How do you deal with bad acne?


Quick Answer

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, options for dealing with bad acne include drainage and extraction, steroid injections and use of drugs such as isotretinoin, oral contraceptives and oral antibiotics. As the National Health Service explains, acne, which is mostly caused by the skin's reaction to hormonal changes within the body, usually affects teenagers but some adults also deal with the condition.

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Full Answer

The American Academy of Dermatology points out that drainage and extraction is only used on large acne cysts that have not responded to other treatment options. Dermatologists perform this acne surgery, and patients should not attempt to squeeze or drain acne cysts on their own. Injection of corticosteroids can help prevent severely inflamed acne from developing permanent scars. The steroid injections decrease the acne inflammation and melt the cyst before it can rupture and cause scarring. Oral antibiotics and contraceptives are common treatments for severe acne. Oral antibiotics reduce the presence of the bacteria that help cause acne, thus reducing inflammation. Oral contraceptives suppress the sebaceous glands which, during puberty, often produce too much sebum, resulting in acne.

Isotretinoin, a topical drug derived from vitamin A, is only used to treat extremely severe acne that has not responded to other treatments. While it is very effective, notes WebMD, it comes with significant side effects, including depression, psychosis and suicidal thoughts, and can cause birth defects.

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