Are different types of acne treated differently?
By: Dr Magnus Lynch

The approach to acne treatment differs greatly according to the severity of acne, the types of acne lesions that are present and whether which treatments you have had for your acne in the past.

You can think of the treatments for acne as a ladder - starting with non prescription over the counter treatments, moving through prescription topical treatments and then on to first line oral treatments such as antibiotics and the oral contraceptive pill (for women). Where these are not effective next steps include spironolactone (for women) or isotretinoin (roaccutane).

Mild acne: This can often be treated effectively either with over the counter products or with topical acne treatments (see previous posts). Comedomal acne (dominated by whiteheads and blackheads) is more likely to respond to topical retinoids and retinol.

Moderate acne: This rarely will respond to over the counter products and often requires systemic (e.g. tablet) treatments.

Hormonal acne: Hormonal acne fluctuates along with the menstrual cycle. There is a prediliction for the lower face and jawline. Treatment options include the combined oral contraceptive pill - particularly brands which contain an anti-androgen such as Yasmin or spironolactone.

Severe acne: WIth severe acne, particularly where there are nodules or cysts it is important to rapidly find an effective treatment to minimize scarring - this usually requires a prescription tablet treatment.

Tags: acne 
What are topical retinoids?
What causes acne?
How are antibiotics used to treat acne?
What treatments are effective for hormonal acne?
What is the best cleanser for acne?
How should you prepare for an acne consultation with a dermatologist?
What conditions can be mistaken for acne?
Does retinol help acne?
What skincare routine is best for acne-prone skin?
What is benzoyl peroxide?
What is acne conglobata?
What are the different types of acne lesions?
Are different types of acne treated differently?
What over the counter acne treatment should I use?
What topical treatments are available for acne?
Does acne run in the family?
What is the best moisturiser for acne?
How does the severity of your acne determine what treatment is suitable?
How do you know what the right treatment is for your acne?
What causes acne breakouts?