Best Acne Medications For Adults
Adults develop acne for the same reasons as younger individuals due to pores becoming blocked with oil and debris. However, their acne may be exacerbated by factors such as smoking, cosmetics and sweat. Women also develop it due to periods of hormonal fluctuations such as pregnancy and menopause, or as a result of a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome .
The best acne medications for adults are those that are tailored to address the cause and severity of their acne. Adults who have mild and intermittent breakouts may be able to clear and prevent them with OTC products containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or low-strength retinols.
Acne that develops due to hormonal fluctuations will best respond to oral prescription medications that stabilize levels such as spironolactone and oral contraceptives.
Treatments Take Time To Work
“Expect it to take six to eight weeks for an acne treatment regimen to kick in,” said board-certified dermatologist Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, FAAD. You may notice skin dryness and sometimes redness leading up to weeks six to eight, but Shainhouse suggested that your acne may not show significant improvement before then.
How Much Should I Take
For acne, your doctor will likely prescribe a form of minocycline called Solodyn, which comes in the form of a slow-release capsule.
You can take minocycline at any time of day, with or without food. However, its best to drink a full glass of water with each dose to reduce irritation in your esophagus or stomach. Dont take more than prescribed by your doctor. This can increase your risk of side effects.
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A Number Of Different Antibiotics Are Available
Antibiotics are used for inflammatory acne small, pink lumps and bumps and pustules on the skins surface.
In more serious cases the lumps are larger, deeper and may appear as nodules and cysts in which case, you may need a different treatment to antibiotics.
Antibiotics have been used in acne management for decades, but with increasing concerns about antibiotic resistance theres a trend to use shorter courses, usually three to six months of treatment.
How Long Does It Take For Proactiv To Work
Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links. This means we may get a commission if you visit the links on our site and make a purchase.
Are you looking for a fast an effective way to treat your acne? Proactivs full line of products offer one of the fastest and best ways to fight bad skin, but how soon until you actually see results?
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Some Important Points To Consider If You Are Thinking About Taking Spironolactone For Acne:
- Spironolactone does not work for everyone but helps at 65% of women with hormonal acne . It is not possible to predict who may benefit and who may not.
- Some women may clear completely with Spironolactone. In other women, Spironolactone may reduce the rate of acne but not clear it completely. This means you may still need other acne treatments while taking Spironolactone.
- Spironolactone can take 3 to 6 months to have its full effects. Waiting for the results can be very frustrating.
- Spironolactone only works while you are taking it. This means your acne may come back when you stop. Women may be on Spironolactone for 1 or 2 years or sometimes for several years.
- Spironolactone can cause side effects. About 1 in 20 of women may need to reduce or come off Spironolactone because of side effects .
What If Standard Acne Treatments Dont Work
For severe acne that doesnt respond to standard treatment, there are other options:
- Isotretinoin. This oral retinoid can shrink the size of oil glands.
- Hormone therapy. Some women have acne due to excess androgen . They may also have irregular periods and thinning hair. Low-dose estrogen and progesterone may help.
- Low-glycemic diet. Some studies have found a link between acne and sugar intake. Cutting back on sugar can help with other inflammatory skin diseases, too, says Dr. Kassouf. Start by avoiding sugary drinks.
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What To Expect With Oral Acne Medication
The experience of taking an oral acne medication will vary depending on the product used. Oral antibiotics can take between six and eight weeks to start working, but the treatment will often only last a few days. By contrast, oral medications with progestin and isotretinoin can take between four and six months to work, and the medication should be taken consistently.
Side effects for oral acne medication are typically minimal, often including upset stomach, photosensitivity, and dizziness. Isotretinoin is the outlier, as its side effects can be both unique and severe. We recommend talking to your dermatologist about how your medical history may impact the side effects experienced.
Procedures To Treat Acne
Though not prescribed as commonly as medication, a few medical procedures may be used to treat severe acne. These procedures can all typically be performed in your doctors office. They may be painful and in some cases cause scarring. Health insurance plans dont always cover them, either. You should confirm that your health insurance will cover these procedures before you schedule them.
Common Acne Medications And Classes That Treat Acne
Acne medications come in many forms, from topical creams and tinctures to antibiotics to oral contraceptives. In many cases, healthcare providers suggest a combination approach.
Benzoyl peroxide: is a common ingredient found in many over-the-counter acne products. It is also available at a higher strength with a prescription. Benzoyl peroxide works as a topical antiseptic to treat mild to moderate acne. For more severe cases, it can be combined with prescription antibiotics like clindamycin or erythromycin.
Retinoids: Retinoids and retinoid-like drugs are derived from vitamin A and work by preventing dead skin cells from clogging pores. Popular prescription forms include , , and . Similar to retinoids in its effect, is an expensive drug used to treat severe acne that has not responded to other therapies.
Antibiotics: These drugs help fight the bacteria that sometimes cause acne, and help decrease inflammation. To prevent antibiotic resistance, experts recommend using antibiotics for as short a time as possible. Both oral and topical antibiotics are usually prescribed alongside an additional treatment, like benzoyl peroxide or a retinoid. Popular antibiotics to treat acne include:
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How To Help Prevent A Pimple From Forming
It can be extremely tempting to squeeze or pick at a pimplebut you should avoid this, especially if it is cystic acne doing so brings the risk of pushing the contents deeper into the skin, potentially making matters worse. To treat acne, dermatology providers often use retinoids and topical vitamin A derivatives that boost skin cell turnover. At Curology, we use tretinoin, which is a popular option for treating acne and signs of aging. Derived from vitamin A, this highly effective prescription ingredient stimulates the growth of healthy new cells while at the same time helping to prevent inflammation.²
That said, one of the best treatments is to help stop acne in its tracks before it makes its way to the skin’s surface. Prevention starts with proper face hygiene. Here are a few of our top tips for clearer skin that help prevent pimples in the first place.
If you need to clear up a breakout ASAP, try Curologys emergency spot patches. They help accelerate your skins healing processjust keep in mind that they won’t prevent new pimples from forming.
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How Can Pandia Health Help
If you suspect you have acne and would like to get on the road to clearer skin, get started with Pandia Health today!Acne is a journey, so youll want guidance along the way. Our expert doctors can prescribe a range of acne treatments based on whats best for you and your skin. Plus get free delivery straight to your mailbox with automatic refills and free goodies!
Here are some acne treatments available through Pandia Health:
What Form And Dosage Of Salicylic Acid Is Recommended For Acne
Your doctor or dermatologist will recommend a form and dosage specifically for your skin type and your skins current condition. They might also recommend that for 2 or 3 days, you only apply a limited amount to a small area of affected skin to test your reaction before applying to the entire area.
According to the Mayo Clinic, adults should use a topical product to clear their acne, such as:
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What Is The Best Acne Treatment
The best acne treatments are those that:
- make the cells less sticky
- drain the acne lesion
- kill the bacteria
The first-line treatment for all acne should be a product containing a retinoid as retinoids offer all of the benefits listed above except the final two. For over-the-counter treatment, look for products that contain benzoyl peroxide or alpha hydroxy acids as active ingredients. Usually, it takes 6-8 weeks of product use to see any improvement. Other treatments you can access without seeing a doctor can include:
- avoiding touching your face
- applying warm compresses to big acne lesions
- using acne spot treatment creams , or creamy toothpaste or baking soda .
- washing your face and other acne-affected skin regularly . However, if you wash too much, it can cause more oil to be made, so its important to find a balance.
- changing your diet
Sometimes, you may need to get further medical support from your doctor. After a doctor or dermatologist reviews your acne, you may be prescribed:
- a medical acne treatment
- cortisone shots
How Does Winlevi Work
Winlevi is the brand name for clascoterone, a topical medication that inhibits androgens, male hormones that impact oil production, explains Dr. Corey L. Hartman, a board-certified dermatologist in Homewood, Alabama.
So why is that exciting? Up until now, weve had no topicals that address oil production, despite it being one of the main contributing factors to acne, says New York City board-certified dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner. Its being referred to as a topical version of spironolactone, one of the most effectiveand popularoral medications used to treat hormonal acne in women.
Spironolactone has been a very, very effective option. Even in instances when Accutane has failed, its helped women who have hormonal or androgen-dependent acne, explains Dr. Sheryl D. Clark, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. Dr. Hartman agrees, calling it a gold standard and noting that its a topic of discussion with at least 75% of his female acne patients.
While spironolactone is both inexpensive and tends to be fairly well tolerated, it isnt without its drawbacks. Some people simply dont want to take a pill, not to mention that men cant take it due to the systemic hormonal effects. Similarly, its off limits for pregnant women, because its anti-androgenic activity can affect the development of reproductive organs in male fetuses, notes Dr. Clark.
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How Acne Is Influenced By Hormones
In women, acne can also be caused by hormonal changes associated with pregnancy or the menstrual cycle. The risk of acne during menopause can be increased by lowering estrogen levels. The role of progesterone remains unclear. Acne can be caused by conditions that affect hormone levels, such as polycystic syndrome .
Doxycycline Dosage And How To Use
You’ll need a healthcare provider’s prescription to take doxycycline. Doses vary from as low as 40 milligrams once a day to 100 mg twice daily.
That’s because doxycycline does a good job on inflammation and bacteria, but these aren’t the only reasons for an acne breakout. Acne is also caused by excess oil forming a plug, called a comedo, in the skin pore. This plug is the beginning of every acne blemish.
Doxycycline doesn’t stop these plugs from forming, but the other drugs do. Plus, using doxycycline along with a non-antibiotic topical drug helps reduce the chance of developing antibiotic resistance.
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What Are The Benefits Of Minocycline For Acne
Minocycline treats acne by both killing bacteria and reducing inflammation. Minocycline only treats active acne, not acne scars.
Propionibacterium acnes is bacteria found on most peoples skin. Sometimes it builds up in your pores, causing acne. Taking minocycline can help to kill P. acnes.
Minocycline also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce redness and swelling caused by inflamed acne. You doctor might also prescribe an additional treatment, such as a topical acne cream, to use along with minocycline.
Should I Take Isotretinoin
Isotretinoin is best for moderate acne to severe acne. If you have mild acne, your healthcare provider will likely have you try other acne medications first.
Of course, not everyone is a candidate for isotretinoin treatment. But if you have already tried other acne treatments without much success, if your acne is severe, or if you have widespread acne of the back or body, isotretinoin may be an option.
Your healthcare provider is your best resource, so ask for her opinion. Even if isotretinoin isnt the treatment for you, your practitioner will have other treatment options available, so its worth making that appointment.
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Tips On Oral Antibiotics
Take your antibiotics regularly. The best way to cause the formation of resistant bugs is to skip dosages or to keep going on and off. Consistency is important even when it comes to the topical medications prescribed along with your oral antibiotics. If they appear not as effective just continue using them. They can help when the antibiotics are stopped.
What Are The Side Effects Of Accutane
According to Dr. Le, Almost all patients have some Accutane side effects after starting treatment, but there are steps you can take to address these concerns and maintain healthy skin throughout the isotretinoin treatment process.
Its important to let your dermatologist know during follow-up visits about any symptoms you experience during Accutane treatment. Some of the most common mild to moderate side effects as well as the recommended at-home care tips for each are listed below:
- Dry skin and lips Use moisturizers and lip balms regularly to keep skin hydrated.
- Dry eyes Red, itchy, or dry eyes are fairly common. Use over-the-counter or prescription eye drops to maintain moisture and alleviate itchiness.
- Dryness of the sinuses Chew gum to stimulate saliva production, drink plenty of water, apply petrolatum to the nose to avoid chapping and to protect the skin.
- Head and body aches Take over-the-counter pain medications to alleviate discomfort. Continue light to moderate exercise routines but avoid more intense workouts that could lead to further discomfort.
In addition to these common mild to moderate side effects, some patients experience more serious symptoms while taking Accutane that require immediate intervention by a dermatologist, including:
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When To See A Doctor For Oral Acne Medications
All oral acne medications require a prescription, which means you will need to make an appointment with the dermatologist. If your acne has not responded to topical or over-the-counter medications, you could be a good candidate for any of these treatments.
If you are unsure whether oral acne medications are right for you, visit Zel Skincare & Laser Specialists for a consultation. We can examine your skin and provide a personalized strategy for treating your acne. Maybe oral medications are right for you. Perhaps all you need is a topical acne treatment. Regardless, a dermatologist can be very useful in figuring out the path forward. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Acne Treatment: Types Side Effects And More
Acne and you
Acne results from plugged hair follicles. Oil, dirt, and dead skin cells on the surface of your skin clog your pores and create pimples or small, localized infections. Treatments work to clear away bacteria and dry up the excess oils that lead to acne. Different acne treatments include lifestyle remedies, topical medication, oral medication, and medical procedures.
The treatment thats right for you depends on your individual condition. If you have mild to moderate acne, such as whiteheads or blackheads, your treatment should be relatively easy. However, if you have cystic or inflammatory acne, your treatment may be more challenging. Cystic acne is one or more large, painful, red cysts under the surface of your skin. Your doctor or dermatologist can help you figure out what type of acne you have.
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The Three Proactiv Acne Treatments:
The first thing you should know, is that Proactiv MD is the best and fastest acne treatment that Proactiv Currently offers.
In most cases, people may start noticing changes to their skin within the first week of using Proactiv MD. Within the first 3 to 6 weeks, you should start seeing a noticeable change to your acne and/or breakouts.
You can see if ProactivMD is right for you with our full ProactivMD review and pricing guide.
Potential Side Effects Of Antibiotics
Nausea, diarrhoea and thrush may affect a small number of people taking oral antibiotics.
In some cases, antibiotics used to treat acne may cause headaches. If you think any medications are causing headaches, particularly if this happens in the morning, is not quickly relieved with paracetamol and/or associated with blurring of vision or neck stiffness, you should stop the medication and see your doctor.
Antibiotics can sometimes cause allergic reactions. This is more common with minocycline, rare with doxycycline and uncommon with antibiotic gels and lotions.
Anyone with warning signs or symptoms of allergic reactions, including an unexplained fever, sore throat, swollen neck glands or rash should stop the medication and visit the doctor.
Other symptoms can include joint pain and swelling, nausea, abdominal discomfort, diarrhoea, headache and shortness of breath.
Occasionally fever, rash, joint swelling and pain, skin ulcers and generally feeling unwell due to minocycline allergy can occur several years after first starting therapy. However, keep in mind these are rare side effects.
As with all antibiotics, there is concern that if they are over-used or inappropriately used, strains of the acne bacteria will become resistant to antibiotics, making the medications ineffective.
Taking antibiotics for the full course as prescribed and applying antibiotic creams and gels as directed will reduce this risk.
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