It is a well-known fact that most acne sufferers do not seek the professional advice of a qualified doctor to treat their acne condition. The idea here is to consult a skin specialist, also known as a dermatologist, who can give you valuable information, advice, and tips on how to treat your acne.
If your acne condition is only moderate and not serious, then you can go for the over-the-counter type of medications. But please do seek the help of a dermatologist if your acne has reached a severe state, where he will recommend some prescription medications. However, it is still advisable to go for the prescription method even if your acne is mild because the prescription method tends to be much more effective than what the over-the-counter method can offer.
There are basically two types of prescription acne skin care treatments, namely antibiotics and ointments. Antibiotics are the common agent used to combat acne, and they can be used as a type of lotion or taken orally. Ointment prescriptions include ingredients such as zinc or retinoid.
Tetracycline is the most common antibiotic used to treat your acne condition. What the tetracycline does is kill the bacteria which causes the acne, and it also helps to reduce any inflammation which may result from the acne. One thing you should know about antibiotic treatment is that it may take up to a few weeks or even months to see the effect. Not only that, you must continue the antibiotic treatment even after your acne has subsided.
Just like any other medications out there, the tetracycline antibiotic does have side effects. It will increase your skin’s overall sensitivity to sunlight, which will lead to severe sunburns if you stay under the sun for a prolonged period. Other possible side effects include dizziness and stomach upset.
Antibiotic ointments generally have lesser complications as compared to oral antibiotics. They are highly useful when it comes to killing the bacteria which caused your acne. When the ointments are used in conjunction with other treatments like benzoyl peroxide, the bacteria may not develop resistance to the antibiotics.
Derived from vitamin A, retinoids can be applied directly onto the skin in the form of creams or lotions. Retinoid medications are particularly useful for treating blackheads and whiteheads by opening up clogged pores. The one common side effect of retinoid is that you will experience dry skin.
If your acne condition is so severe that it doesn’t respond to either antibiotics or ointments, then oral retinoid can be your next option. What an oral retinoid does is to cause the uppermost layer of your skin to peel off, and in the process opens up more pores. Oral retinoid can also restrict the body from producing excess sebum, the oily substance which is responsible for your oily skin.
Oral retinoids must be used with caution because there are known serious side effects and complications that come with this type of retinoid. They can cause birth defects if a woman takes them during pregnancy. Other complications include depression and liver damage. So if an acne sufferer is on oral retinoid treatment, then regular medical attention and follow-up are required to make sure that the side effects and complications are reduced to the minimum.
If you are not sure of the reliability of over-the-counter medications, then always seek the advice of your dermatologist who can give you reliable prescription medication, and other advice for the most effective acne skincare treatment for your particular condition.