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Published on January 3, 2024

Acne Treatment Basics: How Do You Know if You Need Acne Medication?

Acne is a fairly common skin condition that occurs as a result of hair follicles clogging with oil and dead skin cells. This clogging is what often leads to the development of pimples, blackheads, or whiteheads which may appear on the face, shoulders, or back.

Several factors may trigger acne. However key contributors include excess oil production by glands, hormonal changes (especially during puberty), bacteria buildup, and certain medications or cosmetics. Genetics also play a role.

That best explains why some people get acne in their 30s or 40s. (See more here: https://onefaceclinic.com/the-attack-of-adult-acne-do-i-need-to-go-for-acne-treatments-in-singapore-in-my-30s-40s/.) The other factors that may increase your risks of getting acne regardless of your age include diet and stress though they are not primary causes.

How do you Know if you Need Acne Medication?

Acne in itself doesn’t pose any serious threat to your health but it can be upsetting and in severe cases, you may end up with permanent scars. So in the vast majority of cases, people consider acne treatment as a way to not only prevent scarring but also improve their self-confidence.

In the hands of a skilled skin or cosmetic doctor, you can be very hopeful of an effective and tailored acne treatment that will not only reduce severity but also give you clear skin. That said, here are five indications you probably need acne medication;

  • Severe Inflammation: If your acne is intensely inflamed or categorized as severe, over-the-counter products might just not be able to effectively manage it. While mild breakouts often respond well to non-prescription treatments, severe inflammatory acne requires the expertise of a skin doctor. So, you will want to see a specialist who can help you craft a tailored treatment plan to significantly improve your treatment outcomes.
  • Widespread Breakouts: Acne isn’t confined to the face alone. So, it can appear not just on the back, but also on the chest, shoulders, and other body areas. Body acne, particularly when it’s widespread, tends to be stubborn. It often also gets more challenging to treat, especially when you’re trying to manage it from home, on your own. With widespread breakouts, your best bet could be prescription acne medication to effectively deal with the condition.
  • Failure of Over-the-counter Products: When it comes to acne treatment, over-the-counter medications are the go-to for many. But there is no guarantee that they will work for you even if you’ve seen them help someone else. So, if you’ve diligently used these products for several months without improvement, it’s a clear signal to switch to stronger, prescription-based options.
  • Development of Acne Scars: Acne scars are not only usually distressing. They are also often stubborn and tougher to treat even than the acne itself. So, it isn’t a good idea to keep waiting especially if your acne is developing scars. If your acne is leaving noticeable scars or if your skin is prone to scarring, see a specialist for a personalized acne treatment plan as soon as possible. Personalized timely treatment gives you the best chances of mitigating the long-term damage. It could also be just what you need to prevent further scarring.
  • Psychological Impact: Acne can significantly affect mental health and self-esteem. If your acne is causing emotional distress, impacting your confidence, or leading to anxiety or depression, it is time to seek professional help. A good provider will assess your skin and the acne itself to prescribe or recommend the best acne treatment plan to address the psychological impact alongside the physical symptoms.
  • Special Circumstances: In some instances, specific conditions, such as hormonal fluctuations or underlying health issues, can exacerbate acne. If you’re experiencing hormonal acne or if you live with certain medical conditions that make your ace worse, you might benefit significantly from targeted prescription medications.

And how do I know what Acne Treatment I Need?

Acne is a complex condition. And as you’ve now seen an acne treatment plan that works for your friend may fail to give the same results for you. So you may wonder; how do I know what acne treatment I need? Here’s a simple explanation;

To know what acne treatment you need, you will want to understand the type of acne you’re dealing with. On your own, this isn’t easy so your best bet would be to book an appointment with a board-certified cosmetic doctor or dermatologist for a thorough assessment and tailored treatment plan.

A thorough assessment is very important as in some cases, what appears as acne might be a different skin condition. A perfect example is Hidradenitis suppurativa which may give similar symptoms as acne but require a very different treatment approach.

Experienced skin doctors possess expertise in distinguishing between various skin conditions that may mimic acne. They thoroughly examine breakouts, noting their types and locations on the skin to formulate a personalized treatment strategy.

In seeking specialized help, you gain access to a spectrum of treatments which you may struggle to find over the counter. Skin doctors can recommend treatments beyond general remedies, including prescription medications, procedures, and lifestyle modifications. After accurate diagnosis, your doctor will prescribe treatments which align with the acne type and severity. Here are some options that may be suggested for you;

  • Topical Treatments: These include creams, gels, or lotions. Usually, they’re formulated with ingredients like retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, or antibiotics which target surface-level acne.
  • Oral Medications: Antibiotics, oral contraceptives (for hormonal acne), or isotretinoin (for severe cases) may be prescribed to address deeper, cystic acne.
  • Procedures: You may also be recommended procedures like chemical peels, laser therapy, or extraction. When it comes to acne treatment, these procedures are usually preserved for stubborn or scarring acne.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Specialists emphasize healthy practices for managing acne and preventing future breakouts. For lifestyle modifications, you may be recommended a balanced diet, stress management, and skincare routines to complement medical treatments.

Closing Thoughts

While acne can go away without treatment, some can take quite some time to go away. You may not need to wait until they go away on their own especially if they only seem to getting worse or impacting your normal life on a large scale. In such cases, you will want to consult with a specialist for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan for the best treatment outcomes.

Do you have acne that is making your life unbearable? Why not have it assessed by specialists at One Face Clinic? To schedule an appointment for a thorough assessment and personalized treatment plan, call or visit us at;

One Face Clinic

1 Tras Link #02-01 Orchid Hotel,

Singapore 078867

+65 6222 2262

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