Since we have recently been getting many questions about acne on My Skin Care Connection I am going to discuss this topic by sharing my personal experience. I have suffered from acne for decades and beginning in my teen years. In my case I feel part the cause for my acne was hereditary. My sister had acne as well as my mother. When I was a teen I was told myths about acne such as the reason I had acne was because I was eating too much chocolate. Not true thank goodness. And my mother had absolutely barbaric methods to get rid of a zit such as sticking a needle into the center to pop it. I have learned since that you should never pop a zit as it can spread infection or cause scarring. I would buy the over the counter topical pimple creams to diminish my zits to no avail. I would usually end up with red, dry, flaking skin with zits underneath.
My acne problem persisted into my twenties and also into my thirties. I had just about given up on finding anything which worked to get rid of my acne. It seemed that I would try a product and it might work for awhile but then there always came a point where it no longer would work for me. When I was in my mid thirties I finally had this great idea to seek the help of a dermatologist. This is when I finally was able to get a handle on my pimple problem. I truly regret that I didn't see a dermatologist before that time.
My dermatologist talked about a lot of different ideas for treating my acne. We discussed birth control pills, the use of oral antibiotics and even acutane. I had been on birth control pills for years and this never got rid of my acne, wasn't crazy about taking long term oral antibiotics, and I was a bit frightened by the possible side effects of acutane. So we opted to treat my acne with a combination of a special cleanser and topical medications.
The great thing about seeing a dermatologist is that if what you try does not work out, then your doctor can recommend something else based upon your individual skin type. Also they usually have free samples to try so you can see if something really works before getting the prescription. I am not going to lie, some of the prescribed acne medications are expensive. But in the long run you might save money by not purchasing a bunch of over the counter stuff that doesn't work.
Over the years of seeing my dermatologist, we have changed some of the products that I use. Like I said, if something doesn't work over time, we would change things up a bit or she might find something new that works even better than what I had been using. One thing I want to stress here is that everyone's skin type is different. What works for me may not work for you. This is why going to a dermatologist for acne problems is such a good idea. You will get a skin care regimen which is based upon your unique skin care needs.
I am going to share with you a list of mostly prescription products which work for me in clearing up my acne.
- Sodium Sulfacetamide 10% and Sulfur 5% cleanser. The brand names may include Plexion or Rosula Cleanser. It does come in generic form.
Aczone (dapsone) gel 5%
Clindagel (This medication can also be used on the neck or back)
Duac Topical gel This product has benzol peroxide in it and is good for on the spot treatment for blemishes.
Tazorac gel (This is used for both acne and psoriasis treatment. I have used this product consistently over the years as it really works for me. It is also used by some as an anti-wrinkle product).
Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer (You don't need a prescription for this and this is what my doctor recommended I use on my acne prone skin as a moisturizer).
Remember that you need to ask your doctor about side effects or possible interactions with other medications before you begin using any acne medications. For me, I did experience some redness and flaking skin with some of these products but then this side effect diminished over time. The good thing about going to a dermatologist is that they walk through this with you and answer your questions about the effectiveness of your skin care plan.
If you have had success with getting rid of your acne please do share with us what has helped. (Please no spam though)
Here are some more resources and information we have here at Health Central to help you get your acne under control: