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Acne Conditions

Acne Treatment

Aurora Dermatology boasts advanced technology in treating acne conditions and we treat common teenage spots through to the complex and rare acne conditions.
Every acne plan is powerfully personalised to your individual skin type and most of our patients experience significant improvement in acne within weeks or months.

What are the over the counter treatments for acne?

For mild acne, over-the-counter medical formulations are popular and typically should be started with low strength formulations to avoid skin irritation and redness.
Speak to your doctor about which formulation is most suitable for your skin.
Typically these treatments include include ingredients such as:
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Benzoyl peroxide: which slows the production of sebum, kills bacteria, and accelerates skin replacement
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Salicylic acid: which reduces swelling and inflammation and breaks down blackheads and whiteheads.
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Resorcinol: which helps to break down whiteheads and blackheads
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Azelaic acid: which strengthens cells that line the follicles, stops sebum eruptions, and reduces bacteria. There are two types of medication, one for acne, and another for rosacea.
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Retin-A: which helps unblock pores through cell turnover.
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Antibiotics: for more severe acne, 50mg-200mg of doxycycline or 50mg-100mg of minocycline daily for 6 months or so is recommended.
In some cases erythromycin or trimethoprim can be used if the patient is not able to take doxycycline.
You should take a break from these drugs after 6 months, however they can be resumed on your doctor’s advice and many doctor’s prescribe these low-dose antibiotics long-term.
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Low dose contraceptive pill: to even out the acne breakouts due to the menstrual cycle. If there is no response antiandrogen therapy with long-term cyproterone acetate and ethinyl estradiol or spironolactone maybe be considered, especially for women with polycystic ovariarian syndrome.
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Isotretinoin: is often used where acne is severe, persistent and chronic and has not responded to other medications.
This can cause fetal abnormalities, extreme skin dryness and depression so needs to be carefully monitored.
Patients treated with isotretinoin often experience long-term remission from their acne.
Patients who take isotretinoin must avoid vitamin A supplements, as these could lead to vitamin A toxicity.

What about natural therapies?

Natural remedies such as tea tree oil are often used to assist in mild acne*, along with 1-part apple cider vinegar and three parts water, dabbed on the face twice daily. Check with your doctor first.

What is the best way to apply acne medication?

  • Always treat the whole area, rather than spot treat.
  • Remember topical medications can initially dry out the skin.
  • However this generally improves after a few weeks as your skin gets used to the new skin medications. *5
  • Be persistent. Sometimes one medication may not work in isolation, but may work when combined with another medication.

What are the biggest acne mistakes?

  • Overwashing the face, stick to twice a day on clean dry skin
  • Not washing sweaty gym gear, bras or clothes.
  • Excessive alcohol – many an acne bout is triggered after a big night of drinking as alcohol dries out skin which causes the sebaceous glands to go into overdrive and produce more oil.
  • Poor sleep. Not getting enough time in the land of nod can increase acne breakouts because sleep directly impacts emotional state, hormones and effectiveness of medications just to name a few.
  • Dirty mobiles. Keep your mobile phone clean and try not to touch your face with it
  • Picking. Avoid the temptation to pick pimples or touch your face which can worsen infection and cause more scarring
  • Sleeping in your makeup

NOTE: For patients with severe and/or persistent acne, please ask your GP for an urgent referral to your dermatologist. This is especially important if there is concurrent bone pain (arthralgia) or fever.

*1 RACGP incidence of acne in teenagers*
*2 Medications that cause acne,dermnetnz
*3 Can dietary changes help acne? Medical news Today.
*4 Natural acne treatments Medical News Today
*5 DermNet patient handout acne
Additional Source
* What are the clinical features of acne? Dermnetnz

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