Acne Treatments

A number of treatments are available today to improve or eliminate acne conditions. Patients should choose an experienced dermatologist with expertise in acne treatments in order to achieve safe and successful results. Board certified dermatologist Dr. Jamie McGinness provides acne treatments to patients in Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and surrounding communities.


How do Acne Drugs Work?

The dermatologist may prescribe appropriate medications to control acne, avoid scarring or other damage to the skin, and make any acne scars less conspicuous. Acne medications work by lowering the production of oil in the sebaceous glands, promoting cell turnover in the facial skin, combating bacterial infection and mitigating inflammation to help prevent scarring.

Prescription acne drugs can typically show improvement in about one to two months. The skin may get worse before it gets better. Depending on the condition of acne, it can take many months for the acne to clear up entirely. The prescribed medication will depend on the type and severity of the acne, and it could be oral or topical drugs.


Prescription Medications


These drugs are available in the form of cream, gel and lotion. Retinoids are derived from vitamin A and include tretinoin, adapalene and tazarotene. The application begins gradually about thrice a week and then daily as the skin adapts to it. Retinoid drugs work by preventing plugging of the hair follicles.


Topical Antibiotics

Antibiotics will kill excess bacteria and improve redness. In the first few weeks or months, the patient may have to use a combination of retinoids and antibiotics. The antibiotics are often combined with benzoyl peroxide to minimize the risk of developing antibiotic resistance.


Oral Antibiotics

For moderate to severe acne, the dermatologist may prescribe oral antibiotics to eliminate harmful bacteria and fight inflammation. Choices for treating acne include tetracyclines, such as minocycline and doxycycline. Once the symptoms begin to improve or if it is evident that the drug is not working, the dermatologist will taper off the medications.


Combined Oral Contraceptives

These are helpful in treating acne in women and adolescent girls. The FDA has approved a few medications that combine estrogen and progestin. These drugs may cause mild side effects for a temporary period.


Anti-androgen Agent

The dermatologist may prescribe the drug spironolactone for women and adolescent girls if oral antibiotics are not working. This drug blocks the effect of androgen hormones on the sebaceous glands. This curbs excess oil production in the skin to reduce formation of acne.


Oral Isotretinoin

This is a highly effective drug, but it has considerable potential side effects. The dermatologist must closely monitor the patient who chooses this treatment. Astounding, cordial, and board certified dermatologist Dr. McGinness receives patients from Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and other towns and communities in this part of Missouri for acne treatments.


Non-Drug Therapies

Light-based therapies, laser resurfacing and chemical peels are treatments in cosmetic dermatology that can be used to treat certain types of acne conditions. These procedures can be performed in-office, and have minimal risk and side effects. Patient will be required to avoid sun exposure for a few weeks after the treatment and wear a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.

If you would like to learn more about procedures and treatments at Metro East Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center by Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Jamie L. McGinness please contact us here or call (618) 622-SKIN (7546)

Taking new patients in and around the greater St. Louis, Missouri and Illinois area: East St. Louis, Shiloh, Belleville, Millstadt, Saint Clair County, Madison County and more.

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