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Selecting Appropriate Treatments for Acne

Selecting Appropriate Treatments for Acne

By Dr. Richard Thomas

In terms of "can it be treated?" absolutely, acne can be treated. It's important to select the right treatment according to the type of acne.

A person who comes with lots of whiteheads needs a very different kind of treatment to somebody who is full of pustules, red bumps, and cysts. The location of the acne, whether it's on the face or the trunk, can also influence the treatment.

A woman who has pre-menstrual flare will require a different approach. We really have to tailor the treatment according to the presentation of the acne. Sometimes acne can be very stubborn-this is true-but I think that we have to offer a treatment, and after 3 months if it's not doing the job, we need to look at changing it. There's no point in taking a treatment that isn't working. Does acne go away naturally? Sometimes, but not always.

In the majority of teenagers, yes, it will burn out in the late teens or early twenties. I still think that it's rather defeatist to say, "ok well, live with your pimples, live with the potential scarring, we don't have to treat you." I think we have to help these individuals. Even those who claim not to want treatment-we know that once they get better, they feel so much better.

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