Acne Treatment: General Advices from Dermatologist

 

Before discussing how to manage the different types of acne in detail, it will only be proper to dwell upon the general measures to be observed while managing acne.

Here are the general advices from dermatologist to manage your acne:

  1. Boost confidence: Having the first outbreak of acne and severe acne lesions on the face is potentially threatening to a teenager. The resulting anxiety built up and low confidence levels can affect your performance both at home and at your school/ work place. Sympathetic counseling and support are required at this stage. Take time to talk to your acne skin physician or dermatologist about your fears and doubts .
  2. Dietary and food restrictions are important in most cases. Low fat, low calorie diet, avoidance of high iodine containing food, chocolates, fizzy drinks and fried food is advisable. Intake of lots of vegetables and fruits and salads should be encouraged. Avoidance of alcohol and caffeine are mandatory. Remember, cola drinks and tea also contain caffeine. For details on the effect of food on acne, see the links below.
  3. Stress Management: If there are frequent flare ups during stress periods, a stress management program should be charted out. Learn how to manage your stress to reduce acne outbreaks following stressful periods.

    Acne: Avoid Compulsive Face Wash
    Acne: Avoid Compulsive Face Wash
  4. Avoid compulsive washing: Excessive washing will further irritate the skin and interfere with the treatment regimens. Wash the face with mild soap 2-3 times daily, not more than that. Take care to wash off all specks of cosmetics that you have applied before going to bed and applying the acne medication.
  5. Avoid constant picking on the acne lesions. This will irritate the lesions. I always remind my acne patients that they are actually ‘feeding’ the pimples when they touch them too often!
  6. Avoid acne inducing cosmetics: If you have an acne prone face, avoid oil based cleansers and moisturizers on the face. Moderate use of non greasy lubricants and water based make ups are allowed. A gradual decrease in cosmetic usage is encouraged as acne improves.
    Topical Applications causing Acne
    Avoid Topical Applications causing Acne

    This is essential to avoid recurrent flare ups. See this useful tip to find out the grease or oil content of  make up cream.

  7. No OTC medication without consulting your dermatologist! Many OTC applications, whether they are herbal or chemical are potentially harmful to the skin on prolonged usage. Take expert advice before you experiment. It is your face. You cannot afford to make it an experimental field for the cosmetic industry!
  8. Avoid any suspicious medication that you may be taking (for other illnesses) that you suspect is worsening your acne. Request for alternate prescriptions from your physician.



Published by Dr Hanish Babu, MD on 26th May, 2018

Disclaimer
The information given in this article is for educational purpose only so that patients are aware of the options available. No diagnosis should be made or treatment undertaken without first consulting your doctor. If you do so, the author or the website will not be responsible for any consequences. The images provided are for illustration purpose only and are copyrighted.

Copyright 2018 © Dr Hanish Babu, MD

Acne Treatment Guidelines

Guidelines on How to Get Rid of Your Pimples
Acne-Skin Care Tips From Dermatologist
Acne-Treatment Guidelines

Having an understanding of the basic principles of Acne treatment and available guidelines will help the acne sufferers effectively keep their pimple problem under control.

Control of acne becomes easier and more effective if the basic pathogenesis and type and extent of the pimples are understood well. Most teenagers who suffer from acne take it lightly, at least in the early stages, and resort to self treatment with acne home remedies and OTC acne medications.

Several acne treatment aspects have been evolving since the last decade; like the combination therapies, the role of lasers and light based therapies and the various modalities of treatments for acne scars.

Acne Treatment Principles

Most people tend to believe that acne is a natural phenomenon and a minor irritation during adolescence and teenage. The latest updates from the global alliance to improve outcomes in acne recommend early and aggressive treatment of acne to reduce the chances of permanent scar formation in acne sufferers.

Following are some important guidelines regarding the management of acne:

  1. There is no cure for acne. It is impossible to get rid of acne in 3 or 10 days as is being claimed by some commercial websites.
  2. The goal of treating pimples is to control the disease activity and limit inflammatory response within the dermal layer of skin before it damages the skin structures. This will help prevent formation of acne scars and blemishes.
  3. There is no single effective treatment for all types of acne. Treatment of zits varies according to the type, severity and extent of acne eruptions. The age and sex are also deciding factors while planning a treatment schedule for the acne.
  4. It could take anywhere between 2 weeks to 16 weeks for the acne eruption to get under control.
  5. Required duration of treatment for pimples varies from individual to individual.
  6. Normally combinations of systemic and topical anti-acne medications are instituted to initiate the treatment of acne. Once new acne eruptions stop, the oral medications are gradually tapered. The topical medications, usually a combination of tretinoin/ adapalene/ tazarotene or benzoyl peroxide with topical antibiotics clindamycin or erythromycin are continued as maintenance therapy. Later, topical antibiotics are also stopped as new eruption of acne is not evident for a few weeks.
  7. Topical medications, especially the retinoids, may cause flare up of the pimples during the initial stages of treatment. There is no need to stop or change the treatment in such cases. If irritation is continues, the frequency and strength of application may be reduced till the skin tolerance is regained.
  8. Never rely on OTC acne products or acne home remedies if you have inflammatory acne (red, painful eruptions). Any delay in proper treatment of inflammatory acne could lead to permanent scarring.
  9. The topical retinoids and benzoyl peroxide applications should be used only at night; never during daytime. When you are using these creams, it is advisable to avoid prolonged sun exposure. A sun screen with sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or above should be worn while outdoors.
  10. In those with a family history of acne scarring and severe eruption of comedonal or inflammatory acne, initiation of treatment with oral isotretinoin is advised by most dermatologists.
  11. Oral retinoids are absolutely contraindicated in pregnancy. If you are a female of child bearing age group, you should practice double contraception (pills with barrier) throughout the period of treatment and at least two months after the cessation of therapy with oral retinoids.
  12. If you have an acne prone facial skin, avoid using oil based make up and creams on the face.
  13. Constant picking at the pimples is an often ignored cause of scarring and pigmentation in acne. Avoid manipulating the acne bumps at all times.
  14. Do not use topical steroids on the face unless under the supervision of a dermatologist, that too for specific indications only.
  15. Most acne treatments, in addition to their medicinal properties, have a peeling effect on the skin. In those with sensitive skin, the skin may turn red and irritated in the initial stages or during the therapy. If the dryness and irritation is severe, discontinue the treatment for a few days, apply non-comedogenic moisturizers, and then restart the treatment when the skin returns to normal.
  16. Though controversy still exists regarding the role of diet in acne formation, most acne patients do experience flare ups with certain food items. Low fat, low calorie food, avoidance of milk and milk products, high iodine containing food items, chocolates, fizzy drinks and fast foods are best avoided by acne sufferers. Excess alcohol and caffeine intake is also discouraged in acne.

Learning the basic principles on which the treatment of acne is based will be beneficial for those suffering from this most common skin disease with far reaching physical and psychological consequences.

Published by Dr Hanish Babu, MD on 26th May, 2018

Disclaimer
The information given in this article is for educational purpose only so that patients are aware of the options available. No diagnosis should be made or treatment undertaken without first consulting your doctor. If you do so, the author or the website will not be responsible for any consequences. The images provided are for illustration purpose only and are copyrighted.

Copyright 2018 © Dr Hanish Babu, MD

 

Best Acne Treatment Practices

 

Why Acne Should be Treated without Delay
Acne:  Education, Goals and Choice of Therapy

Managing the acne patients involve proper education to dispel the acne myths, defining the goals of therapy and instituting evidence based therapeutic measures.

Education of Acne Patients

Most adolescents and teens affected by acne bumps are anxious and worried about the after effects of acne bumps, the acne scars and blemishes. Proper education is necessary to reassure the patients about the natural course of acne. But care should be exercised not to trivialize the condition, so that proper treatment is delayed or ignored.

Education is based on various aspects of acne and its management.

  • The prevalence of acne. Acne is a common disorder of the adolescents and teens, affecting almost everyone at least once during their life time.
  • The natural course of the pimples. There are different types of acne and most cases of mild acne improve without causing scars. Moderate to severe types of acne require therapy for longer duration to avoid the scarring.

    Acne Treatment Best Principles
    Acne Education: Acne Myths have to be expelled
  • The common acne myths. There are many prevailing; should be clarified during the first visit.
  • Treatment options for acne. Treatment differs according to the types of acne.
  • Life style adjustments required to reduce the chances of recurrences.
  • Follow up and maintenance therapy. Regular follow up and maintenance therapy with topical retinoids is necessary to keep the acne eruptions under control.

Goals of Acne Treatment

Treatment will not cure acne. The following are the goals of acne treatment:

  • To get rid of acne bumps.
  • To prevent the inflammation from becoming deep and extensive.
  • To prevent acne scars.
  • To improve the compliance of patients.
  • To reduce anxiety and stress associated with pimples.
  • To improve self esteem in affected teens.

Choice of Acne Medications

Choice of acne medications depends on the type and extent of the acne eruptions.

  • Mild comedonal acne: Topical retinoids alone or in combination with topical clindamycin or benzoyl peroxide. Acne topical medications alone will suffice in this type of acne.
  • Moderate papular and pustular acne: Combination of topical antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide. If inflammation extensive: add systemic antibiotics.
  • Severe pustular and nodular acne: Systemic retinoids alone or a combination of systemic and/or topical antibiotics and/or benzoyl peroxide. Laser and blue light therapy may be useful in this type of acne.
  • Very severe nodulo-cystic acne:  Systemic isotretinoin for the first 12-16 weeks, then shift to combination of systemic antibiotics and topical retinoids if necessary. Surgical intervention and intralesional steroids if necessary.
  • Acne Scars need to be dealt with according to the individual characteristics and types of scarring.

Maintenance of Acne Therapy

Most acne sufferers are free of the disease by the age of 25 years. About 3% males and 12% females may still get periodic acne eruptions beyond 25 years.

Maintenance therapy, usually with topical retinoids, is necessary to prevent acne recurrences.

Adherence to these best acne treatment practices will not only help get rid acne, prevent scarring, but also ensure better patient compliance.

 Published by Dr Hanish Babu, MD on 26th May, 2018

Disclaimer
The information given in this article is for educational purpose only so that patients are aware of the options available. No diagnosis should be made or treatment undertaken without first consulting your doctor. If you do so, the author or the website will not be responsible for any consequences. The images provided are for illustration purpose only and are copyrighted.

Copyright 2018 © Dr Hanish Babu, MD