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What is Acne Vulgaris?
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Medical Info

Main > Specialty Areas > Dermatology >
Pimples and Zits (Acne Vulgaris)

Treatments of Acne

Acne can be treated in many ways, depending on its severity and type. Non-inflammatory Comedonal acne requires topical application of azelaic acid, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and topical retinoids. Mild inflammatory papulo-pustular acne also requires topical retinoids and benzoyl peroxide as well as topical antibiotics like erythromycin. To treat moderate inflammatory acne, topical retinoids and benzoyl peroxide are combined with tetracyclines or other types of oral antibiotics. Here, Isotretinoin is also considered to be one treatment option. Severe inflammatory acne requires isotretinoin, cyproterone in contraceptive pills for women along with drospirenone or virilization. The same treatment is recommended for nodular acne or severe forms of acne which don't respond to other types of treatment.

All types of acne respond well to topical retinoids. Alternative treatments of acne vulgaris include herbs like Aloe Vera and components like Aruna, Haldi, and fruits like Papaya.

Treatments involving cortisone, antibiotics, or laser offer a short term solution and reduce acne severity temporarily without really removing the acne triggers from the pore of the skin which can take months of treatment. Any comprehensive acne treatment involves 4 stages of preventing pore blockage, killing and removing the P. acne, handling the antinflammatory side-effects as well as manipulating the hormones.

Effective treatment involves exfoliating the skin mechanically or chemically with salicylic and glycolic acid, and the application of OTC topical bactericidals containing benzoyl peroxide. It may cause some dryness, irritation or redness so treatment should begin with only 2.5% concentration and should be used along with non-comedogenic moisturisers which help avoid skin dryness

Alternative treatments include phototherapy with blue and red light emitted from special fluorescent lights, LEDs, lasers, or dichroic bulbs. Photodynamic therapy involving intense blue or violet light, zinc, teat tree oil, heat therapy, salt water therapy are all used for treating acne.

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