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Acne Treatment

George Woodbury MD 1/24/2023

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Acne can have negative effects upon a person’s mood and self-confidence. The good news is that we Dermatologists now have a growing number of new options for acne treatment, for people with dry skin, combination skin, or oily skin. Let take a look at some of these Acne treatment options, my perspective being that of a Board-certified Memphis Dermatologist in Cordova TN, since 1993.

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The best Acne treatment depends upon what type of acne the patient has presented with, be it comedonal acne (blackheads and whiteheads), papular acne (raised bumps), or nodulocystic acne, which is the most severe type. We Dermatologists also work to customize our treatment recommendations to whether the patient has oily skin, combination skin, or dry skin.

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Comedonal acne is usually managed with one of five categories of medications, from over-the-counter benzoyl peroxides and salicylic acid washes and gels, to prescription medications including Retinoids (Vitamin A preparations), to topical (meaning for use “on top of the skin”) dapsone (Aczone® Gel).

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Papular acne is often managed with courses of oral antibiotics, to reduce redness and what’s called inflammation in the skin, from antibiotics like doxycycline and minocycline to sulfa medications. Rule #1: do NOT pop pimples, which simply leads to increased risks of leaving scars. Sometimes we consider an oral medication called spironolactone. We sometimes consider topical antibiotics including Cindamycin and Erythromycin. Sometimes we employ topical Winlevi® Gel (Clascoterone), an anti-hormonal medication that can reduce risk of scarring.

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Since 2022, Dermatologists have also been able to use a promising new oral antibiotic with a quicker onset of action – Sarecycline® – and a newer retinoid gel – Trifarotene®. There is also a variation of acne – called Pityrosporon folliculitis or fungal acne – which can be treated with prescription antifungal medicines.

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For severe cases of acne we Dermatologists consider a five months’ course of oral isotretinoin, previously called Accutane treatment, which dries up the oil glands and which is quite effective, but requires strict avoidance of pregnancy while on treatment, and monthly bloodwork. Accutane therapy requires close supervision with monthly office visits and labwork.

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After 25 years of practicing dermatology, in 2016 I decided to establish a skincare products company  - Big River Silk Skincare™ Inc. – of which I am the President -  to manufacture and distribute organic skincare products for people going onto prescription therapies: AmberSoy™ Soap Gel and the GlycoShea™  Creams and Lotions. These products have been used for many years by thousands of acne patients in Tennessee and Arkansas, and they’re now available nationally.  For more on these products, go to https://www.Bigriversilkskincare.com.

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So if you or a family member has complexion issues or acne, consider getting a checkup from a Board-certified Dermatologist. My own Memphis Dermatology practice since 1993 has been with Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates, as a Cordova Dermatologist, in Tennessee (www.Rheumderm.com or www.Bigriversilkskincare.com) (1-901-753-0168). Or you can find a Dermatologist in your own neighborhood by going to the American Academy of Dermatology web site, AAD.org, then plugging your zip code into the “Find a Dermatologist” tab.

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