One of the most bothersome fallacies about acne is that if you just let it run its course, you’ll be fine. By doing that the chances of scars from the acne are high. Most dermatologists would not recommend this course of non-action.
As acne fades, without treatment you can have dark spots and scars. These scars can be emotionally debilitating but there are ways to treat acne scars.
It’s not just teens who have acne. A growing number of women from 30 to 50 years of age experience acne. Adult acne can be frustrating and embarrassing and dermatologists understand; but they don’t fully know why it happens.
Mild cases of acne might include just a few blemishes and often can be treated with OTC products. Two key ingredients, benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, have proven effective to clear up mild acne. However, there is no guarantee it will clear up as quickly as you might hope.
Treating acne at home takes about four to eight weeks for any noticeable clearing. Even after the acne is gone, you still need to continue treatment to reduce breakouts.
When It’s Time to See Your Dermatologist
If you have significant acne, cysts or nodules, see your dermatologist for treatment recommendations.
Acne Treatment You Apply to the Skin
Many acne treatments are put directly onto the skin. These are topical treatments. Some topicals treat clogged pores, others can reduce the amount of bacteria and inflammation in the clogged pores. Ingredients in topicals may contain a prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide, a retinoid, an antibiotic or salicylic acid. Your dermatologist will recommend your best option for your particular skin type.
Acne Treatment that Works Internally
In some cases, medication that works through your bloodstream may be needed. This treatment may be required to treat more severe acne cysts and nodules. Your dermatologist might prescribe one of these.
- Antibiotics to fight bacteria and ease inflammation
- Hormonal treatments
- One or more of several highly effective brand name medications
Procedures that Diminish Scarring
Scars from acne can be treated with one of several different procedures done when you visit your dermatologist.
Lasers therapies. In a few sessions, laser therapies can smooth out the skin surface and generate the creation of new collagen. Collagen can plump the tissue in the scars, filling the indentions. Special lasers remove your scar, allowing smoother skin to take its place. Other kinds of lasers help to activate the production of collagen without damaging the skin surface.
Fillers can help lessen the indentions from deep scars; but, the injections must be repeated every few months because the product absorbs back into the skin over time.
Chemical peels can be performed by your dermatologist and are used to treat blackheads.
Waiting for acne to clear on its own can be frustrating. Without treatment, permanent acne scars can cause low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.