Once the over-the-counter medications have been exhausted, prescription topical and oral medications may be necessary for persistent acne. Oral options include antibiotics, hormonal medications for women (such as birth control pills) and finally the oral Vitamin A derivative isotretinoin (Accutane). The risks and benefits of all of these options should be reviewed with a knowledgeable dermatologist.
What Causes Acne?
Acne is largely genetic, and is also affected by hormones, hence its appearance and persistence throughout puberty, and sadly reappearance during early menopause. Though it may be tempting to tell your teen that french fries and donuts cause their acne, that isn’t the case. High dairy intake, particularly skim milk, has been associated with acne but is not the primary cause. Some moisturizing creams and heavier sunscreens can make acne worse. Make sure all products used on the skin have the words “non-comedogenic” or “oil-free” on their label. Moisturizers are often necessary to counteract the dryness from the acne treatment medications. Some non-comedogenic choices are SkinMedica Ultra Sheer Moisturizer, Neutrogena Gel Boost and Cerave moisturizers.
Although facials and glycolic peels may be helpful in some patients, they do not replace the need for evaluation and the prescription of appropriate medications. Don’t wait until scarring sets in to have your, or your child’s acne treated. Acne treatment is a process. It may take months to come up with the best treatment while minimizing the potential side effects of acne medication. For acne scarring that persists despite adequate acne control, don’t fear. Krauss Dermatology has a variety of treatments that can help including the Fraxel® Dual Laser.