As a result of major advances in topical, oral, and procedural acne treatments, anyone can achieve clearer, blemish-free skin. If you haven’t had success with over-the-counter acne products, it’s time to consult a board-certified dermatologist about effective acne treatments.
Dallas Dermatology Partners can diagnose your condition and design a personalized plan to control breakouts and help prevent future scarring and damage to the skin.
Since different types of acne require specialized treatments, an accurate diagnosis is crucial for seeing improvements. Before we delve into the best treatments for battling breakouts, it’s essential to understand the causes of acne, including predisposing factors.
Causes of Acne
Acne develops when pores become clogged, either from an overproduction of oil, a buildup of bacteria, or a shedding of dead skin cells. Contrary to popular belief, greasy foods, and dirty skin may contribute to but do not cause acne.
Acne is particularly common during puberty when fluctuating hormones make the skin’s oil-producing glands go into overdrive. Blemishes can continue throughout adulthood and may be triggered by stress levels, certain medications, birth control, and changing hormone levels.
When to See a Doctor for Acne
Many commercial acne treatments containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can be effective when used regularly for at least 4-8 weeks. However, those who have more severe cases of cystic acne may require a dermatologist’s expertise. If you do not see results with self-care products, it’s best to seek professional medical advice.
Layering on different OTC products can cause more harm than good, as non-prescription acne treatments can cause irritation and other skin reactions. It is important to seek treatment if there is scarring as this can be permanent and early scarring may be amendable to treatment.
Topical Acne Treatments
Topical creams and ointments applied to the affected area are often the first forms of treatment used to treat acne. Prescription topical treatments may contain higher concentrations of retinoic acid (tretinoin), which works at the cellular level to exfoliate the outer layer of skin and decrease the buildup of dead cells within hair follicles. Retinoic acid helps to reduce the formation of comedones, pimples, and pustules.
Salicylic and azelaic acids are other topical ingredients that treat acne by clearing bacteria out of pores, encouraging cell turnover, and reducing inflammation. In some cases of mild acne, your dermatologist may recommend topical antibiotics such as clindamycin and dapsone.
Oral Prescription Medications for Acne
Moderate cases of acne can often be treated with prescription oral antibiotics, which reduce bacteria and inflammation. Isotretinoin may be prescribed for severe cases of acne that do not respond to other treatment methods. For adult women struggling with cystic acne or stubborn blemishes, oral spironolactone may be effective in low doses. This prescription medication blocks hormones from binding to sebaceous glands, which slows oil production and pimple formation.
Accutane (isotretinoin) is a powerful medication used to treat severe cases of acne that do not respond well to other types of treatments. In particular, it can be highly effective on the most stubborn forms of acne—cystic acne and nodules, which can cause significant scarring. Accutane treatment is a retinoid derived from Vitamin A and works by shrinking the oil glands, inhibiting bacteria, and reducing inflammation.
Effective Acne Treatment in Dallas/Fort Worth
At Dallas Dermatology Partners, we strongly feel that you should look your best and feel confident in your skin. You should not have to live with untreated acne. Whether it is childhood or teenage acne, adult acne, or hormonal acne, our board-certified dermatologists work diligently to construct a treatment plan that is tailored to your lifestyle and specific needs to achieve bright, radiant skin. Our practice is conveniently located for residents throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area, including Addison, Plano, Richardson, and Frisco. Contact us today to arrange a acne consultation.
Acne Conditions that we Treat
Your acne treatment at Dallas Dermatology Partners will focus on reducing inflammation to help treat symptoms, improve your skin’s appearance, and reduce the risk of scarring.
There are many types of acne that we can treat, including:
- Blackheads and whiteheads – plugged pores known as comedones
- Pimples and pustules – inflamed, red lesions that contain pus
- Cystic acne – pus-filled bumps deep under the skin that are painful and often scar
- Acne rosacea – characterized by redness, bumps, and inflammation
- Acne scars – ice pick and keloid scars resulting from acne inflammation
Acne Treatment Dermatologists Recommend
Acne treatments aim to reduce oil production, eliminate bacteria, and increase skin-cell turnover to prevent new blemishes from developing. They also reduce inflammation to help treat current symptoms. Our dermatologists offer the following types of treatment, depending on your acne type and severity.
Cosmetic Acne Treatments
In addition to gentle acne extractions, our dermatologists offer chemical peels for acne and acne scars formulated based on your skin type and desired outcome. Chemical peels are more potent than physical exfoliants and have minimal risk of adverse side effects. Peels may contain varying concentrations of salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid, or trichloroacetic acid (TCA), improving texture and minimizing mild to moderate acne. These peels also stimulate the body’s natural collagen production to help smooth out scars.
While acne scars can be challenging to eradicate, our practice offers a host of procedures that can help smooth skin and dramatically improve their appearance. These procedures include:
- Microdermabrasion for acne scars
- Microneedling for acne scars
- Laser resurfacing for acne scars
- Injection with dermal fillers for acne scars
Many patients see noticeable improvements from these types of acne scarring treatments after 8 weeks.