Ways To Treat Acne Using 11 Various ‘Unnatural’ Acne Treatment Methods

Ways To Treat Acne Using 11 ‘Unnatural’ Ways

Acne or medically called acne vulgaris is the most common skin problem or disease. Acne can happen right from teenage years all the way to adulthood. For some acne sufferers, acne is outgrown – this means acne clears up ‘on its own’ as they age or become adults. For most cases, where acne does not clear up ‘on its own’ there are many ways to treat acne.

Some acne sufferers suffer this skin problem for even up to 20 years or more – although some have it ‘on and off’. This happens because acne is not something that we can be actually cured of, but acne can be controlled or suppressed.

Although there are many ways to treat acne, many other factors play a role in the life of the acne sufferer to gradually, completely clear acne and then to control future break outs. Research is still ongoing to validate and truly ‘make sense’ of what causes, what ‘drives’, what aggravates and what are the ways to treat acne.ways to treat acne acne vulgaris

This post briefly talks about 11 ‘unnatural’ ways to treat acne and how to control it to prevent future break outs. Important reminder, before using any treatment or medication whatsoever, it is best to fix an appointment with your doctor or skin specialist for evaluation and consultation.

Here is a brief summary of 11 ways to treat acne – using ‘unnatural’ ways:

1) Benzoyl Peroxide

Of all the ways to treat acne, this is probably the most popular, maybe even the most ‘trusted’ and used method for the longest time. And although it has been ‘warned’ many times of the negative and adverse effects of using this substance, products with benzoyl peroxide are still selling like hot cakes – whether online or ‘off-line’.

Benzoyl peroxide is used in topical acne treatments like creams, gels or lotions. You apply these directly on your skin to treat usually mild acne. This ingredient effectively kills acne causing bacteria to clear and control acne. You can also see this ingredient in cleansers to be used usually twice a day.

The common side effects of using benzoyl peroxide are skin peeling, skin getting too dry and sometimes flaky or skin feeling a stinging sensation. Your skin may be sensitive and irritated by this substance. In such cases, stop this treatment and see your doctor for further advice.

2) Salicylic Acid

This is another popular ingredient used in acne treatment systems and products. Salicylic acid is also a topical treatment, applied directly onto skin. You can find this ingredient in creams, gels and lotions.

As compared to benzoyl peroxide, although salicylic acid is effective in clearing acne, it is gentler on the skin. It is usually used to treat mild acne. Salicylic acid is a kind of beta hydroxyl acid that gently peels your skin and penetrates to ‘clear up’ blocked pores. This helps clear acne.

Some side effects of using salicylic acid are dryness and if you are sensitive to this ingredient, you may experience skin irritations.

3) Azelaic Acid

Azelex (azelaic acid) is another topical treatment to get rid of acne. This external ingredient kills bacteria that are infecting your pores. It also breaks down keratin. Keratin is protein produced by your skin that may clog your pores, causing acne to break out.

Like most topical acne treatments, this prescribed medicine is applied twice every day on your skin. This topical acne treatment clears acne in time, and keeps acne under control. Side effects include dryness, irritation, itching, burning sensation and maybe flakiness.

4) Retinoid

Retinoid, another topical application to get rid of acne, is used to treat mild acne. Retinoid clears acne by clearing up your clogged pores that cause pimples and blackheads to flare up. Retinoid is also an anti-inflammatory substance that helps in clearing acne.

You can get some commonly used retinoid like Retin-A, Retin-A Micro and Renova (tretinoin) by prescription only. Then follow your doctor’s advice on how to and how much to apply on your skin. Some side effects are dryness, irritation, stinging feeling and scaling.

5) Sulfa Antibiotics

Some ways to treat acne are to use antibiotics and two types can be used – topical and oral.

Sulfa antibiotics are for topical application only. You can get this antibiotic by prescription only. Usually, this is applied as a lotion onto your skin twice daily. This is the oldest kind of ‘acne antibiotics’ used and is effective in treating acne. However, as sulfa antibiotics may cause an allergic reaction in some people, this antibiotic acne treatment may not be the first choice to be used to treat acne.

6) ‘Common’ Topical Antibiotics

Other than sulfa antibiotics (which may not the first choice prescribed) the more commonly used topical antibiotics to treat acne are clindamycin and erythromycin. But these antibiotics are usually used together with retinoid or even benzoyl peroxide to better suppress acne bacteria. This is to prevent future acne breakouts.

These common antibiotics come in gels and lotions which are commonly applied 2 times daily onto the skin. The most usual side effect is skin irritation.

7) Oral Antibiotics

Now, every one’s skin condition and acne problem is unique. There really is no one ‘acne fix’ that works just as effectively and just the same for all – the same goes for acne antibiotics. Therefore, if topical antibiotics do not clear up your acne, your doctor may prescribe an oral antibiotic and oral ones are usually used for more serious acne skin condition.

Oral antibiotics are like doxycycline, tetracycline and minocycline. These oral (taken by mouth) antibiotics control acne bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) to prevent future acne breakouts. But you may experience side effects like nausea, headaches and dizziness – so you may want to ‘prepare yourself’ to take such antibiotics.

8) Isotretinoin

Isotretinoin (Accutane, Amnesteem, Sotret and Claravis) is something that comes from vitamin A. This substance is used to treat serious or severe acne. Isotretinoin is used to suppress acne for a long time and is seen to be very effective even in treating severe acne. This drug shrinks your glands that are making your skin oily (or rather ‘too oily’).

However, as powerful as Isotretinoin is in controlling acne, it can cause severe birth defects and has equally dangerous side effects like liver damage. Do note that only doctors who are registered in an FDA-mandated program can prescribe Isotretinoin. Furthermore, women especially who take this treatment must be closely monitored every month.

9) Light and Laser Acne Treatment

Some costly ways to treat acne are using light and laser acne treatments. Although expensive, light and laser acne treatments are getting popular because the effectiveness rate can go as high as 85%. Furthermore, no allergic reactions are experienced using these acne treatments.

Blue and red light therapy is painless. It uses a low-intensity blue light to kill bacteria causing acne on your skin. This can be done in one or multiple sessions.

Pulsed light and heat energy therapy kills bacteria and at the same time, shrinks your sebaceous glands to reduce excessive sebum or oil.

Then diode lasers destroy acne bacteria in your sebaceous glands in the dermis but do not harm the outer layer of your skin. But diode lasers treatment may be painful so you may need sedation and local anesthesia for this treatment. And your skin may be temporarily red and a little swollen after this treatment.

10) Birth Control Pills (Contraceptive Pills)

Some women use birth control pills to control acne. There are many kinds of birth control pills out there. Some pills work for some women, but may not work for other women. Therefore, do see your doctor before taking any birth control pills.

Women who suffer from acne take birth control pills because they are effective in regulating their hormones that causes their skin to have excessive oil or sebum. Excessive sebum or oil is one the main causes for acne to breakout.

Do not that there are risks involved. The American Academy of Dermatology cautions against using birth control pills to control acne if you have migraines, are a smoker or have any blood-clotting disorders.  Please check with your doctor for more risks information and other advice.

11) Lasers, Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peels

Treatments like light chemical peels or microdermabrasion are used to treat milder forms of acne. However, when you have severe acne like painful nodules or known as acne cysts (with pus) you may need laser resurfacing to remove scars – because for most cases, acne cysts can cause scarring on the skin.

Laser resurfacing procedures remove the outer and damaged layer of your skin so that ‘new’ skin is exposed or ‘surfaces’. You can see improvement on your skin in days but complete healing may take about 10 days to 2 weeks. And depending on how severe your scars or acne condition is you may need multiple sessions. And this treatment will be costly.

Since there are different types of light and laser acne treatments, do see your doctor for evaluation and best advice. You need to know what the best treatment for your unique acne condition is.

Last but not least, although there are many ways to treat acne, other than using natural method or home remedies, in all cases it is best to fix an initial appointment with your skin specialist, get evaluated, do skin allergy tests and get best advice for your unique acne skin problem.


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