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Understanding Your Treatment Options for Severe, Inflammatory Acne

Understanding Your Treatment Options for Severe, Inflammatory Acne

Compared to non-inflamed acne, inflammatory acne develops deeper beneath the skin's surface and can cause pain and permanent scarring.

Patients who have inflammatory acne tend to have deeper, bigger cysts or tiny, red pimples. Although they can develop on any skin area with oil glands, the face, neck, chest, and back are the most common places for them to show up.

At Hines Dermatology in Attleboro, Massachusetts, dermatologist and dermatopathologist Dr. Yvonne Hines specializes in treating even the toughest inflammatory skin conditions. 

Inflammatory acne can cause significant distress and can be challenging to treat. Fortunately, Dr. Hines has extensive experience helping patients find effective solutions for severe, inflammatory acne.  

Topical treatments

For many patients who have inflammatory acne, the journey to clearer skin starts with topical treatments. Common topical medications include:

Retinoids, derived from vitamin A, are particularly effective in unclogging pores and preventing new acne lesions. 

Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria that cause acne, while topical antibiotics reduce inflammation and fight bacterial growth. These treatments can be powerful when used consistently and as prescribed, often in combination for enhanced effectiveness.

Oral medications

When topical treatments fail to provide improvement, oral medications can be a game-changer. Oral antibiotics are commonly prescribed to reduce inflammation and control bacterial growth. For women, oral contraceptives and anti-androgen agents can regulate hormones that trigger acne.

However, the most potent medication for severe acne is isotretinoin. This powerful vitamin A derivative targets all of the major causes of acne, including oil production, bacteria, inflammation, and clogged pores. 

Skin resurfacing with chemical peels and microdermabrasion

For persistent acne, procedures like chemical peels and microdermabrasion can offer additional benefits. Chemical peels involve applying a chemical solution to the skin, which exfoliates the top layers and reveals newer, less damaged skin underneath. 

Similarly, microdermabrasion involves a device that gently sands the skin's outer layer. These procedures can reduce the appearance of acne scars and improve skin texture.

Laser and light therapies

Laser and light therapies are innovative acne treatments. They target different aspects of acne development. Blue light therapy, for instance, kills acne-causing bacteria, whereas laser treatments can reduce oil production and improve acne scarring. 

These options are particularly useful if your inflammatory acne hasn’t responded to traditional treatments, or you’re looking for drug-free alternatives.

Lifestyle changes and skin care habits

Lifestyle changes can also affect your acne. Along with treatment, a balanced diet, hydration, and regular exercise can go a long way toward improving your overall skin health. 

Additionally, adopting a gentle skincare routine, avoiding harsh scrubs, and avoiding picking or squeezing pimples can prevent further inflammation and scarring.

Severe inflammatory acne requires a comprehensive treatment approach tailored to your individual needs. Dr. Hines guides you through available treatment options and creates a personalized treatment plan to improve your skin. 

Acne is often more than just a skin issue; it can deal a major blow to your self-esteem and quality of life. Fortunately, treatments can help. Give us a call to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hines. We’re here to help you reclaim clearer skin!

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