While many people only have to deal with the occasional acne breakout, just as many other people have to deal with severe cases of acne. Sometimes, the acne can be bad enough to need the assistance of a professional to take care of it. This means a trip to the dermatologist. If you decide that you need some extra assistance taking care of your acne problem, do not be surprised if you end up with a prescription medication to help take care of it.
Just as there are many over the counter remedies for acne, there are also several different kinds of prescription medications designed to treat acne. Often, these come in the form of a topical cream or ointment that is applied directly to the skin and that will help clear up the breakouts. Other times, however, you may need something a little bit stronger, and if that is the case your doctor may recommend an oral medication. This often happens in cases of persistent, severe acne.
More commonly, your dermatologist will prescribe creams or ointments or a special wash to use for your acne. These include a potent medication designed to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. Make sure that you use these prescriptions according to the directions given to you by your doctor for best results. Too often or not enough and you may not see your acne improved. If you only have a mild case of acne, your dermatologist may suggest an over the counter remedy to try first. This is because prescription medications tend to be more expensive, and may not always be covered by your insurance.
Sometimes, dermatologists will have to use antibiotic therapy to help control severe acne problems. Frequently, this is a “last resort” effort made with the other commonly used treatment methods have been tried without success. This usually involves a course of antibiotics that starts out high, and gradually weans down once the treatment has started to take affect and is clearing up the acne breakouts.
In some cases, dermatologists will use injections to administer acne medication. These treatments are used only in severe acne cases, when other treatments have failed, as a way to reduce the number of breakouts and limit unsightly scarring.
In women, many acne breakouts are caused by hormonal fluctuations of their monthly menstrual cycle. In these cases, something as simple as this can level out a woman’s hormone levels enough that she sees a dramatic reduction in the amount of acne that she has. Some women, who are taking contraceptives for their contraceptive benefit alone, will report clearer skin. In a few cases, the adjustment of hormones from the birth control medication will actually increase the amount of acne that a woman suffers until her body adjusts.
Whether or not you seek a dermatologist is up to you. However, it is generally recommended that you seek professional help if your acne problem is getting worse, leaving behind scars, or becoming so severe that traditional treatments do not work or it is affecting your day to day life.