Acne: Treatment & Management

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Before we talk about Acne treatment, we should have clear scientific idea and knowledge about acne. We should know what is acne and causes of acne. Acne is chronic inflammatory disease of pilosebaceous glands. Symptoms are seborrhea, formation of comedones, papules and pustules. Causes of acne are seborrhea, somedogenesis, colonization of pilosebaceous duct with Propionibacterium acnes and production of inflammation. Acne is more common in people whose skin type is oily. This is due to the excess production of sebum from pilosebaceous glands.

Acne treatment should be done both internally as well as externally to clear acne and to prevent acne. Acne treatment generally consists of removing dead cells of skin (epidermis part), reducing sebum production and killing bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) with oral and topical antibiotics. But the acne treatment depends on the severity of the acne. Treatment varies for mild, moderate and severe acne.

Acne treatment for mild acne:
For treatment of mild acne self care is important and generally it is sufficient. Self care include keeping skin clean and oil free as far as possible, healthy eating habits (eat well balanced diet that contain lots of fresh fruits, fiber, vegetables that contain sufficient quantity of vitamins and minerals. Healthy food habits also include avoiding alcohol, smoking (tobacco), dairy products, caffeine, sugar and processed and refined foods. All these are also applicable to moderate and severe acne.

Acne treatment for moderate acne:
This include self care and topical antibiotic like metronidazole and erythromycin. Topical isotretinoin (13-cis-retinoic acid) is also very effective. It reduces sebum production.
Acne treatment for severe acne:
Treatment of severe acne require aggressive treatment with oral antibiotics and isotretinoin. The antibiotic of choice is usually a broad spectrum antibiotic like tetracycline group (minocycline and oxytetracycline are very successful in treating severe form of acne). Minocycline is given at the dose of 200 mg per day for about three months. If long term antibiotic therapy is given patients should be reviewed regularly for potentially dangerous side effects fortunately rare.

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