What You Can Do when Over-the-Counter Topicals Haven't Combated Your Acne

Woman in the shower with acne What You Can Do when Over-the-Counter Topicals Haven't Combated Your Acne

With the advances in skin care over the past several decades, many effective, high-quality products have become more widely available. You can now purchase products, for instance, with ingredients like salicylic acid or retinol at the drug store or department store. But sometimes your specific skin care issue may not be getting solved, despite your best efforts. If OTC topicals just aren’t cutting it when it comes to treating your acne, it’s time to see a dermatologist.

Good Ways to Combat Acne

Chemical Peel Facial Treatments

For those whose acne-prone skin isn’t responding to store bought products, a chemical peel cosmetic treatment might work wonders. This treatment is a type of chemical exfoliation, removing the surface layers of skin and revealing smoother and brighter skin beneath. Chemical peels help rejuvenate the skin and even out skin tone. And getting them every six to eight weeks, in conjunction with using a daily skin care regimen for acne, can be especially effective for treating breakouts.

Chemical peel treatments take roughly half an hour. During the peel, the skin is cleansed to remove excess oil and surface debris. Then, a specialized chemical solution is applied and allowed to remain on the skin for a specific period of time before being neutralized and washed off. The peel might include acne-combatting ingredients like salicylic acid, lactic acid, retinol, or glycolic acid, and it can be customized at a depth appropriate for your skin type. Once the chemical solution is removed, a cool compress may be applied to soothe the skin.

Side effects are usually mild and may include some redness or flaking skin, which resolve within a week following treatment. Regular chemical peels can help with the deep exfoliation needed for those with acne-prone skin.

Dermatologist Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion treatments are another commonly prescribed method of exfoliation for an acne treatment regimen. During a dermatologist microdermabrasion treatment, a specialized, mildly abrasive tool is used to manually exfoliate the skin. This cosmetic procedure is a way for your skin to get a deeper clean than is possible when exfoliating on your own.

Not only does microdermabrasion slough off the top layer of skin – where the dirt, sebum, bacteria, and sweat reside – but it promotes collagen production and the regeneration of skin cells. What that means for acne sufferers is that you effectively prevent future breakouts, reduce the levels of oil on the skin’s surface, brighten overall skin tone, and minimize the appearance of acne scars and pockmarks.

Depending on your skin type and level of sensitivity, as well as the severity of your acne, a dermatologist may recommend microdermabrasion treatments anywhere from two to eight weeks apart. The treatments require little to no downtime, but retinol products and prescription retinoids will need to be stopped one week prior. Occasionally, some mild redness or flaking occur, but these side effects disappear within a few days following treatment.

Contact Vanguard Dermatology

Tired of battling your acne alone? If you’re in the greater New York City area, contact Vanguard Dermatology today for an appointment with one of our board-certified specialists. We can recommend an appropriate treatment plan for you.

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