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Acne Treatment - Essential Information For Clearing Severe Acne

Dec 5, 2007
Under the best of circumstances, trying to find an acne treatment that works for you can be difficult. Most treatments for severe acne can be harsh on the skin, causing further irritation, but you can't let your acne go untreated either, as that risks the possibility of acne scarring.

One of the oldest acne treatments for severe acne is Accutane, or its generic counterparts, which are a derivative of Vitamin A. Accutane is extremely effective for getting control of severe acne, and can sometimes virtually bring an end to acne breakouts. The drawback is the toxicity of Accutane, which causes a long list of undesirable side effects.

Essentially Accutane causes your oil glands to shut down during the treatment period, which typically lasts four to five months. Because you are not secreting any oils, your skin becomes very dry, which many users report as feeling like a sunburn. Accutane users also report that nosebleeds are very common, as well as hair loss. It has also a tendency to make users feel very depressed. Although Accutane can get acne problems under control, the side effects make it an option that should be used sparingly.

Antibiotics as an acne treatment are also very effective. There are a variety of antibiotics used, but, like Accutane, some forms have some undesirable side effects. Minocycline, one of the oldest antibiotics used to treat acne, has a reputation as being the most toxic. Doctors still prescribe it since the body is slow to build up immunity, but they are increasingly using other, more gentle, antibiotics despite the tendency for users to build up immunity.

If you suffer from severe acne, you might opt for a more direct acne treatment. Intra-lesional corticosteroid injections made directly into the cystic nodule have proven to be most effective. The injections act quickly, helping to reduce the swelling much in the same way cortisone injections would for an injured knee or back, though they do create discoloration. Although the treatments work well, intra-lesional corticosteroid injections are only successful on existing cystic nodules.

Lasers have also become a popular acne treatment recently. Not only can lasers treat acne, they can also remove acne scarring. However, because these lasers are currently unregulated, anyone can purchase and legally use these lasers. The danger is that an inexperienced practitioner may overexpose a patient to the laser, causing permanent damage.

There are two types of lasers, ablative and non-ablative. Ablative lasers are the oldest and strongest variety, and they essentially vaporize the outer layer of skin, much like removing a tattoo. When this outer layer of skin grows back, acne scars and wrinkles are greatly reduced. The extreme heat produced by ablative lasers cause your oil glands to shrink, which prevents breakouts.

Because your skin is burned off, treatment from ablative lasers will make your face red and sore for several weeks. Non-ablative lasers are newer and gentler than older lasers.

Non-ablative lasers also shrink the oil glands, but since they do not vaporize your skin, there is usually no soreness or visible side effects. Non-ablative lasers also promote collagen growth, so they also remove acne scarring. Because non-ablative lasers are less harsh, they will require more than one treatment session, while an ablative laser treatment consists of only one session.

Severe acne has never been pleasant and the acne scars reach much deeper than what a person might see on the surface. The long-term effects of acne are damaging, both physically and psychologically. There is hope and more than one type of acne treatment to choose from, though do be aware of potential risks.
About the Author
The Healthy Lifestyle Company brings you the latest information on severe acne treatment. Visit our Acne Article Index, right away and listen to our "Understanding Acne" audio recording.
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