The 17 Best Acne Treatments According To Dermatologists
There are so many different ways to treat acne breakouts that it can be hard to figure out exactly which might be the best acne treatment for your skin. Even if you’ve had some type of acne all your life, the pimples we have as adults can be different from the acne we had as teens and can be difficult to clear up, depending on things like hormones, changes in skin type and texture, and scarring.
Since life is hard enough without worrying endlessly about the state of our skin, SELF spoke to dermatologists to find out which acne treatments are the most effective on all types of pimples. Keep reading to learn what causes acne in the first place, plus the best acne treatments and acne medications worth spending your hard-earned dollars on.
Its worth noting that whether youre looking to simply minimize some pesky blackheads or dealing with something more serious like cystic or inflammatory acne, your best bet is always to speak to a dermatologist. Theyve got the training to identify acne types by sight and access to way more treatment options than your local Target or Ulta.
How Can I Get Rid Of Hormonal Acne Without Birth Control
Treating Hormonal Acne
What Do Acne Scars Look Like After Lipoma Surgery
Scarring and bruising may appear after lipoma removal and the patient should be careful not to damage the sutures for approximately 1 week. Most lipomas do not recur after lipoma removal surgery, according to the Mayo Clinic. Lipomas are abnormal growths of fat cells under the skin, especially on the trunk, thighs, and armpits.
Read Also: What Is My Acne Telling Me
Adapt Your Facial Regimen
How oily your skin appears can vary season by season, week by week, even day by day. Oil production is influenced by hormones, by mood, even by the weather, Cambio says. For example, some people have problems with oily skin only in the summer when theyâre sweating. Itâs important to be aware of how your skin varies so that you can adjust your regimen accordingly. You may need cleanser with glycolic acid or beta-hydroxy acid every day during the summer but only now and then during the winter, Kazin says. Thatâs important to know since overusing these products can cause skin to dry out.
Are The Pimples Sore Or Do They Leave You With Scars
Cystic acne and nodules, which are painful, under-the-skin masses, are some of the toughest types of acne to treat, especially without the help of a dermatologist.
âIf you suffer with more serious forms of acne like cystic acne, over-the-counter treatments will never be enough, and waiting is just delaying the inevitable trip to the dermatologist,â says Derick.
Try to avoid the urge to pick or pop nodules or cystic acne, as this can lead to severe scarring and even permanent skin damage. To reduce inflammation and boost the healing process, your dermatologist may administer a corticosteroid injection directly into the lesions. Then, the doctor will prescribe a regimen appropriate for your skin type, the severity of your acne, and the progression of your scarring.
Also Check: Does Toothpaste Help Get Rid Of Acne
Things To Try When Acne Won’t Clear
Do you feel youve tried just about everything to get rid of your acne but still see blemishes? Dont despair. To see clearer skin, you probably just need to make some changes.
The following tips from dermatologists can help you get started.
If a treatment works for you, you should notice some improvement in 4 to 6 weeks. It can take 2 to 3 months or longer to see clearing.If you notice improvement, keep using the treatment. Even when you see clearing, you’ll want to keep using the acne treatment. This helps to prevent new breakouts.
- You wake up
- You’re ready to go to bed
- It gets sweaty
- Won’t clog pores
Treatments That Dont Need A Prescription
If you have mild acne, your pharmacist can help you choose an acne wash or cleanser, a lotion or cream with ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid or glycolic acid that can treat the condition. Use these products right across the area where there is acne, not just on the individual spots. For example, if you have acne on your neck, you should wash your whole neck with the product. If these treatments make your skin feel irritated or dry, try using them less often.
Other treatments can help with mild acne, such as light microdermabrasion, chemical peels and light diathermy. They may need to be repeated regularly and are not suitable for people with severe acne.
Don’t Miss: How To Prevent Acne Under Beard
Treat Mild Acne Yourself
While severe acne is best treated by a dermatologist, you can often treat mild acne by yourself using over-the-counter products.
Our guide to blackheads and whiteheads explains how you can treat comedonal acne a form of acne that isnt inflamed or infected.
Often, simple changes to your routine such as cleansing your face and avoiding cosmetics that contain comedogenic ingredients can get rid of clogged pores and prevent acne breakouts.
Products like our Deep Sea Cleanser, which is designed to reduce blocked pores without drying out your skin, can make this process easier.
Our guide to getting rid of acne naturally lists tips and techniques that you can use to keep your skin healthy, clear and blemish-free at home.
Pca Skin Intensive Clarity Treatment 05 Pure Retinol Night
Retinol isnt the only over-the-counter retinoid out thereor the gentlest. In fact, some experts recommend that those with sensitive skin opt for products containing retinal instead of traditional retinol. Like retinol, this compound is a naturally occurring retinoid that the body converts to retinoic acid. And, as SELF explained previously, it has been shown in a few studies to be just as effective as retinol and other retinoids with fewer side effects.
Products to try:
Recommended Reading: How To Help Chest Acne
Receive More Effective Acne Treatment Than Over
If necessary, your dermatologist can prescribe oral antibiotics to eliminate a bacterial infection that may have developed in your skin. You likely tried over-the-counter treatments with no success, and this is why because a deep bacterial infection does not respond well simply to soaps, alcohol-based astringents, and other facial cleansers.
Over-the-counter retinol treatments may not be strong enough to treat your acne. Your dermatologist may decide to give you a prescription-strength retinol treatment, which is a derivative of vitamin A. This treatment is ideal for people who have moderate to severe acne.
What Is The Best Moisturizer For People With Acne Scars And Post
Cleansing the skin should’ve always followed by a moisturizer, preferably an active one. One of the best active ingredients for people with acne-prone skin and post-acne scars is niacinamide. Niacinamide is regarded as one of the top skincare treatment ingredients. It minimizes and tightens enlarged skin pores, strengthens the skin’s natural protective layer, and helps balance oil production. Also, it improves uneven skin tone, reduces skin redness, and diminishes skin dullness.
Applying Niacinamide around the eyes reduces the appearance of under the eye dark circles and wrinkles on the eyes’ sides . Niacinamide based moisturizers are great for all skin types, including sensitive or rosacea-prone skin.
Niacinamide hed has been shown to increase the production of ceramides. Ceramides, found in our skin’s outermost layer, help the skin form a healthy barrier that keeps water in and toxic environmental elements out. Clinical studies have also shown applicating over several months can reduce skin sallowness and lead to fresher, younger-looking skin. In one study, researchers found that skin treated with a moisturizer containing 5% Niacinamide showed a significant reduction in hyperpigmentation with lightening of dark marks and age spots.
Read Also: How I Get Rid Of My Back Acne
How To Remove Dark Spots Caused By Acne
You may have heard of salicylic acid, which is used to treat acne, but it can also be used to lighten dark spots. Salicylic acid softens the outer layer of the skin and then exfoliates it. This helps remove skin cells and allow new cells to rise to the surface.
PockmarksHow to get rid of pock marks?Chemical peel. Chemical peels, from scar reduction to wrinkle reduction, are used for a variety of cosmetic and skin care purposes.dermal filler. They are best for deep stains. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, these fillers can increase depressive scars .Dermabrasion This is a skin rejuvenation procedure that gives you results similar to chemical peels.Microdermabrasion. I
Can Acne Cause Scars
Acne does sometimes result in scarring. It happens when the acne penetrates the skin and damages the deeper layers. Inflammation makes the acne pores swell and breakdown occurs in the wall of the pore. Scarring can, of course, be a source of anxiety, which is normal. But before it can be treated, your healthcare provider will determine what type of acne caused the scars.
There are several available treatment options. Chemical peels, dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, microneedling and surgery can all be used to treat acne scars.
Recommended Reading: How To Take Doxycycline For Acne
Do Certain Foods Cause Acne
For the most part, hormonal changes in the body drive acne. There is some evidence that skim milk, whey protein and diets high in sugar may cause acne breakouts, although this remains controversial.
Eating a balanced, nutritious diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those rich with vitamin C and beta carotene, helps reduce inflammation. There is also some evidence that eating fish can help.
Treatment Of Severe Acne
Treatment for severe acne requires oral treatment. Patients should be under the care of a dermatologist.
Many patients will be treated with oral isotretinoin.
The following may also be prescribed:
- High dose oral antibiotics for six months or longer
- In females, especially those with polycystic ovary syndrome, oral antiandrogens such as oestrogen/cyproterone or spironolactone may be suitable long-term
- Systemiccorticosteroids are sometimes used
Also Check: Does Loestrin Help With Acne
What Ingredients Should You Look For To Treat Acne
Retinoids: Birnbaum calls retinoids the holy grail of acne treatment because theyre backed by years of scientific studies that show they really work. She says that retinoids increase skin cell turnover, help unclog pores and decrease inflammation, to improve inflammatory acne. Love also shares that retinoids help normalize pigment production, which is good for people who get dark spots after a breakout. Love recommends starting it in your routine two to three times a week and slowly building up because retinoids can cause dryness and flakiness. If youre looking for a gentle retinoid, she recommends you consider adapalene. Our experts share that retinoids make skin more sensitive to sun, so make sure to wear SPF, but they are best used at night anyway.
Benzoyl peroxide: Benzoyl peroxide is one of Loves favorite over-the-counter acne solutions because its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and it helps decrease the oiliness of the skin, making it great to treat all types of acne. Our other experts certainly agree Birnbaum notes that you should use benzoyl peroxide at a different time of day as your retinoid, because it can make the retinoid less effective. Love explains that adapalene, however, is safe to use with benzoyl peroxide, unlike other retinoids.
Sulfur: Lastly, Love explains that sulfur is great for inflammatory acne. Better yet: This ingredient is also safe for those who are pregnant and nursing.
The Buying Guide: Our Advice On How To Buy The Dermatologist For Acne
Before you invest your hard-earned money into a product, you should properly educate yourself about the available products and the best alternatives in the market. We have compiled the list of factors you should consider before buying a dermatologist for acne to make your task easier.
Like almost any product, before buying a dermatologist for acne, you should ask yourself these few questions:
- How reputable are dermatologist for acne in comparison to market competitors?
- How durable and long-lasting are they, and how easy is it to service or fix them if something goes wrong?
- Why is it worth buying dermatologist for acne instead of other products?
- What are some key features and highlights of dermatologist for acne? Are those features worth it for your needs?
- What are some positives and negatives of dermatologist for acne, and how do they affect your user experience?
- Where can you buy dermatologist for acne and service or repair it if necessary?
These are just some of the questions that you need to seek the answer to when purchasing the product. It is essential to keep in mind that you may have further queries and questions, as you should.
These are just a few considerations that we consider absolutely crucial. You can find detailed answers to almost all of your questions by some internet research or even by trying out the product at the store.
Read Also: What Can You Do For Back Acne
Are There Any Special Concerns For Women Of Childbearing Age With Acne
Many topical and oral acne treatments are contraindicated during pregnancy. If youre a woman in your childbearing years, its important to discuss acne treatments with your healthcare provider and alert them if you become pregnant. Isotretinoin is known to cause severe birth defects and therefore, two methods of birth control are required while on this medication.
Hormone therapy is helpful for some women with acne, especially for those that flare-up with menstruation or those with signs and symptoms of excess androgen . Hormone therapy consists of low-dose estrogen and progesterone or a medication called spironolactone that blocks the effect of male hormones at the level of the hair follicles and oil glands.
No One Needs To Live With Severe Acne
While severe acne can be stubborn, its not impossible to get clearing. Thanks to advances in treatment, virtually all acne can clear with a dermatologists help.
ImagesSevere acne: Image used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
Acne along jawline: Image from Thinkstock
ReferencesZaenglein AL, Graber EM, et al. Acne vulgaris and acneiform eruptions. In: Wolff K. et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine, 7th edition. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., USA, 2008:696-700.
Zaenglein AL, Pathy AL, et al. Guidelines of care for the management of acne vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016 74:945-73.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Hormonal Acne
What Are The Best Sunscreens To Prevent Hyperpigmentation And Dark Marks
Unprotected sun exposure increases the amount of pigment in the skin and can cause pigmented acne scars and post-acne dark marks. To prevent those dark marks from forming, one needs to control active acne with an effective topical or oral anti-acne treatment. In parallel, it is recommended to use an oil-free sunscreen with SPF 30. The best sunscreen for acne or post-acne dark spots is also water-resistant, which will stay on your skin when sweating. Some of the new sunscreens contain, in addition to SPF, plant extracts with anti-oxidants like green T and vitamin E and ingredients that help fade post-acne dark spots like licorice and vitamin C.
How Long Does It Take For A Dermatologist To Cure Acne
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you should give an acne treatment at least 4 weeks to work. Using a new acne product every few days may seem useful, but it can actually worsen acne. In short, acne treatment needs time to work. And using a different product every few days can also irritate your skin, causing new breakouts.
Recommended Reading: Does Birth Control Help With Body Acne
How Is Acne Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider can diagnose acne during a skin exam. They may also ask if youre undergoing significant stress or if you have a family history of acne, all of which are risk factors. Teenage girls and women may also be asked about their menstrual cycles, as breakouts are sometimes related. Sudden, severe acne outbreaks in older people can sometimes signal another underlying disease that requires medical attention.
What Actually Works For Acne
The good news is that there are a lot of options for treating acne and lots of products and ingredients that work really well as the AAD points out, today, nearly every type of acne has an effective treatment available. The tricky part, and the part where the help of a dermatologist is always a good idea, is figuring out what type of acne youre dealing with and ensuring that the treatments you use arent going to make a bad situation any worse.
Recommended Reading: What To Do For Body Acne