The therapy of acne must always be adapted to the individual severity and the speed with which the disease develops. It is most effective when several therapeutic approaches are combined with each other.
A therapy should be considered especially if one suffers from large and highly inflamed pimples or if acne scars develop. A visit to the doctor is also indicated if dark spots appear after the pustules have healed, or if the skin changes cause severe psychological stress.
Local treatment of acne
For the treatment of acne, mainly soaps and lotions are used which should prevent the formation of blackheads or change the bacterial colonisation of the skin. For this purpose, the skin usually has to be cleaned twice a day with the medical products.
Mainly so-called topical retinoids are used. These mainly prevent the formation of blackheads, which also prevents inflammation. A small disadvantage of retinoids is that they often worsen the skin appearance at the beginning of treatment, as there is a short flare-up of acne vulgaris. However, this usually subsides within a few weeks.
Alternatively, benzoyl peroxide can be used as a wash suspension or gel. It convinces with a high efficacy, good combination possibilities with other agents and the absence of resistances.
Especially in cases of frequent papule formation, antibiotics can also be applied topically, i.e. directly on the skin. Especially clindamycin and erythromycin are frequently used.
Last but not least, azelaic acid is also used to prevent blackheads and inflammations. This however hardly has a positive effect on the increased sebum flow which is why it should definitely be combined with other preparations.
If the application of the above mentioned substances on the skin does not bring the desired effect, a systemic therapy can also be applied. In this case, the active ingredient is not only distributed in the affected region, but throughout the body via the bloodstream.
The systemic application of antibiotics has proven to be particularly effective. Tetracyclines are mainly used for this purpose. After two to three months there should be a marked improvement in the skin condition. Then the dosage can be reduced, but the preparation should not be discontinued prematurely.
Especially women with severe acne benefit from the administration of estrogens which prevent the sebum production. These are mostly combined with antiandrogens, i.e. substances which prevent the promoting effect of androgens on acne. However, the application should definitely be done in consultation with a gynecologist to prevent negative effects on the menstrual cycle.
The retinoids mentioned above can also be given systemically, which quickly leads to a significant improvement in appearance. However, these are not likely to be combined with the tetracyclines.
In addition to drug treatment of acne, there are still some ways in which the development of pustules and papules can be prevented or their healing accelerated.
First and foremost, proper acne hygiene can be very helpful. This can be done by using medicated scrubs or other lotions once or twice a week. The use of skin care products containing fruit acids, salicylic acid or lactic acid can also improve the skin's appearance. However, it must be noted that its excessive facial hygiene usually leads to worsening of symptoms.
Improvement can also be achieved by frequent hair washing. In addition, one should make sure that the hair does not hang down on the face. This could irritate the skin and especially also spread sebum from the hair on the face, which then again leads to clogging of pores.
The removal of blackheads should not be done by yourself, but preferably by a trained beautician. Otherwise, the acne will only get worse.
For the main care should be used mainly products that are based on water. Oily or greasy products will only lead to increased clogging of the sebaceous follicles and thus worsen the symptoms.
The influence of diet has not yet been clearly demonstrated, however, many people experience that caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, nicotine or pork exacerbate the symptoms.
Treatment of acne scars
Early and aggressive treatment of acne vulgaris should be sought primarily because it is almost impossible to treat acne scars that already exist. Although there are several methods to improve them, these are only moderately successful overall.
Nevertheless, it is worth trying out one or the other treatment for acne scars, as it may consistently be possible to at least significantly reduce one's own scarring. The most effective methods for treating acne scars are laser therapy, dermabrasion, cryotherapy and collagen injections.