If you’re an adult and are still struggling with acne, you probably know that there are thousands of acne treatment options. However, only a few of them may help you. Each option is designed for a particular acne type. It’s important to choose the right product that won’t harm your skin while eliminating pimples.
Why does acne occur? When the dead skin cells and the excess oil accumulate and block the pores, it leads to the formation of pimples. Acne can also be caused by a certain type of bacteria called Cutibacterium acnes or because of hormonal imbalance. We’ve collected treatment options that work by exfoliating dead skin cells, removing excess oil, reducing inflammation, and acne-causing bacteria. There are even a few treatment options that help with hormonal acne particularly.
Acne should be treated with well-chosen options. Every person responds to treatments differently, and with wrong options, it can get worse before it gets better.
The first thing you need to do is to visit a dermatologist who will examine your skin. This should be done to determine the severity of your acne and figure out which type (or types) you have. Then, your doctor will choose the type of treatment that will work for you.
Benzoyl peroxide is effective in the case of acne caused by bacteria. It’s able to kill the C. acnes bacteria that lead to breakouts. However, benzoyl peroxide has side effects. The creams and cleansing treatments based on this ingredient can dry out sensitive skin. Therefore, it’s better to use it carefully.
Retinol is a popular and effective ingredient that can help with acne. Retinol makes skin cells renew faster than usual, reduces oil production, and at the same time helps keep skin moisturized. Creams based on retinol are helpful in preventing new acne breakouts. They can also help with hyperpigmentation - a common post-acne issue.
Be careful when using retinol-based products as they can irritate the skin. If you have psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea, you need to consult your dermatologist before buying retinol. Your doctor might also recommend an over-the-counter retinol with a low concentration, which you might tolerate more easily.
Adapalene is a synthetic retinoid that is available only through a prescription. Since adapalene is synthetic, it is gentler than other prescription acne medications.
You’ve probably heard that hormonal acne is often treated with birth control pills. However, this option alone is not enough to fight acne, doctors usually prescribe spironolactone. This is an androgen blocker that lowers the levels of androgen hormones in the blood by blocking the receptors that bind with testosterone. Spironolactone is sometimes used in PCOS treatment as this condition is accompanied by increased testosterone production.
Isotretinoin is a very strong retinoid this used only for treating severe acne. If your acne doesn’t respond to anything, isotretinoin can really help. It’s especially effective for cystic acne.
It works by shutting down your sebaceous glands. If you suppress oil glands for a long time, you can fight acne. A course of isotretinoin usually takes six to nine months. However, doctors don’t recommend taking isotretinoin on your own as it has a number of dangerous side effects.
If your acne is caused by bacteria, your doctor might prescribe you antibiotics. Keep in mind that you also shouldn’t buy antibiotics without a doctor’s recommendations. You should take them only under doctor’s supervision as it can cause frequent yeast infections, nausea, and dysbiosis.
Sulfur is an effective ingredient that can dry up pimples reducing the pus and oil inside them. Sulfur is usually used along with other active ingredients to achieve the best results.