Acne can have a devastating impact on the health of your skin and your self-confidence. Whether you are dealing with minor acne or your acne has progressed to a severe skin condition that is causing scarring on your skin, you will need to find acne treatments that work for your skin type. Learn more about the treatments available at Still Waters Day & Medical Spa in Pensacola, FL.
How Long Does Acne Treatment Take?
When you are treating acne, you should not expect overnight results. To comprehensively treat acne, several factors will need to be addressed, including cellular turnover, acne-causing bacteria, and oil production in the pores. To find an effective treatment for acne, all of these factors must be addressed at one time to control and prevent acne breakouts.
For this reason, it can often take several weeks or months to see results from acne treatments. For example, topical treatments can take four to eight weeks to show significant results, while laser treatments may need two to three months to improve the condition of your skin.
Skincare products are the first line of defense when you are trying to control acne. Skincare products can be ideal for mild to moderate acne, particularly in its early stages, since many of these products are formulated with ingredients that will exfoliate the skin and regulate oil production.
Skincare products are typically topical and should be used at least twice a day for best results. However, because skin care products are formulated to be mild, cleansers, toners, and spot treatments for acne will typically take over one month to show results.
There are several topical medications dermatologists may prescribe to you to control acne, such as retinol or concentrated vitamin A ointments. Like other topical treatments, prescription-strength retinoids can take up to eight weeks to show results. Other topical medications, such as antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, may show results more quickly, but they may not always be effective for preventing acne in the future when used alone.
Oral medications can sometimes show faster results. For example, Accutane can alter the oil production in your skin in only a few weeks, which can have a drastic impact on your acne condition. When your skin produces less oil, you’re less likely to develop clogged pores and cystic acne.
In addition to oral medications for acne, some dermatologists also recommend starting hormone therapy to control acne breakouts that may be caused by hormones. This is most common for women who may have hormonal acne flare-ups like cystic acne around the menstrual cycle. Low-dose birth control may be an effective way to improve your skin health and may work as quickly as one to three months.
Aesthetic facials for acne can include chemical peels, microneedling, and other treatments. The results of these treatments will show up one to two months after your initial appointment. Like other topical treatments, aesthetic facials are typically best for those who have mild acne breakouts.
Laser and Light Treatments
Laser and light treatments can be ideal for severe acne, including cystic acne, nodule acne, or acne that is causing significant hyperpigmentation or textural scarring. Light and laser treatments will generally take at least two to three treatments spaced up to eight weeks apart to show the best results for treating acne.
Which Treatment Is Ideal for You?
The acne treatment that is ideal for you will depend on your skin type, skin tone, and the type of acne you have. For example, acne such as blackheads and whiteheads may respond better to topical treatments or chemical peels, while acne such as pimples and other pustules may respond better to light and laser treatments for acne.
That said, many patients can benefit from a combination of treatments for acne, particularly those who have a combination of active acne and acne scarring. It’s very common to combine acne-fighting skin care products with aesthetic facials, light treatments, and topical medications for the best anti-acne effect.
Are Results Permanent?
The results of your acne treatment may not be permanent. Acne is a chronic condition and is influenced by many factors, so it’s unlikely that you will be able to control acne breakouts without having a consistent treatment plan. In other words, if you discontinue your skin care products, topical medications, or other elements of your treatment of your acne treatment plan, your breakouts will likely return.
However, some people may eventually outgrow acne as hormone levels settle or skin composition changes with age. A dermatologist will be able to assess your acne and give you more information about how your skin may change in the future.
How Can You Help Your Result Last Longer?
Aside from continuing to use acne-fighting skincare products and medications prescribed by your dermatologist, there are other ways you may be able to help your results last longer. For many people, acne is a chronic condition that is dictated by hormones, genetics, and elements of your lifestyle. Although you can’t change much about your genetics, you can make lifestyle changes to benefit the health of your skin.
Drinking water can be crucial for those who have acne-prone skin. Water is a natural antioxidant that can detoxify the skin, so by increasing your water intake, you can help the health of your skin to reduce acne-causing toxins. Additionally, having adequate water intake may be essential if you are using certain topical skin care products or medications that may cause skin dryness.
Regular exercise can also be a way you can control acne breakouts, especially on the body. When you exercise enough to perspire, your sweat will release acne-causing bacteria from your pores. When you follow your exercise up with a shower in warm water using soap or acne skincare products, you can more effectively keep your skin clean of acne-causing bacteria.
You may need to revise your diet if you want to control acne in the long term. Although the myth that chocolate contributes to acne breakouts has long been debunked, there are other elements of your diet that may be contributing to your breakouts.
For example, sugary foods and greasy foods may have a negative impact on your health. By consuming raw fruits and vegetables more regularly, your skin may improve due to increased vitamin consumption.
Finally, sun protection can also help the results of your treatments for acne last longer. For one thing, you will need to protect your skin from sun exposure when you’re using topical medications and acne-fighting skin care products since many of the ingredients in these products can cause slight sensitivity and hyperpigmentation.
Additionally, using adequate sun protection can reduce the likelihood of developing hyperpigmentation after acne breakouts. It’s very common to develop dark spots after a breakout because post-inflammatory erythema turns into post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation after UV exposure.
How Else Can You Help Improve Your Skin?
There are other ways you can improve your skin while you are undergoing acne treatments. Although these methods may not directly impact your breakouts, they will improve the health of your skin so that your treatments can work more effectively. In particular, you should do your best to prioritize moisture and consider methods such as skin cycling to reduce the strain on your skin.
Many topical medications and skin care products for acne can weaken the natural moisture barrier of your skin. When your moisture barrier is weak, your skin may be more prone to inflammation, irritation, sensitivity, and bacterial infections like those caused by severe acne. You can protect your moisture barrier by using ceramide-rich moisturizers immediately after topical treatments, or by sandwiching your topical treatments between moisturizers.
Consider Skin Cycling
Skin cycling may be a good strategy to use when you are using topical medications to treat acne. Skin cycling is a skincare method in which you treat your skin one day, exfoliate your skin the next, and then allow your skin to rest on the third day. By using a skin cycling method, you may be able to help your skin adjust to strong acne-fighting products more easily, which can reduce sensitivity and skin irritation.
Find the Ideal Treatment for Your Acne
When it comes to treating acne-prone skin, patience is truly a virtue. It will take several weeks and months for your acne treatment to be effective, whether you are using topical treatments or advanced laser therapy. Some treatments for acne can also reduce the appearance of acne scarring. If you’re ready to find the ideal treatment for you, get in touch with Still Waters Day & Medical Spa in Pensacola, FL to schedule your first appointment.