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Treatment Options


Acne is a very common condition that will affect most of us at some time in our lives. It can range in severity from mild to disfiguring with significant psychological and social consequences. Acne is one of the most common conditions that I see and the good news is that there are many effective treatment options.

Topical Treatments
Topical treatments (creams, gels, lotions) are usually the first line of treatment for mild acne. They include benzoyl peroxide, topical antibiotics and topical retinoids. These treatments are often prescribed in combination.
Antibiotic tablets are thought to work by reducing infection with Propionibacterium acnes although they likely have additional anti-inflammatory effects. Usually they will be taken for a course of a few months of treatment. Several different classes of antibiotic may be used. Tetracyclines, for example, lymecycline are usually well tolerated. Other antibiotics that can be used include erythromycin or trimethoprim.
Oral Contraceptive Pill
The combined oral contraceptive pill (OCP) is an option for women. It can be particularly beneficial for acne that flares prior to menstruation. Forms of the OCP, such as Yasmin, that also block male hormones (androgens) are particularly effective. The progesterone only pill 'minipill' can in some cases exacerbate acne and in this situation changing to an alternative form of contraception may be advisable. All forms of contraceptive pill require ongoing monitoring and for this reason are prescribed by your GP rather than a dermatologist.
 Risks and side effects
Spironolactone is another option for women and can be particularly effective for hormonal acne. It works by blocking male hormones and reducing sebum production and is usually very well tolerated. It works whilst you are taking it but can safely be taken for years if needed. It is also widely used as a treatment for hair loss.
 Risks and side effects
Isotretinoin, also known as Roaccutane is one of the most effective treatment for acne with approximately 85-90% of patients seeing a long term improvement in the skin after completing a course of treatment, however it has a greater potential for side effects than other treatments.
Lasers and energy
A number of other treatments are available including light or laser treatments. Many of these treatments can be helpful for mild or moderate acne, however they are unlikely to be effective for severe acne. More recently a newer laser treatment (Aviclear) has been developed which targets sebaceous glands in the skin this is more effective than other laser treatments but not as effective as powerful tablet medications such as isotretinoin. Dr Lynch does not offer this treatment but can refer you if needed.

Frequently asked questions

 Can other conditions be mistaken for acne?
 Are there different types of acne?
 What causes acne?
 How should I prepare for my consultation?
 How much does acne treatment cost?
 Are acne treatments different for men and women?
 Which treatments are best for back acne?
 Why does acne cause scarring?
 When should acne scarring be treated?
 Does retinol help acne?
 What is benzoyl peroxide?
 Why are antibiotics used to treat acne?
 What are combination acne treatments?
 What treatments are effective for hormonal acne?
 Why do I get dark marks after acne spots?
 What is the best skin care routine for acne-prone skin?
 How can I treat acne at home?
 What is acne conglobata?
 Can acne run in the family?

Book Consultation

To book an in person consultation, enter your details below and my practice management team will contact you to schedule the appointment. Alternatively call 0203 389 6076 (calls are answered during working hours) or email: contact@drmagnuslynch.com.

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