts. For example, your age, diet, hormones, medications, and stress can all contribute to acne.
What Are Common Acne Symptoms?
The most common symptom associated with acne is pimples or pustules that appear on the skin. However, acne comes in many forms including blackheads, whiteheads, and papules. Acne-prone skin may be oily, overly dry, or a combination of both. People who have acne also tend to experience redness and inflammation on the skin.
When Does Acne Start and How Long Does It Last?
Many people experience their first acne breakouts during puberty or in their early 20s. While some people will grow out of acne, many other people will deal with adult acne well into their 30s or 40s. Regardless of when your acne starts, you should know that the only way to control your acne is by finding a treatment plan that works for your skin.
Do Genetics Influence Acne?
While there is not a genetic factor specifically linked to acne, there is some evidence that suggests other genetic factors can make you more prone to developing acne. For example, if your genetics determine that you have oily skin, this can make you more prone to developing acne. Some people may notice that they are more prone to developing acne if their parents have acne, too.
How Can Managing Your Hormones Help?
Managing your hormones can also manage your acne, particularly for women. The hormonal fluctuations throughout the month will influence the oil production in the skin, which can make it easier to have acne breakouts. If oral, topical, and cosmetic treatments are not working to control your acne, your dermatologist may suggest speaking with your primary care physician about hormone treatments, such as birth control.
Take Control of Your Skin With Treatments for Acne
Treating acne takes time and dedication, but it is possible if you can find the treatment plan that works best for your skin. Ready for out-of-sight-out-of-mind acne? Schedule a consultation at Nunnally Dermatology in Baton Rouge, LA to get your acne under control today.