Treatment for teenage acne

Treatment for teenage acne at the Advanced Acne Institute can take many forms. Our acne dermatologists take the time to understand the effects of acne on each of our teenage acne patients. Some are not bothered that much by their breakouts while others are very preoccupied with their acne. The first thing we do is identify the degree that acne is effecting a patient’s life before we begin to discuss the best treatment. Once we understand the degree that acne is impacting a given teenage patient, we discuss the treatments that are most likely to give the best results.

Mild acne

For teenagers with very mild acne including those with only blackheads and whiteheads, we discuss treatments with topically applied therapies. At the Advanced Acne Institute, we approach treatment for mild acne differently than many other practices. For example, we tend tend to avoid many of the harsh topical creams and gels. They Often produce irritation and dryness without giving very significant results. That’s not to say these types of prescription applications are not useful. However, for the most part, we like to offer the most effective therapies that we can and we find that other options can produce better results. This is especially true in teenagers with acne. In fact, one of the major reasons that teens stop using an acne regimen is because it’s too irritating and uncomfortable.

At the Advanced Acne Institute, we focus on what we find to be more effective options. For teenage girls with acne, we discuss the use of treatments that can work on the acne-prone oil glands to lessen their tendency to become inflamed. Treatments like oral contraceptive pills can often be very helpful in clearing up the complexion of a teenage girl with acne. Our patients usually tolerate this form of treatment much better than they tolerate harsh topical creams, lotions and gels.

Another treatment we often use is a pill called spironolactone. This treatment also works on the oil gland to prevent it from becoming overactive. The results can be very dramatic for many patients. Most teenagers with acne also tolerate spironolactone very well.

Of course facials can be a very helpful addition to a patient’s overall regimen. Facials help to physically unblock the damaged ace-prone pores. Facials can be repeated every two to four weeks depending on the need.

Another treatment for teenage acne that we use at the Advanced Acne Institute is chemical exfoliation. this process is the same as skin peels to help remove dead skin cells that build up in the pores and on the skin surface. Chemical peels can be very helpful as an addition to a patient’s acne treatment regimen. At the Advanced Acne Institute, we limit our peels to salicylic acid-based chemical peels. This type of peel tends to be much less irritating and helps to reduce inflammation in acne-prone pores. We don’t use glycolic acid peels which we find to be too irritating and unpredictable in their effects.

More advanced acne

For teenage acne patients with more advanced breakouts including small and medium sized pimples, our acne doctors will design a treatment regimen that’s more aggressive. Once again, we tend to avoid harsh topical creams, lotions and gels in favor of more effective options.

ŸAntibiotics taken by mouth

One common treatment for teenage acne involves prescribing oral antibiotics. Antibiotics tend to be well tolerated by most teenage patients however some have the potential for serious side effects so caution should be used when deciding on this option. One possible side effect, for example, includes sensitivity to sun. ,any teenagers play various outdoor sports so the antibiotic must be chosen that does not cause sun sensitivity. In many cases, however, oral antibiotics can be very helpful. They can often lead to rapid improvement in the number and size of pimples. The flip side is that they often don’t help that much. Although some patients do very well with this option, many teenagers just don’t see good results. Different antibiotics can be selected but the bottom line is that they are not a panacea. For this reason, we don’t rely on antibiotics by mouth as the best treatment option. If we don’t see a positive response within a two to three months, we discontinue this option in favor of one that may be more effective.

ŸCombination therapy

One thing that we often use at the Advanced Acne Institute is the use of different treatments in combination. Different treatments can work together to give good results when wither one alone may not be effective. One example that is used at the Advanced Acne Institute is the combination of oral antibiotics together with a treatment called Blue Light Therapy.

ŸBlue Light Therapy

Blue Light Therapy is a treatment that shines a specific wavelength of visible light onto the skin. It works by targeting the bacteria that grow in acne-prone pores. It also appears to have anti-inflammatory effects hat work to reduce acne breakouts. We find that many patients at the Advanced Acne Institute do very well with Blue Light Therapy and it is used often in our teenage acne patients. The treatment is very safe and is tolerated essentially without any complaints by our teenage patients.

ŸSpironolactone Treatment

As discussed above, spironolactone is a treatment that can give exceptional results when used in the right setting. This treatment option can only be used for teenage girls since it can have certain unwanted side effects in male patients. At the Advanced Acne Institute we find this therapy to be very important as a treatment for teenage acne. Spironolactone works by blocking the hormones that cause the acne-prone oil glands to become revved up. By quieting the overactive oil glands, pimples begin to heal. Side effects of this form of treatment can involve lowering of blood pressure and elevated potassium levels in the blood. These possible side effects are monitored periodically while the medication is being taken. However, in young, healthy teenagers with acne, spironolactone is usually a very safe and effective treatment with a very high level of patient satisfaction.

Severe, Cystic and resistant acne

For teenagers with very severe acne breakouts, rapid healing is very important. The significant psychological effects that severe acne can have on a teenager should always be considered and prompt the discussion of the strongest acne treatments. By far, the most effective therapy for teenage acne is isotretinoin. You may have heard of isotretinoin by its original brand name “Accutane.” This medication has been available for a long time but is often reserved for the most severe forms of acne. This is because there are potential side effects that must be considered before prescribing isotretinoin. At the Advanced Acne Institute, our acne doctors often discuss the use of this very important medication with patients that have severe, cystic acne, patients who have acne that is resistant to other treatments and for patients who have significant acne scarring. Istoretinoin treatment tends to be well tolerated and very effective. Monthly blood tests and clinical monitoring is required throughout the course of therapy.

For patients that choose to use other forms of treatment, spironolactone, which was discussed above, can often be a very effective option for teenage field with severe, cystic or resistant acne. At the Advanced Acne Institute, we also have other treatments that we use for hard to treat acne. Our acne dermatologists discuss these options as needed during office consultations but they are beyond the scope of this website.