How to Get Rid of it Effectively?
Rid of it Effectively If it is almost inevitable in adolescence, acne is not inevitable. There are simple actions and effective treatments to limit the scale.
Blackheads, pustules, and papules are, for those who do not have the chance to cut, the unwanted companions of our teenage years. And to get rid of it, some are ready for anything: intensive soaping, anti-imperfection mask, purifying balm, disinfectant gel, exfoliating scrub … But this arsenal can prove vain (even harmful) because acne is a chronic disease difficult to tame. In addition to following some hygiene advice, treatments exist, but they can only mitigate the symptoms and are not immediately effective: at least two months are necessary before the first results are visible. Le Figaro takes stock with two dermatologists.
When it comes to acne, not everyone is in the same boat. Depending on the nature of the pimples, the surface of the skin affected, the age of the patient, the psychological impact of the disease, the dermatologist must adapt the treatment. But even before going to drugs, it is necessary to follow rules of simple hygiene. “It is necessary to clean without aggressing, using mild products and not detergents,” explains Dr. Marc Perrussel, a dermatologist at the University Hospital of Rennes. Once or twice a day is enough. And above all, do not touch the buttons because it creates sores that can become infected and give scars afterward.
Be careful also about the makeup used. “Having acne does not stop you from putting on makeup, but you have to ban powders, which tend to clog your pores, and prefer a tinted moisturizer,” adds Brigitte Dréno, Dermatology Head of the Department. University Hospital of Nantes. The specialist also warns against a dangerous practice in vogue: “I have a lot of patients who come to consult after applying essential oils on their face, avoid because it can aggravate acne.”
Most of the time, these tips are not enough to overcome buttons. If less than half of the face is affected and the patient has only a few comedones and pimples, it is mild acne. The doctor will prescribe a cream or gel-based on benzoyl peroxide or retinoids. The first is an oxidizing agent that fights the proliferation of the bacteria involved in acne. As for retinoids, they prevent clogging of the pores of the skin and accelerate the process of inflammation responsible for the appearance of papules and pustules.
If more than half of the face is affected and it is covered with many pimples, comedones, and some nodules, it is called medium to severe acne. In this case, the prescription will include a local treatment identical to that issued in case of mild acne. “Before, we prescribe antibiotics, but we do not do it anymore because we realized that bacteria were developing resistance to these molecules,” explains Professor Brigitte Dréno.
Finally, in case of very severe acne (red buttons covering the face and presence of buttons encapsulated under the skin), the patient will be prescribed isotretinoin, the active ingredient of Roaccutane and its generics. “This medicine makes it possible to treat severe forms that are resistant to other treatments by destroying the diseased sebaceous gland,” explains Dr. Marc Perrussel.
This treatment has several side effects to its credit, such as dryness of the lips (systematic) and, more rarely, muscle pain. “This treatment has also been suspected of causing psychiatric disorders but at present, this link is not clear: acne itself can cause a depressive state, which is why it is important not to let aside this component, “says Dr. Perrussel. Such observations have been made occasionally in patients, but studies have not confirmed this link. “Still, isotretinoin is a very effective treatment for acne,” says the doctor.
As acne is a chronic skin problem, the patient will have to undergo maintenance treatment for several months after stopping the attack treatment, in order to maintain the results. Otherwise, the buttons will come back.
And the Pill?
Contraceptive pills can have a beneficial effect on acne, but they can not be prescribed to a woman for the sole purpose of treating acne. In the case where a woman wants to kill two birds with one stone, the first-line contraceptive is levonorgestrel, a second-generation pill.
In any case, keep in mind that acne is a transient disease that lasts an average of 3 to 4 years. In most people, it disappears spontaneously between 18 and 20 years. If acne continues or returns to adulthood – which happens especially to women – it will be necessary to look for other causes: stress, diet, premenstrual syndrome, hormonal hypersensitivity, makeup, sun…