Embarrassed and frustrated by acne? You’re not alone. Acne affects up to 50 million Americans, including 54% of adult women over the age of 25. Here at Daphne Panagotacos, M.D., Inc., our experienced team knows that acne isn’t just for teens, and regardless of your age, acne can be stubborn to eliminate.
Here’s what you need to know about effective acne treatments available to you.
Finding the right treatment plan for you
Because there are many factors that contribute to the development of acne, Dr. Panagotacos starts with a skin evaluation to confirm acne as well as pinpoint which type of lesions you have: inflammatory lesions or noninflammatory lesions. Depending on the type of acne you have and the severity of it, Dr. Panagotacos may suggest any of the following eight treatments:
1. Professional extractions
Although it can be tempting to pop a pimple on your own, resist the temptation. A professional extraction refers to the process of clearing a clogged pore with the use of special, sterile tools. We include light steam and professional extractions in our acne facials, and unlike extractions at home, a professional one is more hygienic and helps reduce your risk of skin trauma or infection.
2. Laser or light therapies
Whitehead and red spots aren’t the only nuisances caused by acne. Even after the initial bump is gone, acne can leave behind dark marks and scars. Intense pulsed light (IPL) photofacials can reduce the appearance of discolored acne scars.
3. Chemical peels
In addition to acne facials, we also offer chemical peels to treat acne and improve the appearance and texture of your skin. Studies show that chemical peels, in conjunction with a solid at-home skincare routine, reduce the number of skin lesions. The big advantage of chemical peels is that they don’t just treat acne. They also help you achieve other cosmetic goals, including increased collagen, reduced pore size, and smoother skin.
4. Cortisone injections
If you have inflammatory lesions, you may find that cortisone injections are particularly effective for you. That’s because cortisone is designed to fight inflammation. When used to treat acne, cortisone injections are administered directly into the affected area and start to heal deep-tissue acne. This treatment is more appropriate for cystic acne.
Retinoids, which are compounds derived from vitamin A, have been used to treat acne since 1971. These creams are applied topically and can unclog pores, which helps treat acne in two ways:
- It allows other medicated creams to penetrate your skin and work better
- It reduces acne by preventing dead cells and sebum from clogging your pores
Retinoids are available as a topical product or as an oral pill, but they aren’t right for everyone. Retinoids and high doses of vitamin A are not safe for pregnant women, so if you’re pregnant (or are planning on becoming pregnant), Dr. Panagotacos can suggest other treatments for you.
In addition to retinoids, other types of medication can also be effective in the fight against acne. Some women find that hormonal contraceptives help balance their hormones, which improves acne. For others, you may benefit from antibiotics to treat any infections.
7. Salicylic acid products
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that reduces acne by exfoliating your skin and keeping your pores clear. Salicylic acid products include exfoliating scrubs, cleansers, and serums.
8. Lifestyle modifications
Lifestyle modifications can complement other acne treatments. Steps you can take to help reduce acne (and improve your overall skin health) include:
- Getting regular exercise (and washing your face afterward)
- Practicing stress management techniques
- Using high-quality skincare products created for your skin type
- Removing your makeup before bed
- Getting enough sleep each night
- Choosing non-comedogenic makeup
- Staying hydrated and eating a diet rich in good-for-your-skin nutrients
- Refraining from touching your face throughout the day
Ready to take control of your skin health and say goodbye to acne? Contact Daphne Panagotacos, M.D. to schedule your appointment today. You can use our online portal or call our Westlake Village, California office at 805-203-9553.