Thanks to the strides we have made in the dermatological space, now there are several ways you can use to rein in control of your acne flare ups. This ranges right from gels, creams, washes to herbal remedies and even fully-fledged prescriptions. Just like what happens when you are looking for the right acne scar removal technique, it is easy to get flooded and overwhelmed by the numerous options available to you. However, the best acne treatment for your pimples is one that is correctly suited to your skin type, severity of the pimples and, most importantly, the type of acne that you have.
Non Prescription (Over the Counter) Best Acne Treatment for Teens and Adults
There are several over-the-counter remedies for flare ups that do not necessarily need a prescription from a qualified physician to access. But even before you attempt to treat your breakouts, it’s imperative to make sure that you are not shooting yourself in the foot by using the wrong skincare products for your face. Regular face washing, for instance, using a suitable cleanser that contains salicylic acid can make a ton of difference as far as clearing your pores and preventing the accumulation of sebum goes. And if you have sensitive skin, then landing a foaming face wash that is labelled ‘sensitive’ or ‘gentle’ should be a priority if your acne-clearing attempts are to bear any fruit.
That being said, when it comes to OTC acne spot treatment solutions, look for non-prescriptions that contain these ingredients.
- Adapalene ( also known as differin ): It’s essentially a retinoid. This means that it belongs to a group of active ingredients and topical medications that are derived from retinol ( vitamin A ). It works by preventing the occasional clogging of skin pores with dead skin cells by stimulating shedding and rejuvenation. Adapalene was once only available with a prescription but you can now buy it straight over the counter in your nearest drug store.
- Benzoyl peroxide: You are likely to chance upon benzoyl peroxide in acne scar remover lotions, creams and gels. It is known for its propensity to unclog skin pores, dry out pimples and stop bacteria from multiplying.
Speaking of which, combining adapalene and benzoyl peroxide is an excellent way of kickstarting your acne treatment regimen. Leading dermatologists also advise on giving a treatment or skin care regimen a grace period of at least three months for it to work before switching to another non-prescription approach. The main reason for this is because sometimes your skin needs time to integrate the OTC treatment into its physiological ecosystem for you to see results. In other words, if the treatment is not aggravating your conditions further, then you may want to give it a few weeks to settle in and start working.
When to See a Dermatologist for the Best Acne Treatment
It is advisable to see a dermatologist at the earliest available chance you can – there is no such thing as too little or too mild acne to schedule an appointment. If anything, there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain from seeking professional advice as soon as you begin seeing the onset of blackheads or papules. You should, especially, seek a physician’s advice if you have painful nodules, hard bumps, acne scars or deep cysts that refuse to go away even after adopting a healthy diet and the correct skin care routine.
Speaking of a doctor’s appointment, you may want to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist if the OTC acne treatments described above appear to have little or no effect whatsoever on the improvement of your system over the course of three months or more. You should also seek a dermatologist’s advice if the occasional flare-ups are taking a heavy toll on your self-esteem.
The doctor will then examine your skin condition and carry out a few tests to confirm that indeed the flare ups are as a result of a bout of acne and not any other underlying condition. They will then recommend and prescribe a set of creams and pills, that are designed to work for your skin type, to help you lessen the severity of the acne.
How to Get Rid of Whiteheads with Topical Prescription Medication
Unlike over the counter pills and creams, the following set of topical medications are considered to be so potent and particular in their working formula, that they have to be only administered under the guidance of a board-certified dermatologist. This includes
- Retin-A ( Tretinoin): The retinoid, as the name suggests, is extracted from vitamin A and considered to be more powerful than OTC adapalene. It is particularly useful in sloughing off dead cells to pave the way for the regeneration of new skin cells to cover up the scars and marks left behind after an acne attack. It is for this reason that according to dermatologists, adapalene seems to work better when used to control comedonal acne such as whiteheads, blackheads or papules caused by clogged pores. By sloughing off and removing the dead skin cells periodically, adapalene halts the occasional plugging of the pores caused by accumulated dead cells sitting on one’s skin.
- Winlevi ( Clascoterone ): Winlevi is a recently approved prescription topical medication that can be used to lessen the severity of severe to moderate acne. It is, in fact, considered a ‘side-effect free’ alternative to the more conventional spironolactone. Most importantly, it works by targeting the hormones that are believed to be the reason behind acne breakouts by binding onto these androgens thereby preventing them from binding and tethering to the skin cells. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that suggests that this will, in fact, lead to a decreased oil production and lower inflammation.
- Tazarotene ( Fabior, tazorac, avage): It is another variant of a potent prescription-strength topical retinoid that your dermatologist could prescribe for your breakout. It mostly, however, is designed to control acne flare ups in teenagers with raging hormones.
Oral Prescription-Strength Medication When Retinization Doesn’t Work
There are several prescription-strength oral acne medications that your dermatologist can turn to when topical medications fail to have an effect on the severity of the breakout. They include
- Antibiotics: They include the likes of erythromycin and doxycycline that can kill acne-causing bacteria on your skin thereby lessening the extent of the inflammation. They are especially good for inflammatory types of acne bouts which are often characterized by pus-filled blackheads and tender-looking, angry, red bumps.
- Spironolactone: It’s a hormonal prescription option for women who are thought to be suffering from acne as a result of their androgens triggering too much oil production. The argument here is that the lesser the sebum produced, the lower the chances of inflammation. Spironolactone is actually a blood pressure pill.
- Oral contraceptives: It may be hard to believe but sometimes birth control pills can be used to clear up your skin. These work by regulating the secretion of progestin and estrogen which could have a bearing on the production of sebum and, consequently, the intensity of the flare ups.
- Isotretinoin: Also popularly known through its brand name Accutane. It’s a significantly potent medication that is often used for controlling severe cystic acne.
The bottom line here is that the above prescription-strength medications ought to be used only under the strict guidance and supervision of a board-certified dermatologist. One of the reasons is that as much as some of these pharmaceutical remedies are highly effective in what they do, they also have a potential of carrying with them severe side effects which could wreak havoc on one’s system if used without the instruction of a doctor. Under no circumstance should you attempt to self-prescribe them for your breakout.
Thanks to the advances made in modern medicine, you no longer have to sit and hope that an acne bout will go away on its own. By employing the use of some of these easily-available medications, you can put a dent on the severity of a breakout and give your skin a chance to heal without unsightly scars and marks forming in the aftermath.