There are several approaches for treating acne that your dermatologist may recommend depending on the severity. While topical medications can often be effective, in more extreme cases your dermatologist may prescribe oral antibiotics to kill bacterial infections and reduce the inflammation contributing to your breakouts. This can also help improve painful cysts. Cysts can sometimes also be treated with injections of cortisone.
Mild to moderate acne may be treated with a skin-cleaning regimen. Your dermatologist will recommend the best products for your condition. Daily skin routines involve the use of cleansers to remove oil and dead skin. Prescription medications applied directly to the skin may also be part of your treatment plan. These products typically contain antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide and/or retinoids, which are derived from synthetic Vitamin A.
For women, your dermatologist may prescribe birth control pills and other hormonal treatments that can control or even eliminate acne.
With severe, widespread, nodulo-cystic and/or recalcitrant acne, your dermatologist may prescribe Isotretinoin, an oral medication taken once or twice daily depending on your treatment plan. Isotretinoin works by shrinking the oil glands in your skin. This reduces the amount of oil that is produced below the skin. By controlling oil production, acne is brought under control.