Acne is the most common skin condition in the world, and for many people, acne can be a lifelong struggle that doesn’t stop at puberty. While there are many factors that contribute to acne, such as genetics, hormones, environment, and skincare, it is possible to get your acne under control once and for all. At Bentley Skincare & Wellness in Springfield, MO, we can help you find the acne treatments that will work for your skin type and acne challenges.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Acne Treatments?
Many people experience acne starting from puberty well into adulthood, so broadly speaking, most people who have acne are good candidates for acne treatment. There are several types of acne, as the skin condition presents in a variety of ways, so your specific acne type may impact the exact treatment you can use. However, you are likely a good candidate if your acne is active, visible, chronic, and you have yet to find an at-home regimen that controls your breakouts.
Acne Type or Combination
Acne presents in a variety of ways, from pimples to oily skin to blackheads. The type of acne or acne combination you have will play a large role in determining which treatments are most successful for you. The root cause of your acne may also have an impact on treatment success. For example, women who have hormonal cystic acne may need more targeted treatments than people who have occasional acne breakouts.
It’s very common to have multiple types of acne or even combination skin that creates different types of acne on different parts of the face. For instance, some people may have blackheads on their T-zones, along with dry skin and pimples on the cheeks. Sometimes, the type of acne you have and the likelihood that you will scar can also be determined by genetics, which can inform your dermatologist about the type of treatments that may be best for you.
Condition Start and Severity
When your skin condition started and the general severity of your acne will be factored in your candidacy for certain treatments. Teens with acne usually struggle with a combination of hormone changes that alter the baseline health of their skin, but when caught early, this type of acne can be well-managed and may even fade with age.
For those who have chronic acne into adulthood and middle age, finding the most effective treatment may be more challenging since it’s likely most treatments have been tried before. However, a dermatologist will be able to analyze your skin type and acne type to assess the cause of your acne, particularly if there are stress-related or hormone-related factors to your breakouts. Some people may mistake acne for other skin conditions, so the expert eye of a dermatologist can be useful.
Failure of Previous Treatments
There are some as-seen-on-TV brands of acne treatment systems that are used successfully by thousands of people – but if those systems haven’t worked for you, it doesn’t mean that you used the system wrong, it just means that the system wasn’t the right match for you. Those acne treatment systems are formulated at specific concentrations that might not be compatible with your skin type or skin needs. If you’ve tried previous treatment systems without much success, then guidance from a dermatologist can be immensely helpful.
The failure of previous treatments can also apply to other at-home remedies you have tried, including tea tree oil masks, aloe vera, over-the-counter acne skincare products, and so much more. It’s important to recognize when acne treatments aren’t working and seek guidance as soon as possible for the health and aesthetics of your skin. If you aren’t seeing results within two to three months, then the treatment has likely failed.
What Are Common Acne Treatments?
Acne has been around for a long time, so there are several treatments that will be available to you. From topical products to skincare to energy-based treatments, the type of acne treatments used to address your skin concerns will be selected based on your unique skin needs. Some of the most common acne treatments include:
The best tool we have for fighting acne is a consistent skincare regimen that will help regulate oil production and cellular turnover for the skin, as well as eliminate acne-causing bacteria. If over-the-counter products have not been effective for you, you may require physician-grade products to improve the condition of your skin.
Skincare products can include acids that will dissolve oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria, as well as cleansers to reduce sebum production and moisturizers that do not clog the pores. It’s important to find skincare products that work with your skin type to keep your skin clear of dirt and oil, while also maintaining the moisture balance of your skin. Some people may use cleansers that are too harsh, which dry out the skin and make oil production (and acne) worse.
There are a variety of medical-grade topical products that are used to treat acne, including acid pads and ointments. The most common prescriptions will include benzoyl peroxide and retinoids, which can work together to refine the function of your skin to reduce acne breakouts. It’s common for your dermatologist to combine these products to customize your treatment to your skin needs.
Sometimes, oral medications may also be necessary to control acne breakouts. For example, people who have hormonal acne may be prescribed hormonal agents to regulate the pattern that contributes to acne development. Other medications can include antibiotics that reduce bacteria on the skin, which also makes it harder for acne to develop.
For those who need more help regulating the cellular turnover of their skin cells so acne treatments can be more effective, light chemical peels have proven highly effective. Chemical peels gently exfoliate the surface layer of the skin, which can then regulate oil production, unclog pores, and eliminate acne-causing bacteria on the skin surface. Combining chemical peels with at-home prescription treatments can be a good way to manage active acne breakouts.
Light therapy is a highly effective option to control minor breakouts or mild acne. Light therapy uses specific wavelengths to treat the skin, which reduces bacteria and inflammation that may cause acne breakouts. Light therapy can be used alone, or it can be used in combination with other treatments.
Radiofrequency is another highly effective treatment for acne, particularly because it addresses both the root cause of acne and the overall appearance at one time. This energy-based treatment is ideal for those who have mild to moderate acne, as well as other aesthetic concerns like fine lines and wrinkles. Again, this treatment may be used in conjunction with other acne treatments for best results.
What About Acne Scarring?
While not all acne will cause scarring, many people who have had chronic acne will struggle with textured or pigmented acne scarring. The good news is that many treatments for acne will also double as treatments to reduce acne scarring. For example, chemical peels, retinoids, and acids will all control acne breakouts and reduce post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. For textured scarring, chemical peels, radiofrequency, and even dermal fillers can be effective options.
What Is the Key to Treatment Success?
When it comes to acne, the number one key to the success of your treatment is consistency. Acne-causing bacteria is tenacious and prepared to take a foothold on your skin as soon as it spots an opportunity, so skipping a treatment here or there really is detrimental to your goal. This is particularly true for any at-home products recommended to you by a dermatologist, such as benzoyl peroxide, which can help you manage the day-to-day eruption of acne-causing bacteria.
As important as it is to find a treatment that works for your skin type and acne type, it’s also important to devote time to your skin. When you are treating acne, another key to your treatment will be patience. Most people will not see immediate results, even if their skin does calm down after treatment. In general, most early results will be visible about four to eight weeks after you start treatment.
Take Control of Your Acne Now
Living with acne can feel like a never-ending battle with a skin condition you’ll never truly eliminate. But with the right treatments and recommendations made by skin experts, you can find the root cause of your breakouts and pinpoint the combination of treatments that will be most effective for you. Please contact Bentley Skincare & Wellness in Springfield, MO to schedule your consultation today.