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Acne Advice - Pros and Cons of Medical Acne Treatment

Many individuals suffering from acne breakout are very persistent in trying different over-the-counter products that they believe can help them alleviate their skin problem. What they do not realize, however, is that sometimes, the products that may pose as a cure can possibly worsen their current condition.

If you suffer from acne which does not respond to simple, tried and true remedies, it is highly-advisable to consult a healthcare professional, whether a doctor, dermatologist or naturopath - to find out more about the acne treatments which correspond to your particular skin type the severity of your acne. Skin care professionals are there to partner with sufferers in treating this bothersome condition that you are experiencing.

There are various western-type medical treatments available nowadays, from topical treatment, internal treatment, and/or surgery.

Topical Treatment

Almost similar to over-the-counter acne treatments, the only difference that prescription topical treatments have is that they usually contain a stronger dose of anti-acne ingredients. Prescription topical treatments mostly have higher dosages of benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulphur, Retin-A, or azelaic acid, among other actives. These products usually come in the form of creams or gels. Topical antibiotics are also available to combat skin infections that cause acne.

Internal Treatment

When topical treatment is not effective anymore, prescribed internal medication is another option. These internal medicines are normally coupled with topical treatments, but can also be prescribed on their own. Since acne is caused by bacterial infection, doctors normally prescribe oral antibiotics like Tetracycline and Erythromycin to treat the infection internally. Antibiotics also have anti-inflammatory properties that can help heal acne.

Women can also be prescribed with birth control pills with hormone balancing properties that help oil glands decrease the production of sebum.

Severe cases of acne however are usually treated with corticosteroids, which is the man-made form of cortisone. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation and lessen acne breakouts. A drug which is a synthetic form of vitamin A is also used to treat severe acne cases. It is known to decrease oil production and reduce inflammation. Both drugs, however, have a high number of recorded risks and side effects so are happily not commonly prescribed by doctors.


Surgery is only recommended to patients who have used all possible topical and internal treatments available without any improvement in their condition. These treatments could be invasive or non-invasive like acne surgery, dermabrasion, cortisone injections, chemical peels, and ultraviolet light exposure.

These procedures may decrease acne outbreaks, heal acne scarring, and aid in re-growth of new skin cells. Because of its complexity, make sure that your doctor is licensed and accredited to perform these procedures. Before undertaking any of it, let your doctor fully explain the implications and expected effects these procedures may have on you. Do not be afraid to ask questions and make clarifications so you fully understand what you are about to go through.

Remember that at the end of the day, the best advice you can get is to find the treatment that works best for you. That is why it is really important to consult a doctor you can fully trust.

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