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Acne Treatments

Young man afflicted with acne on his face.

What Causes Acne?

Acne can affect anyone. and lead them to seek treatment from an acne dermatologist. Some of the factors that cause acne are:

  • Hormones
  • Certain medications
  • Age (acne is most common among teenagers, though it can affect all ages)
  • Stress
  • Genes (for example, having parents who have had acne)
  • Bacteria, dead skin cells, and excess oil
  • Dirt, makeup, and touching your face

If you aren’t sure what triggers your acne, then talk with a dermatologist. The board-certified dermatologists at BHSkin Dermatology are experienced with acne cases.


What are the Types of Acne?

There are two main categories of acne: noninflammatory and inflammatory acne.

Noninflammatory acne example

Noninflammatory acne

Noninflammatory acne includes whiteheads and blackheads. This form of acne doesn’t include swelling and responds well to over-the-counter medication. One of the main treatments for this acne is Salicylic acid, which exfoliates the skin and removes dead skin cells.

Inflammatory acne example

Inflammatory acne

Inflammatory acne is characterized by pimples that are red and swollen. Bacteria play a big role in this type of acne as it clogs pores. This can cause a deep infection within the skin that results in painful acne spots. Treatments that can help this type of acne include benzoyl-peroxide and oral antibiotics, as well as topical creams.

Woman receiving anti acne treatment.

Acne Treatment Basics

The basic principle behind the treatment of acne related conditions in acne patients is maintaining the affected area clean. This includes the control of excess surface oil and bacteria, minimizing inflammation and irritation, as well as preventing the follicles from being occluded. This can be achieved with a minimal skin care regimen using over-the-counter products. In other cases where these products do not work, prescription products prescribed by a dermatologist or your physician may be necessary.

Young woman surprised to see herself in the mirror and notice imperfections on her skin

What Are Some Treatments?

Sitting down with a professional acne dermatologist can help you go over the various options to combat acne. The most effective treatments for acne include:

  • Topical creams like Retinoids prevent the plugging of hair follicles. Benzoyl Peroxide is another option, which removes extra oil and kills bacteria. Lastly, there is Spironolactone, which blocks excess hormones.
  • Chemical peels to remove dead skin cells
  • Laser skin resurfacing and other light treatments to treat blemishes
  • Birth control medications for female individuals
  • Antibiotics
  • Accutane (also known as Isotretinoin). This is a form of Vitamin A that reduces the production of facial oil. Accutane is a powerful oral medication prescribed to individuals whose acne is very severe and not responding to other treatments.

Tropical Creams

To start, a mild cleanser should always be used. A more effective treatment can be achieved with cleansers that contain salicylic acid (2% minimum) or benzoyl peroxide (3-10%). Glycolic acid as strong as 2-12% can also be used in combination with salicylic or benzol peroxide. These types of cleansers should be used 2-3 times a day for optimal effect.

Astringents / Toners

Astringents, also known as toners, may also be used on patients with acne and oily skin. These agents are normally used after cleansers have been applied. Although they may be used as much as twice a day, you must exercise great care as to not overuse these types of products. Astringents/toners may help remove excess oil but they can also cause unnecessary dryness.

Acne Body Wash

If you suffer from body acne either on the chest and/or back, body washes are an effective way to help prevent further acne development. You may also use body washes that contain ingredients such as the ones stated above to help treat and minimize body acne.

Oral Antibiotics

Lastly, prescription retinoids, topical or oral antibiotics, or other agents may also be used to further correct this condition.


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1505 Wilson Terrace
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Glendale, CA 91206

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16030 Ventura Blvd.
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