*Results may vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as typical. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
By Dr. Stacy Stropshire
Acne leaves its mark on almost 85% of the human race. Most of the time, this pervasive skin problem has run its course by the time you hit your early 20s. In many cases, however, acne leaves scars and marks that can last long into adulthood. Just because you’ve had acne in the past, it doesn’t mean that you need to be reminded of it long after your last blackhead is gone. So what acne treatment is best for you? In this blog we will examine various acne treatment strategies to help you make the best decision to eliminate your acne or acne scarring.
Five acne treatment therapies that you can try to reduce or even remove the lingering effects of acne and acne scarring.
- Natural Remedies: There are several articles that suggest wiping your face with baking soda, raw honey, vinegar, or Epsom salts. While these home-spun acne treatment techniques may have worked for some individuals, it’s just as likely that you would end up with a sticky, vinegar covered face at the end of the experiment. Medical researchers have studied a variety of acne treatment techniques that are more researched and generally safer than these unproven techniques.
- Topical Chemical Treatments: These acne treatment products are applied to the skin to remove pimples and their after-effects. Usually, these products contain one of three active ingredients: salicylic acid, sulfur or benzoyl oxide. Salicylic Acid essentially unclogs pores, and gently soothes irritated skin. Sulfur, believe it or not, has anti-bacterial properties along with quickly and gently drying out pimples. Benzoyl Oxide is like the hammer of the bunch, powerfully killing the acne bacteria and harshly clearing out pores. If a stray pimple ever pops up, one of these acne treatment solutions can be used to quickly get rid of acne.
- Chemical Facial Peels: What do you do if your acne is long gone, but the acne scarring remains? This acne treatment for acne scarring might be an option for you. When you sign up for a facial peel regimen (most professionals recommend several treatments to gently sculpt away the scarring), a trained technician will apply a blend of chemicals that exfoliate the outer layer of skin and reduce the appearance of mild-to-moderate acne scarring. As one of the oldest skin-smoothing therapies out there (historical records indicate that the ancient Egyptians were famous for their effective chemical peels), this acne treatment continues to be one of the more popular.
- Microdermabrasion: This acne treatment is often compared to chemical facial peels, in that the treatment exfoliates the top layer of skin. Instead of chemicals being applied to skin, small sand-like crystals are rubbed along the skin (using a special applicator). Microdermabrasion is best used as an acne treatment to treat minor acne scarring, as the treatment effects only that top skin layer. This acne treatment can be applied to the whole face, or used as an acne spot treatment.
- Micro Needling: One of the newest acne treatment techniques on the list, micro needling might be the ticket to achieving the smoother skin and clearer complexion you’re looking for. When you book a micro needling session, the professional will apply a special tool to targeted problem areas, stimulating natural reactions in your skin to smooth itself out. This acne treatment option is chemical-free, quite effective especially for scarring, and requires only minimal recovery (some people comment that they’re fully recovered by the next day). Dermatologists have found that micro needling acne treatments are safer than other treatment options for more sensitive areas of the skin (especially around the eyes). Depending on the severity of the acne scarring, multiple acne treatment sessions may be needed to achieve the maximum effect.
No matter which acne treatment option that you and your dermatologist select, never forget that you don’t have to live with the effects of acne, long after your last pimple is gone.