Acne is a very common, highly visible disease that can cause embarrassment, self-consciousness, and social withdrawal. Teenagers are not the only people who suffer from acne. We commonly see adults in their 30's and 40's who still suffer from acne. A significant number of women in their late 20's and early 30's develop a "hormonal" type of acne with deep cysts and nodules on the lower part of the face and jawline. Unfortunately, there is no age limit for this potentially disfiguring disease.
While mild cases of acne may respond to over-the-counter treatments containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, more severe cases may require prescription medications. At Dermatology & Laser of Alabama, we take all acne cases seriously. Dr. Sawyer is dedicated to treating acne and preventing acne scar formation. We may recommend a combination of topical medications and oral medications including oral antibiotics, birth control pills, spironolactone, or in extreme cases, Accutane. Some patients may also benefit from chemical peels, laser treatment, or photodynamic therapy. Our providers are all registered prescribers of Accutane through the I-Pledge system. At Dermatology & Laser of Alabama, we take a tailored approach to treating acne. It's important to know that acne cannot be cured overnight. It may take many weeks before it starts to respond to treatment. Be patient. We will help you find the best treatment plan.
These are all good basic skin regimens that may help with the acne battle:
- Cleanse twice daily with a 5% benzoyl peroxide wash. An alternative for those who are allergic to benzoyl peroxide is 2% salicylic acid.
- Apply a gel or cream containing 5% benzoyl peroxide, an alternative is sulfur or resorcinol.
- At night, apply a spot cream containing sulfur to the affected areas.
- Use a light skin moisturizer and oil-free makeup.
- Laser treatments: Recent years have brought reports of success in treating acne using lasers and similar devices, alone or in conjunction with photosensitizing dyes. It appears that these treatments are safe and can be very beneficial.
- Chemical peels: Whether the superficial peels (like glycolic acid) performed by Estheticians, or deeper ones performed in the doctor's office, chemical peels are very effective. Chemical peels are covered by most insurance companies.