Acne Treatment

The aim of any acne treatment must be to resolve the condition quickly and effectively. It must also be to minimise the risk both of side effects from treatment and the development of complications such as acne scars. Different types of acne respond best to specific acne treatments and not all forms of acne require treatment. Acne sufferers who know about the benefits and potential hazards of the different types of acne treatment are able to make informed decisions as to the best acne treatment for their type of acne.

Why Treat Acne?

The reasons for treating acne are the same as for any disease - to relieve the symptoms and eliminate the physical signs of the disease, to prevent complications arising and ultimately to cure the disease. In the case of acne, the physical signs of acne are the spots on the skin, the symptoms of acne are the itchiness and irritation caused by the spots and any accompanying emotional disturbance, while the complications include the development of cystic acne, the formation of acne scars and the severe psychiatric disturbance seen in acne dysmorphia. Whether it is appropriate to talk about curing acne is really a semantic argument, a patient whose acne has been eliminated, whether as a result of treatment or patience, will consider themselves to have been cured of acne.

The Need for Acne Treatment

There are many people who consider that teenage acne is not a disease that requires treatment, but rather a normal sign of puberty and something that should be 'lived through' without complaint. There are certainly arguments for treating acne conservatively in the majority of cases The two extremes of this argument, that acne treatment is required in all cases or that all acne should be left untreated, are missing something of the complexity of the condition. There are certainly arguments in some cases for not treating acne. Firstly, adolescent acne is a self-limiting condition, which means that it will resolve itself eventually with no medical intervention. Secondly, the severity of acne varies enormously between individuals, with some people having few signs of acne and complaining of no acne-related symptoms. Thirdly, any form of acne treatment, and this includes many of the natural or alternative acne therapies, carries a risk of side effects which may be injurious the health of the person receiving treatment in either the short or the long term.

'Must Treat' Acne

Some forms of acne could be described as 'must treat' acne. This is a slight misnomer, for what is really meant is that certain patterns or presentations of acne should alert you to the need to consult a doctor, who can decide on the advisability of acne treatment, having made a correct clinical diagnosis and investigated whether there is an underlying cause for the condition. Although acne in babies is not uncommon, it is advisable to consult a doctor in all cases. Baby acne may be the external sign of an underlying medical condition which itself requires treatment. Even if this is not the case, a baby has a finely balance metabolism and baby acne treatment involving drugs should be subject to medical supervision. Acne in young children is rare and should be treated with some seriousness. In the case of children under the age of eight or nine, acne is often the sign of an underlying endocrine disorder, in which excessive production of male type hormones stimulates both acne and the premature development of the sexual organs - precocious puberty. In the case of a young child with acne, it is obligatory to consult a medical practitioner in order to eliminate an endocrine disorder or tumour as the underlying cause of the acne. After the age of eight or nine, adolescent acne becomes increasingly common. The appearance of acne type pimples on the chin of a child aged eight or nine is probably the first sign of the onset of clinically normal, though early, puberty in the child.

Teenage Acne Treatment

The overwhelming majority of cases of teenage acne are of the adolescent clinical type. There is no absolute need to treat this common type of teen acne and as a result there is much more freedom a teenager to take control of decisions regarding their acne treatment. In the UK, 45% of teenage acne sufferers manage the condition without using acne treatments The statistics in the UK suggest that currently around 45% of teenage acne sufferers manage their acne without any form of recognised acne treatment. Choosing not to treat acne is in itself a positive treatment choice. You're saying that you will allow time and the body's natural healing mechanisms - the two best acne treatments of all - a chance to work for at least an initial period, before resorting to using acne medicines. The 55% of teenagers who opt for acne treatment have to choose between purchasing one of the many over-the-counter acne treatments, visiting a doctor to get access to prescription acne medication or trying one of the many available acne alternative treatments or natural remedies. It is important in all cases to maintain an appropriate skin care regime, which needs to be compatible with the chosen type of acne treatment. The remainder of this section of the site offers information and guidance on the often bewildering choice acne skin care regimes and options for treating acne.

Adult Acne Treatment

Adult acne is in many ways the most difficult form of acne to treat. Firstly, the term adult acne covers individuals with a number of different clinical types of acne. Amongst them are many adults who are suffering from a persistent form of adolescent acne which may continue for many years into adulthood. Their treatment follows the same principles as teenage acne treatment, although the chronic nature of the condition and often its severity means that this type of adult acne treatment is usually best overseen by a doctor. New cases of acne in adults are more likely the result of one of the other clinical types of acne - industrial acne, drug-induced acne or one of the rare acne types. In such cases medical consultation is advisable to ensure both that the correct diagnosis is made and treatment appropriate to the type of acne received.