Acne is unfair – some lucky people never have to deal with it, while others may be left with pitting or scarring on their faces that, untreated, could last a lifetime. They’re impossible to cover up with makeup and the little depressions have a habit of catching the light and showing themselves off at the worst times.
Unfortunately acne is not just for the young! Acne can catch you at any age, and can be brought on by hormonal changes, stress, diet, and other causes. Letting it go can lead to scarring, it can be unsightly, feel miserable, and drive you crazy. What can you do?
Appropriate Skin Care
Sometimes the simple things are the best. Talk to Dr. Jobalia about skin care regimens that make a huge difference for problem acne. Cleansers and toners with glycolic acids and other ingredients aimed at defeating acne are a must, as well as appropriate skin hydration and sun protection.
Prescription Tretinoin Creams
You may recognize the name “Retin-A”, but this and other brands of Tretinoin are best at fighting acne. Always start Tretinoin slowly, first using it every other day, and then after a few weeks gradually increasing your usage to every day. In the beginning you may experience a few weeks of redness, dryness, and flaking. This will subside as your skin adjusts, but be sure to let Dr. Jobalia know how this process is going for you. Additionally, in the beginning it may seem like all of your acne is “coming out at once.” In other words, you may get more acne at first as your skin starts to turn over. Don’t stop the tretinoin at this point, if you hold out you will start to see a vast improvement soon. Be careful to use sunscreen when using topical tretinoin, and stop taking it a few days before you go in a hot tub or chlorinated water, or have any laser treatments.
Prescription Doxycycline or Minocycline
This is another standard treatment for acne. Even more than the Tretinoins, you must stay out of sunlight when on these meds. They can occasionally make patients feel sick to their stomach, but when tolerated they can help acne treatment.
This can make all the difference for people with stubborn acne and cystic acne. The intense beams of light used with this laser therapy kill the bacteria that cause acne and let you start to heal. Dr. Jobalia will recommend that these are done in three to four treatments, one per month. She keeps pricing for this lower than for other IPL treatments to encourage people to take care of their acne. Be careful where you go for this treatment – it’s important not to over-treat areas! Also, beware of people that claim that IPL will treat acne scarring. It will remove redness, but the scars will remain unchanged.
You will hear of people talking about microdermabrasion or chemical peels for acne. These are great to remove acne scars, but risky for the sensitive skin of current acne patients. Be careful with these techniques!