Severe Acne Treatment
You don’t have to put up with severe acne and run the risk of getting scars on your face. There are lots of treatments that can bring your breakouts under control. The key is to work with your dermatologist to tailor a treatment plan to your specific needs. Isotretinoin for Severe Acne Isotretinoin is a powerful drug that’s used to treat the most severe cases of acne. Your doctor may recommend this drug if you have severe acne that doesn’t get better with other medications, including antibiotics. The drug is derived from vitamin A. It targets your acne by stopping the production of oil and decreasing inflammation that can lead to scarring. Isotretinoin may be able to control your acne long-term and typically needs to be taken for 15 to 20 weeks. Side Effects of Isotretinoin While it can be an effective acne treatment, isotretinoin has some potential side effects that you should know about. One serious side effect is that it can cause severe birth defects. The FDA requires women of childbearing age to agree in writing to use birth control before, during, and for a month after therapy. The FDA also warns that using isotretinoin may be linked to depression, psychosis, and in rare cases, suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts. While taking isotretinoin, you will be checked by your doctor for side effects through at least monthly follow-up visits. In 8 out of 10 people, isotretinoin clears up severe acne. But one-third of people may develop acne again after successful isotretinoin treatment. If this happens to you, usually you’ll spot the return of your acne in the first year after you finish the treatment. Your doctor may recommend another round of isotretinoin or another treatment, depending on how severe your acne is. Other Severe Acne Treatment Options Besides isotretinoin, you may also treat your severe acne with a procedure that drains and removes large acne cysts. This procedure may reduce the risk of scarring. Your doctor may also recommend an anti-inflammatory steroid injection to treat inflamed acne cysts. Your cysts may shrink 2 to 5 days after the injection. Another option you can consider is photodynamic therapy (PDT). PDT uses light treatments to destroy bacteria that cause acne breakouts.
Severe Acne Treatment
When you’re a teenager, it’s not unusual to have a pimple or two. But if you have large, red, and painful breakouts deep in your skin, it could mean you’ve developed something called cystic acne. These breakouts can be treated. Don’t try to wait them out. Cystic acne can linger for years. It can affect large areas of your skin and leave permanent scars. A dermatologist can help you with a treatment plan. What Is It? You get a pimple when a pore in your skin gets clogged, usually with dead skin cells. Sometimes bacteria get trapped inside the pore, too, causing the area to become red and swollen. Cystic acne happens when this infection goes deep into your skin, creating a red, tender bump that’s full of pus. It may hurt or itch. If a cyst bursts, the infection can spread, causing more breakouts. Who Gets It? And Where? You’re most likely to develop cystic acne in your teens or early 20s. But it can strike someone as young as 8 or as old as 50. Your face, chest, back, upper arms, or shoulders can be affected. Severe cystic acne is more common in men, but women get it, too. Women often have cysts on the lower half of the face. What Causes It? No one is sure of the exact cause, but hormones called androgens play a part. When you’re a teenager, androgens increase. This leads to changes in your skin that can result in clogged pores and acne. In women, hormone changes can be brought on by menstrual cycles, pregnancy, menopause, or a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome. If one of your parents had severe cystic acne, you have a greater chance of getting it.
Severe Acne Treatment
Acne vulgaris is the medical name for common acne. Acne conglobata, or cystic acne, is a more serious and more rare form of acne that occurs mainly in young men, but it can affect people of both sexes and various ages. When you have cystic acne, your skin’s pores get clogged with oil and dead skin cells and become inflamed. It becomes cystic acne when the pore ruptures underneath the skin, which causes the inflammation to spill out into the surrounding skin tissue. This chain reaction can continue in the skin, triggering wider inflammation, spreading more acne bacteria and more breakouts. Next, your body forms a cyst around the area to stop the inflammation from spreading further.
Severe Acne Treatment
Fast facts on cystic acne Here are some key points about cystic acne. More details and supporting information is in the body of this article. While acne is very common, cystic acne is relatively uncommon and more severe. The main factors behind cystic acne are the hormonal changes in puberty, but it can occur in older individuals, too. Cystic acne is not caused by chocolate, nuts, or greasy foods, nor by poor hygiene or masturbation. Cystic acne can be painful, as well as emotionally distressing because of its effects on facial appearance.
Severe Acne Treatment
Why is cystic acne so hard to treat? Cystic acne lesions actually rupture beneath the surface of the skin, pushing the blockage and swollen contents beyond the reach of traditional, topically-applied anti-acne products. Many dermatologists regard cystic as the most severe type of acne, and, many admit that traditional acne treatments are largely ineffective. Due to the slow healing time of cystic acne lesions, the potential for scarring and the extent of damage is something to take seriously. It’s especially important to be informed about potential triggers and treatment options—otherwise, you’re likely to make matters worse and even more painful.
Summing up, cystic acne is the most difficult type of acne to treat due to the depth of the breakouts and damage to the oil gland itself. Although over-the-counter acne products can be helpful for some with cystic acne, almost everyone dealing with this type of acne will need to seek help from a dermatologist. A consisent routine of anti-acne skincare along with topical and, possibly, oral prescription medications can get cystic acne under control and reduce its potential to leave permanent scars.
Also called nodulocystic acne, cystic acne is an intense form of acne that results in large, inflamed cysts and nodules that appear on the skin. Unlike other milder forms of acne, cystic acne is noticeably painful and occurs when oil and dead skin cells build up deep down in hair follicles or pores. Cystic acne is most common during puberty for young boys, but sadly, it can continue into the adult years, especially when there is a hormonal imbalance. For adult women, it’s common to to experience cystic acne around their menstrual cycles, especially on the the jawline and chin, which are the common areas for hormonally motivated breakouts.
Dermatologists prescribe isotretinoin for severe acne. Severe acne is often very painful. When the painful cysts and nodules of severe acne clear, they leave permanent scars. Many people who have severe acne feel depressed. Some feel anxious. Low self-esteem often develops. Grades can plummet, and job performance can suffer.
In 8 out of 10 people, isotretinoin clears up severe acne. But one-third of people may develop acne again after successful isotretinoin treatment. If this happens to you, usually you’ll spot the return of your acne in the first year after you finish the treatment. Your doctor may recommend another round of isotretinoin or another treatment, depending on how severe your acne is.
Whatever you do, please don’t try to pop your cystic acne or any other pimples for that matter. Cystic acne, unlike common acne, typically does not give you “poppable” pimples. Due to the the depth of cystic acne lesions, picking or squeezing can be completely ineffective and will likely extend healing time from days to weeks. The more you touch an infected pimple, the angrier and more unsightly it’s going to become. If you try to pop cystic acne, you’re just going to spread the breakout underneath the skin. In addition, you can easily end up with scarring that lasts well beyond the pimple, possibly even forever. Two words to remember with cystic acne: Hands off!
Most studies of acne drugs have involved people 12 years of age or older. Increasingly, younger children are getting acne as well. In one study of 365 girls ages 9 to 10, 78 percent of them had acne lesions. If your child has acne, you may want to consult a pediatric dermatologist. Ask about drugs to avoid in children, appropriate doses, drug interactions, side effects, and how treatment may affect a child’s growth and development.
When I was in high school, I suffered from about six months of cystic acne. Believe it or not, I was incredibly stressed about tennis, of all things. As much as I preferred to hang with my punk peers, I was fully committed to having a professional tennis career as a tween. Every spring, I trained with a coach and took my teen angst out on the court, and the more pressure I put on myself the more I became prone to one of the most painful forms of acne. The bumps were soft, painful, and unable to be popped in most cases; being anxiety-ridden about upcoming matches and tryouts, I would blissfully scratch in my sleep, only to wake up with my face literally eating itself. I needed a boost of confidence on the courts, and I didn’t need cystic acne ruining my much-needed poise to spike a return that my opponent never had a chance at hitting. Tennis, for whatever reason, was very much an image sport; neat hair, adorable little skirts, and a graceful demeanor were key to getting in with the more prestigious coaches; I used a topical cortisone ointment to quickly treat the cystic acne that was vomiting all over my face.
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