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Acne Treatment - Procedure, Cost And Side Effects

What is the treatment? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the treatment?

Acne refers to a skin condition which occurs when hair follicles on the skin get plugged with oil, dead skin cells and dirt. These substances clog the pores present in the skin and lead to pimples. There are various types of acne, categorized on the basis of their severity and appearance – blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, cysts, nodules and acne conglobate.

The treatment for acne is focused on removing the acne causing bacteria and excess oil from the skin. The treatment also reduces oiliness of the skin. Different treatments include oral medications, medical procedures, and topical medications.

Oral medications refer to drugs which help to treat acne in moderate and severe cases. Some drugs are available over the counter while others are available only when prescribed by doctors.

Medical procedures are used to treat acne when the symptoms are severe. The procedures are usually performed in a doctor’s clinic. Drainage and extraction, laser therapy along with chemical peels and microdermabrasion are some of these medical procedures.

Topical medications refer to the lotions, gels, creams that promote acne healing. These medicines contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid which controls the amount of oil secreted by the skin.

How is the treatment done?

The various types of treatments are explained below:

  • Antibiotics that are a part of oral medication kill the bacteria that resides inside the pores of the skin.
  • Birth control pills regulate the hormone levels which improve acne symptoms in the fairer sex. However, these pills should not be consumed during pregnancy.
  • Isotretinoin belongs to the retinoid family and is considered to be a strong drug for treating severe cases of acne. Consumption of this drug reduces the oil glands’ size, as a result of which the oil secretion is reduced. This drug is available only when prescribed by a doctor.
  • Drainage and extraction method is mainly used to treat cystic acne. In this method, a doctor manually drains out the large cysts that form under the skin. Along with this, fluids, pus, dead skin and dirt are also removed. This helps in reducing the pain as well as the infection. At times, steroids or antibiotics are injected into the infected area to speed up the healing process.
  • In laser therapy, laser light is used to reduce the growth and amount of acne-causing bacteria The laser light penetrates the skin and eventually kills the bacteria present on the skin. This treatment is cost efficient and painless.
  • Chemical peels and microdermabrasion are used to remove the topmost layer of the skin. This treatment is used to effectively remove whiteheads and the blackheads.
  • Topical medications like gel, cream and lotion are applied as a thin coat on the surface of the skin. These products reduce the oil secreted by the body. They also help in killing the bacteria that causes acne.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Any person suffering from mild to moderate acne can resort to topical medications and oral drugs. However, one needs to check the composition of these products to make sure it will suit them. Otherwise, they may face adverse effects.

In case the person is suffering from severe acne, he/she can treat it via medical procedures.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

People with sensitive skin.

People suffering from keloid scars should avoid the medical procedures to treat acne.

People with darker skin tones should avoid the laser treatment as they may suffer from loss of pigmentation.

Are there any side effects?

Side effects of the acne treatment vary according to the method of treatment. They are:

  • Topical medications may cause skin irritation and dryness along with peeling. However, these are temporary in nature and heal as the body adapts to the medication.
  • Consumption of oral medications can have side effects like stomach upset, dizziness, nausea, etc.
  • Certain medical procedures may result in the formation of large scars and depigmentation.
  • Apart from these, you may witness swelling of the face, difficulty in breathing, tightness in the throat, allergies, rashes, etc.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

One of the most important guidelines that one must follow during the treatment as well as post treatment is to avoid the sun.

One should try to keep the infected area clean. He/she should use cleaners/face washes as recommended by the doctor.

The person should try to maintain a healthy diet and avoid consuming spicy food.

In the case of medical procedures, it’s recommended to visit the doctor after a day or two of the treatment. This will enable the doctor to analyze the condition and provide him/her with further guidelines.

How long does it take to recover?

Recovery time varies from person to person. It largely depends on the skin type of the patient as well as the treatment opted for. People with normal skin tone react quicker to the treatment while people with sensitive skin tone may face certain complications which increase the recovery time.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The laser treatment cost varies between Rs. 1000/- to Rs.30000/-. The cost of various application-based products and oral medicines also vary depending on the brand.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Most of the treatments usually provide steady results. External factors like pollution and dirt may bring back the occurrence of acne. In case the patient does not follow a healthy diet, chances are that the acne will recur.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Apart from these treatments, one can opt for various homeopathy and ayurvedic methods to cure acne. Home remedies and a healthy lifestyle can also help eradicate acne.

Popular Questions & Answers

I am a 19 years old women I have a severe back acne problem there are a lot of marks on my back from the acne. Its been a few years since I have it. I'd be really glad if you could suggest something to get rid of them.

Hello. The scars and the pigmentation on the face are treatable. It's better to get it examined first so that we can identify the type of skin, scars and if they are hyper pigmented, atrophic or ice pick scars. The treatment are of various kind li...
23 people found this helpful

Sir, I am 19 years old female. My skin type is oily. I have acne and blemishes on my face. So please suggest me the best medicine or cream for the removal of acne and dark spot from my face.

Hello, as you are worried and have tried many commercial products which do more harm than good, try these home remedies. Dilute one part apple cider vinegar with three to four parts water (use four if you have sensitive skin), and then apply all o...
3 people found this helpful

I take tretiva 20 mg capsule for acne treatment and I get pain in the joint near leg fingers and hand joint so shall I stop to take that capsule or continue it?

1. It all depends on how long have you been taking the medicine and how much your acne has reduced 2. If you have joint pains it could be due to the side effect of the medicine but if you are having good improvement in your skin problem it will be...
2 people found this helpful

Mere face pe aur haat pe chotay chotay daane nikal te hai summers mai aur skin black color ki ho jati hai.

Iska karan apke skin ki sensitivity he. Take homoeopathic medicine natrum carb 200 one dose. See if it helps. Or consult for proper homoeopathic treatment.
1 person found this helpful

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Content Details
Written By
MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy,MBBS
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Acne And Pimple
Hi! I am Dr. Sandesh Gupta, your skin specialist. Aaj hum ek bohot hi common condition ke bare mein discuss karenge jo ki acne aur pimples hoti hai. Acne aur pimples bohot common conditions hota hai. Ye 15-20 years ke beech mein male ya female don...
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