Tretinoin is available as a 0.05% cream, and should be applied thinly, once daily. Application should be “built up” to avoid adverse effects: on the first night, apply for five minutes before washing off; on the second night, apply for ten minutes; on subsequent nights, increase the application time by 30 minutes until a two-hour application is achieved, at which point the cream can be left on overnight.7, 8
Clinical trials have shown that estrogen-containing oral contraceptives can be helpful;31–33 the various formulations are thought to decrease levels of free testosterone by increasing sex-hormone-binding globulin and are considered equally effective. The choice of combined oral contraceptive should be based on a patient’s tolerance and potential side effects. It is not known whether other estrogen-containing contraceptives (e.g., vaginal rings, transdermal patches) are effective. Contraceptives containing only progesterone may worsen acne.4
You’ve probably seen the Proactiv clear skin system advertised on television at some point over the last several years, but does it work? Proactiv is one of the better acne remedies out there for mild cases of inflammatory and noninflammatory acne, hormonal acne, and adult acne. The basic kit comes with a gentle glycolic acid and benzoyl peroxide exfoliator, a benzoyl peroxide pore cleanser, and an oil-free moisturizer that contains both glycolic acid and salicylic acid. Prices and shipping rates vary by location but Proactiv typically starts at $30.
Dapsone is a medicine sold under the brand name Aczone for treating severe acne. It is a topical gel that has anti-inflammatory properties. It is an anti bacterial agent and an antioxidant, as well. It is applied on the affected area two times a day. It helps to reduce acne lesion count by 30% to 45%. Research has shown that female patients who use it get a much better response than male patients. Studies among adolescents has also shown that marked improvement is noticed after 12 weeks of treatment, with more improvements taking place with continued use.
How you feel about your outward appearance can wreak havoc on how you feel about yourself inside and vice versa. Start practicing putting your best self forward so you can feel good about yourself on the inside and out.
The birth control pill is another option for women suffering hormonal acne. Four types of birth control pills have been approved by the FDA for use as acne treatment, and all four are combination pills that contain both estrogen and progesterone. Talk to your doctor about how to get rid of acne using birth control and keep in mind that Ortho Tri-cyclen, Estrostep YAZ and Beyaz are the only four brands specifically FDA approved as acne remedies.
[Guideline] American Academy of Dermatology. Ten Things Physicians and Patients Should Question. Choosing Wisely. April 30, 2016. Available at http://www.choosingwisely.org/societies/american-academy-of-dermatology/. August 19, 2015;
Protect your skin from the sun. For some people, the sun worsens acne. And some acne medications make you more susceptible to the sun’s rays. Check with your doctor to see if your medication is one of these. If it is, stay out of the sun as much as possible. Regularly use a nonoily (noncomedogenic) moisturizer that includes a sunscreen.
Although there is no one single cure that works in all patients with acne, dermatologists can recommend patient-specific treatment regimens to control acne and minimize future breakouts. In women, hormonal therapies are commonly used to treat acne safely and effectively.
Recent studies conducted by dermatologists in 2012 show that green tea has a positive impact on acne, when applied externally. Green tea has an antioxidant known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). It was observed that EGCG reduced inflammation, sebum production and bacterial growth on pimple-prone skin. Place 2 teaspoons of organic tea leaves in 1/2 cup of fresh boiling water. Steep for 5 minutes; strain the leaves and let the mixture cool. Then use a cotton pad to apply it on your face. You may also put it inside a spray bottle and spray it on. Leave it on overnight.
For years, the cabinet underneath my bathroom sink was a graveyard of skin-care products, filled with the ghosts of face soaps, washes, toners, and scrubs past. Bottles of Neutrogena, Cetaphil, Proactiv, and Clean & Clear products were all laid to rest after my hopes that they would cure my blemished face were dashed, raised, and dashed again. Nothing I tried worked.
. A multicentre, single-blind, randomized comparison of a fixed clindamycin phosphate/tretinoin gel formulation (Velac) applied once daily and a clindamycin lotion formulation (Dalacin T) applied twice daily in the topical treatment of acne vulgaris. Br J Dermatol 2000;143:498–505.
Thank you so much for making this guide! It really has helped me refocus my attention from the symptoms (my acne in general) to what types of problems I might have that are causing them. I stopped drinking cow’s milk since reading this book, and I gotta say… my acne has cleared up quite a bit…so..I definitely learned quite a bit about how my body operates based on the few simple changes I’ve made thus far. Keep up the great work!
Sulfur: This has been used for centuries to treat acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Sulfur helps by breaking down blackheads and whiteheads. It is unclear exactly how it works, but elemental sulfur slowly oxidizes to become sulfurous acid, which has antibacterial properties.
These side effects contribute to why isotretinoin is often a last resort for curing severe acne. Extremely dry skin is one of the most common effects of the drug, but since it became FDA-approved to treat acne in 1982 it has also been linked to inflammatory Salicylic Acid disease, depression, and increased rates of suicide. While studies have not proven that isotretinoin causes these conditions, they remain among the risks of taking the medication. Other serious but rare side effects include joint and muscle pain, eyesight trouble, and liver damage. Due to the drug’s impact on the liver, patients are advised not to drink and their liver enzymes are monitored throughout treatment. Much to my high-school friends’ delight, this made me the designated driver the majority of our senior year. If I had much more than a beer, it would show in my blood work and I was admonished by my doctor and my mom—something no teen wants to experience.