What are the best treatments for acne?

Acne is essentially a plugging of the pores. Our goal is improvement – to decrease the number of lesions and prevent scarring.  First, I like to cleanse with a glycolic acid cleanser-gently-using plain clean hands to wash. No scrubbing with abrasives! 

Surface medications can include topical antibiotics, often paired with a benzoyl peroxide.  A retinoid, such as Retin-A, generically known as tretinoin, is helpful at night to unplug pores and decrease inflammation.  It is felt that a retinoid should be a standard of almost every anti-acne regimen.

In many cases, oral antibiotic is needed to get the result we want to see.  We try to use these for as short a period of time as possible.  For adult women with hormonal acne, spironolactone orally can be very helpful.

In severe acne cases, or in acne with scarring potential that is not responding to our usual treatments, Accutane or isotretinoin is still a standard of therapy.  We follow those patients closely.  I have treated over 2,000 patients with Accutane through the years, with good to excellent results in 90% of patients.

We can also do an injection of a dilute cortisone medication into troublesome lesions-often it can decrease the size and tenderness of a lesion within 24-36 hours.

Our aestheticians can help with chemical peels to help unroof troublesome lesions, and perform gentle extractions on whiteheads and blackheads that can be very persistent.

The Retin-A we use is the very same product I use when treating mild Sun damage and premature signs of aging.  As an adult, you can treat your acne and improve the appearance of your skin at the same time!