Munson Health
 
Acne

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by Hellwig J

(Pimples; Blackheads; Whiteheads; Acne Vulgaris)

 

Treatment

Acne may require a combination of treatments. Most acne does not require surgery. Some treatments may take several weeks to work. Your skin may actually appear to get worse before it gets better.

Medications

  • Over-the-counter topical medications such as cleansers, creams, lotions, and gels—to reduce the amount of oil and/or bacteria in the pores. These medications may contain one of the following ingredients:
    • Benzoyl peroxide
    • Salicylic acid
  • Prescription topical medications—includes cleansers, creams, lotions, and gels to reduce the amount of oil and/or bacteria in the pores. Examples include:
    • Antibiotics, such as clindamycin, erythromycin
    • Retinoids, such as tretinoin adapalene
  • Oral antibiotics—to control the amount of bacteria in pores, including:
    • Tetracycline
    • Clindamycin
  • Oral medications—to control androgen levels, including:
    • Birth control pills
    • Spironolactone
  • Oral retinoids—to reduce the size and secretions of sebaceous glands. This medication is only used for severe cases of cystic acne.
    • Isotretinoin—must not be taken by women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant due to the risk of serious birth defects.

Procedures

There are a number of procedures that can be used by your doctor or dermatologist to treat acne, examples include:
Some of the procedures have risks, such as scarring and infection.
 

RESOURCES

The Acne Resource Center Online
http://www.acne-resource.org

The American Academy of Dermatology
http://www.aad.org

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Dermatology Association
http://www.dermatology.ca

Dermatologists.ca
http://www.dermatologists.ca

 

References


Acne. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aad.org/skin-conditions/dermatology-a-to-z/acne. Accessed December 12, 2013.


Acne. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 18, 2013. Accessed December 12, 2013.


Questions and answers about acne. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Acne/default.asp. Updated May 2013. Accessed December 12, 2013.


9/2/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed : Arowojolu A, Gallo M, Lopez L, Grimes D, Garner S. Combined oral contraceptive pills for treatment of acne. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(3):CD004425.

 

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