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Medication for Severe Acne?

Posted on: July 28th, 2015 by California Skin Institute

Although proper skin cleansing and topical creams play a big role in healing acne, some patients need stronger medication in to clear up breakouts. This often happens when an individual is dealing with significant amounts of acne-causing bacteria, or when breakouts grow deep into the skin and become cystic acne. In such situations, your California Skin Institute provider may prescribe additional acne medications to help your skin.*

What is Severe Acne?

Severe acne is a problem that makes it very difficult for the individual to achieve meaningful improvements with over-the-counter cleansers and creams. For example, the presence of bacteria may be so great, that breakouts have a difficult time healing quickly, causing acne to spread all over the face. Certainly, cleansing the skin can help, but the bacteria are deep inside the skin and breakouts are so numerous that even regular cleansing doesn’t solve the problem.

In the case of cystic acne, the sebum becomes so backed up in the pore that it eventually surrounds the sebaceous glands, causing them to rupture. This is very deep acne that doesn’t respond well to topical treatments because the active ingredients in cleansers and creams simply don’t penetrate deep enough to treat it and kill the bacteria. In fact, without professional skin treatments and prescription medication, cystic acne can take many years to resolve on its own.

Types of Acne Medication

California Skin Institute providers use a variety of different techniques to help patients with severe acne, and in some cases may prescribe medication for this problem.*

  • Retinol: Although retinol products are available over the counter, they are currently limited to only a 2% concentration. If you have serious acne and OTC retinol hasn’t worked for you in the past, your California Skin Institute provider may prescribe a cream with a stronger retinol concentration.* Retinol contains retinoic acid, which helps improve the skin’s shedding process and can be a very effective solution for acne in some cases.*
  • Topical Antibiotics: For some patients, California Skin Institute providers may prescribe topical antibiotics.* These are creams and lotions that must be applied regularly for a specific amount of time.* The cream will deliver targeted antibiotics to the treatment area, which helps get acne under control by killing bacteria and reduces future breakouts.*
  • Oral Antibiotics: Topical antibiotics may not be enough for some patients, especially those with cystic acne, as the creams have a limited ability to penetrate the skin.* In such cases, an oral antibiotic may be prescribed to kill acne causing bacteria.*

Of course, the treatments above are just a few of the many options available to our providers, who will work to create an individualized treatment plan based on your skin’s unique needs.*

Medication Side Effects

When you visit California Skin Institute to heal your acne, you will be working with highly experienced providers who will look for acne treatment solutions that are effective and safe in your situation.* Patient safety is our number one priority, and our providers take great care to explain all of the potential side effects and monitor you during treatment.*

For example, some medications may cause dizziness, drowsiness, joint pain, dry eyes, and many other uncomfortable symptoms.* This is unfortunately a potential reality with some oral acne treatments, especially those based on isotretinoin (a Vitamin A derivative).* However, California Skin Institute doctors don’t take the potential for side effects lightly, and work closely with every patient to devise a custom treatment and monitoring plan, to ensure your health and safety.*

Take the Next Step

If you’re suffering from breakouts and would like to speak with a California Skin Institute provider about your options to get rid of acne, please set up a consultation.* Simply call a California Skin Institute practice near you, or just use the Contact Form below!

*Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.