Acne treatments are prescribed based on age, but also the extent and severity of the lesions. The treatment of juvenile acne for your eldest child should not be applied to a spot flare-up in your youngest! Infant acne is a very specific form of the condition, the management of which is essentially based on cleansing care while adult acne often has a major impact on quality of life, affecting relationships with colleagues, friends and partners. First, a possible cause (drug, cosmetic, hormonal-related) must be sought, followed by the start of customized adult acne treatment. In all cases, acne treatments vary in efficacy from one person and period to another. Avoid comparing yourself with your classmate or the person next door!
If you have acne, we strongly recommend seeing a doctor. Your general practitioner (GP) is often the first doctor to be seen if you have acne. They will make a diagnosis, prescribing your first acne treatments. A dermatologist, on the other hand, is a skin specialist and works on different treatment stages. They can perform specific treatments such as skin cleansing, skin peels or even laser treatment. You are strongly advised to ask any questions you may have during the consultation, as well as telling the doctor about your acne history, any family-related acne history and any treatments that you’ve already tried.
Many acne creams are available over-the-counter in pharmacies and parapharmacies. They help to fight effectively against oily skin, spots and residual marks. These creams can be used alone or in combination with medication. In general, acne creams are applied to the entire area to be treated (face and/or body) except for targeted treatments such as "anti-spot" products which are applied spot by spot to treat and/or camouflage them.
When creams are no longer effective, how do you treat acne? Acne medications are usually prescribed by your doctor. These are topical medicinal treatments, in the form of a cream or gel, or medication taken orally. While it may seem a little strange to treat a skin condition "from the inside out", it really works! Some antibiotics, isotretinoin and zinc, have proven effective in the oral treatment of acne. Local cream-based treatments are often maintained over a long period, except for isotretinoin: this acne treatment has the disadvantage of irritating and drying out the skin. Throughout the treatment process, the patient must apply specific hydrating and soothing compensatory care procedures.
Laser technology is increasingly offered by dermatologists for a variety of skin conditions, including acne. There are several ways of administering laser treatment for acne, including fighting a particularly inflammatory flare-up of spots, excess sebum or acne scars.
Regardless of the treatment envisaged, acne management is all about simple steps and common sense. Hygiene is key for optimizing efficacy and tolerance for all acne treatments. The sun is a danger to acne-prone skin and should be avoided, while cosmetic products and makeup should be non-comedogenic. Eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, undertake regular physical activity and do your best to keep stress to a minimum.