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Acne Treatments and Drugs

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The goals of acne treatments are fourfold: reduce the inflammation, neutralize bacterial infection, accelerate skin regeneration and lessen oil production. Prescribed medications may provide results after a month or two and the look of your acne may even become worse before improvements start to show.

Some of the medications your dermatologist or physician may prescribe for your acne include oral drugs or topical drugs. Oral acne drugs should never be taken by pregnant women particularly during the first three months of pregnancy.

Listed below are some of the acne remedies:

Antibiotics – These are often prescribed for mild to severe acne. Acne antibiotics consist of two kinds: topical and oral antibiotics. Antibiotics help reduce inflammation and kill skin bacteria. The doctor usually advices the patient to slowly wean out the antibiotic since the bacteria may become resistant to it after a while (around three months).  These medications can have side effects like nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, skin discoloration and upset stomach.

Over-the-counter topical medications – These include acne lotions that help slough dead skin cells, kill bacteria and dry up the sebum. These lotions often contain ingredients like sulfur, salicylic acid, resorcinol and benzoyl peroxide. They are ideal for light acne but have side effects like skin flaking, dryness and irritation.

Prescription topical drugs – These are recommended if OTC drugs fail. Some of these drugs include tazarotene, adapelene and Tretinoin. Their job is to unclog hair follicles and accelerate skin regeneration. Some topical drugs contain antibiotics which kill skin germs.

Isotretinoin – This is used to lessen sebum production, alter skin oil properties and prevent skin hardening. Isotretinoin is used for severe acne. Pregnant women should avoid using this drug as its use can lead to birth defects. Some other side effects of this drug include impaired night vision, high cholesterol, sunlight sensitivity, muscle spasms, nosebleeds, itching, dryness of the skin, nose, lips, mouth and eyes depression and can even increase the risk of suicide in a depressed person.

Oral contraceptives – These products contain ingredients like ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate. These ingredients have good anti acne properties but have side effects like depression, nausea, breast tenderness, headaches and cardiovascular and heart problems.

Laser and blue light treatment – These kinds of therapies can treat the deepest skin layers without damaging the surface of the skin. Laser therapy destroys the oil glands minimizing their sebum production. Light therapy destroys bacteria causing acne inflammation. Both treatments enhance the smoothness of the skin texture and help minimize skin scars. The downside of these treatments is that they skin burn the skin if not done properly.
Cosmetic options – These include dermabrasion, microdermabrasion and chemical peeling. All these options have long been used to treat the effects of acne and to address other skin problems like small facial scars, skin damage caused by the sun and fine lines. The side effects of these treatments include skin discoloration (can be permanent or long-term), blistering and scaling and temporary but painful skin redness.

Skin surgery – This surgical procedure entails the excision of acne scars one by one. This procedure helps repair the holes that were left by the acne.

Natural Treatments for Acne

Herbals Medicines and oils– These include Burdock derived from the plant arcticum lappa. Burdock enables the person to sweat a lot that cleans out the skin ducts of harmful bacteria; calendula officinals an anit-inflammatory and antibacterial herb; taraxacum officinale, known as the dandelion flower that clears the body of bad skin bacteria and lavandula angustifolia also known as Lavender, an essential oil with astringent, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial attributes

Acupuncture Treatment for Acne

Practitioners of this ancient oriental treatment explain that acne is caused by excess heat in the lungs and the way to address this is to cleanse and cool down the lungs. The lungs according to acupuncturists control the functions of the skin and so the imbalance in the lungs should be addressed in order to treat acne. The acupuncturist’s way to cool the lungs is by inserting extremely fine needles at essential points along the body’s meridians. Acupuncture treatment for acne breakout entails more than one session and can include cupping techniques in which glass cups are utilized to certain parts of the skin. Cupping helps cool down the lungs and remove toxins in the body that might have caused the imbalance.

 

John Frink holds a Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is a licensed acupuncturist in Davis, CA., with special training in Chinese herbal medicine.

Written by Valerie

December 22nd, 2013 at 9:41 am

Posted in Acupuncture