For many people with acne, the right treatment can make all of the difference in how they feel and how their skin looks. The good news is that there are more options than ever before, from new antibiotics to laser resurfacing—and new developments on the horizon promise even higher success rates and fewer side effects.
It is possible to treat acne successfully at any age—as long as the right treatment is found. Here’s a look at highlights from the current offerings:
Minocycline is a prescription antibiotic that has long been used to treat severe acne. It’s typically reserved for those with moderate to severe inflammatory or pustular acne, and only after the patient fails to respond to other treatments.
The typical dosage is 200 mg once or twice daily, taken with food. Side effects include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; headache; dizziness; and sun sensitivity. Photosensitivity can make it important to avoid spending time in sunlight.
For the treatment of acne scars, it starts with topical retinoids to help control the effects of scarring. For more stubborn cases, he uses TCA CROSS (chemical reconstruction of skin scars) therapy, which delivers radiofrequency energy to the skin in order to trigger wound healing, followed by tissue remodeling and collagen production.
Another option is which uses a laser to treat shallow acne scars or surgical scars left behind by previous breakouts. The laser helps stimulate growth of new collagen, which helps make skin look smoother. It generally takes about three treatments performed at an interval of one month apart to see results.
OBRA can be used to treat hyperpigmentation by using a Q-switched laser that targets melanin. This treatment is useful for those with dark spots left behind from past acne, as well as those who just wish to avoid future hyperpigmentation.
Pearl Induction Therapy (PIT), another acne scarring option, targets the active melanocyte cells that produce pigment or color in the skin. PIT is used to treat any dark spots left behind by previous acne breakouts, but it also can help prevent them from showing up again in the future.
PIT treatments can require multiple sessions depending on the patient’s needs and should be administered by a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon.