What is acne vulgaris?
Acne vulgaris is a term medical professionals use to refer to the most common form of pimples. Just about everyone is affected by this malady and is more commonly referred to pimples or zits. It is usually confined to areas with more pore density, which includes the face, upper back, and upper chest.
How to treat acne vulgaris?
The Topical Therapy:
• Benzoyl peroxide is a topical agent that has been used in the treatment of this skin condition for many years and is available in lotions, creams, gels, and washes. It is a broad-spectrum bacterial agent with oxidizing activity that has proven highly effective in treating pimples.
• Topical retinoids have been used for treating acne for over 30 years to target the lesions of acne. Retinoids are highly effective when used alone or combined and is one of the preferred methods of ongoing maintenance.
• Topical antibiotics may also be used alone or in combination with retinoids or benzoyl peroxide to inhibit the formation of pimples while reducing inflammation. Erythromycin and clindamycin are the preferred antibiotics for acne treatment. Combination therapies of benzoyl peroxide and antibiotics have proven to be highly effective when treating moderate forms.
The Systemic Therapy:
• Oral antibiotics are used in the treatment of moderate to severe inflammatory forms. The preferred method of oral antibiotics is tetracycline, but macrolides, co-trimoxazole, and trimethorprim have also proven to be effective.
• Hormonal therapy is used in acne vulgaris treatment when female patients suffer with late onset acne usually associated with menopause or a hysterectomy.
• Oral contraceptives are also treatment options because of their anti-acne effect which is produced by decreasing the level of androgens and the inhibition of circulating free testosterone.
• Spironolactone is a steroidal androgen receptor blocker that can help reduce breakouts when used in small doses. High doses tend to cause irregularities in the menstrual cycle and should only be used in severe cases.
• Cproterone acetate is one of the first androgen receptor blocking agents found to be highly effective in acne vulgaris treatment, especially in women. Higher doses are more effective, and when combined with the oral contraceptive ethinyl estradiol, they have shown to be very effective in treating more severe cases.
• Oral isotretinoin is only used in acne vulgaris treatment when the acne is severe to the point of scaring, and when the patient has become unresponsive to conventional therapies. Acne can be a very debilitating condition that leaves the patient with personality development issues that can create anger, hostility, and antisocial behavior.
Mood changes and depression are also associating with adolescents that suffer from moderate to severe forms. The use of isotretinoin may increase the feelings of depression and could lead to suicidal thoughts. All medication should be administered by a physician and the patient must be monitored for any potential side effects associated with this medication.
There are several factors that contribute to flare ups, which include diet, hygiene, hormones, and genes. Although there is no remedy for the genes we inherit, a treatment must include eating right and maintaining proper hygiene.