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The Acne Treatment @ DermaBare


The medical term for “pimples” is acne.  Most people get at least some acne.  Many people also need acne medication.  Your doctor will tell you if they think you are one of those people. The good news is that the medicine really works well when used properly.

Acne Treatment  Your skin is made of layers.  To keep the skin from becoming dry and cracked, the skin needs oil. The oil is made in little wells in the deeper layers in the skin. “Whiteheads” or “blackheads” are openings of the glands (glands are the oil factories) onto the surface of the skin. “Blackheads” are not caused by dirt blocking the pores, but result from the reaction of oil and skin in the pores with the air.  Acne does not come from being dirty, but washing your face is part of taking care of your skin and will help keep your face clear.  People with acne have glands that make more oil and are more easily plugged, causing the glands to swell. Hormones, bacteria and your inherited tendency to have acne all play a role.


Some lifestyle changes can be helpful. Stress can make acne worse, so try to get enough sleep a

nd daily exercise.  Try to eat a balanced diet. Some people feel that certain foods worsen their acne. There is some evidence that diets with a high glycemic index (lots of sugary, or simple carbohydrate foods) can make acne worse.  There are questions about the effect of dairy products like milk on acne, but we are still uncertain about the effect, and the beneficial effects of milk are well known.  While there aren’t many studies available on this question, severe dietary changes are unlikely to be helpful and may be harmful to the health of your skin.  If you find that a certain food seems to aggravate your acne, you may want to avoid that food.

Wash your face twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.  If you play sports, try to wash right away when you are done playing. Avoid over-washing and over-scrubbing your face as this will not improve the acne and my lead to dryness and irritation which can interfere with your medications. In general, milder soaps are better for acne-prone skin.  Some good brands are: Neutrogena, Cetaphil, Purpose, Clinique bar, Basis, and Vanicream cleansing bar.  The soaps labeled “for sensitive skin” are milder than those labeled “deodorant soap.”  “Acne washes” often have salicylic acid.  Salicylic acid fights oil and bacteria but can be drying and can add to skin irritation, so hold off using it unless recommended by your doctor.

If you use makeup or sunscreen make sure that it is labeled “non-comedogenic,” which means that it will not aggravate or cause acne.  Try not to pick at your acne as this can delay healing and may lead to scarring.

Apply your medication to clean, dry skin.  Apply the medicine to the entire area of your face that g

ets acne.  The medications work by preventing new pimples. Spot treatment of individual pimples does not do much.  Sometimes it is the combination of medicines that is making the acne go away, not the individual cream.  Just because one medication may not have worked before does not mean it won’t work when used with another medication.  Some medications actually compliment each other and are more effective when used in combination.

Remember, the best medicine works by preventing new pimples from coming.  The creams are not vanishing creams (they are not magic) – they take several applications to work. Be patient and keep putting your medicine on for six weeks before you ask whether your skin looks better.  Put the medicine on every day.  It is okay if you miss a day or two of one of the medicines each week, but try hard not to miss more than that, otherwise all that you will have gained may  be lost and you will have to start over.  Don’t stop putting on the medicine just because the acne is better.  Remember, the acne is better because of the medication.


Acne treatment stop the things that cause acne. They decrease the oil, bacteria, and other things plugging the oil glands.  There are a lot of different types of acne treatment.  Some are applied to the skin (“topical medication”) and some are pills which are taken by mouth (“oral medication”).  Your doctor will recommend the ones which are best for you depending on your type of acne.  If you are unable to use the medication or do not like to use the medication, tell your doctor so an alternative medication can be prescribed.

There are many different prescription creams that are helpful for acne treatment.  Retinoids (Tretinoin, Atralin, Retin-A, Atralin,; Adapalene, Differin; Tazarotene,Tazorac) help shed the layers of skin and other things plugging the opening of the glands. Antibiotics fight bacteria and help shrink the pimples. Topical antibiotics include benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin, benzoyl peroxice/clindamycin combinations (Benzaclin, Duac, Acanya), and Dapsone (Aczone).  Some Topical Combinations have a retinoid and antibiotic in the same medication (Epiduo, Ziana, Veltin) Oral antibiotics include doxycycline and minocycline.

If you are given a benzoyl peroxide product, this is generally applied at a separate time of day from the retinoid, as the benzoyl peroxide can interfere with the effectiveness of some  retinoids.

Some women may benefit from using birth control pills to regulate the hormones that stimulate oil glands.  Some birth control pills have been approved for the treatment of acne.  Birth control pills are not recommended for women who smoke, have a history of clots in the lungs or legs, or have migraine headaches with auras.  Check with your doctor  regarding  any conditions that might be a problem.


GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR TOPICAL MEDICATIONS A thin layer is less likely to cause dryness and irritation & will save you money!

Don’t spot treat!  These medications help treat current acne as well as prevent new pimples!

However, try to avoid the delicate skin around the eyes & corners of the mouth.

Always use sunscreen!  This is especially important if you are using a topical retinoid or oral antibiotic.  All of these drugs can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

Give it time. These products take time to work and if you expect results in a few weeks you may get frustrated. Give it a few months.

Instructions: MORNING
1) Cleansing instructions – Wash with: Over the counter benzoyl peroxide (Neutrogena Clear Pore, Clean and Clear), Benzoyl peroxide, Gentle soap (Dove, Purpose, Cetaphil), Salicylic acid wash (Neutrogena Acne Wash)

NOTE: Aggressive scrubbing is NOT helpful; avoid over-washing as it makes the skin more sensitive.

2) Topical medication – Apply daily to the entire face: none, Aczone, Benzaclin, Benzamycin, Clindamycin, Duac, Erythromycin, Evoclin, Atralin, Differin, Epiduo, Retin A micro, Tazorac, Tretinoin, Ziana

3) Oral medication – none, Doxycycline, Minocycline, Demulen, Desogen, Kelnor, Ocella, Ortho TriCyclin, Ortho TriCyclin Lo, Trinessa, Yasmin, Yaz, Zovia, ***

Always take these pills with lots of water!  A pill stuck in the esophagus can cause significant burning and irritation.   Avoid “popping” a pill right before bed & stay upright for at least 5 to 10 minutes after taking a pill.

Instructions:  EVENING
1) Cleansing instructions – Wash with a mild soap.

NOTE: Aggressive scrubbing is NOT helpful; avoid over-washing as it makes the skin more sensitive.

2) Topical Medication (retinoids) – Apply nightly/every other night to entire face: Atralin, Differin, Epiduo, Retin A micro, Tazorac, Tretinoin, Ziana

When you first start using this medication, apply it every other night.  If your skin is not too irritated after 2 weeks, try increasing to every night.  If your skin becomes too irritated, take 1 or 2 days off from using the medicine.  When you restart it, use it every other day.  It is better to use the medicine less often but regularly than to become too irritated or not use it at all.

Apply only a pea-sized amount to the entire face.  Put a pea sized amount on your finger, dab it on your face, and then rub the cream in. Separate amounts should be used for the chest and back.  If you have any irritation from the medication, wait 20 minutes after washing your face before applying and make sure that skin is dry before using the medication.

3) Oral medication – none, Doxycycline, Minocycline, Demulen, Desogen, Kelnor, Ocella, Ortho TriCyclin, Ortho TriCyclin Lo, Trinessa, Yasmin, Yaz, Zovia, ***

Always take these pills with lots of water!  A pill stuck in the esophagus can cause significant burning and irritation.   Avoid “popping” a pill right before bed & stay upright for at least 5 to 10 minutes after taking a pill.


  • Retinoids – dryness, redness, increased sun sensitivity.
  • Benzoyl peroxidedrying, redness, bleaching of clothes, towels and sheets, allergy.
  • Doxycycline– headaches; dizziness; irritation of the esophagus; nail changes; discoloration of teeth.
    • Sun sensitivity – even if you have dark skin, this medicine can make you burn more easily.  Make sure you protect yourself from the sun, either by avoiding being outside between 11am and 3pm, wearing and reapplying sunscreen/sunblock, or wearing sun protective clothing
    • Nausea/vomiting – if you experience nausea with this medication, take it with food.
  • Minocycline – headaches; dizziness; vision problems, irritation of the esophagus; discoloration of scars, gums, or teeth.  Can rarelycause liver disease, joint pains, and flu-like symptoms.
    • If you should notice yellowing of the skin or any of the above, notify your doctor and stop using the medication
  • Birth Control Pills– nausea; headaches; breast tenderness; feeling bloated; mood changes
      • Spotting between periods may occur for the first three weeks of the medication, but this is not serious.  It may last for two or three cycles.  You can try 1000 mg of Vitamin C for up to a week during the spotting.  Please call us if the bleeding is heavier than a light flow or lasts for more than a few days.


  • You should not be able to see any of the medicines on your face. If you can see a white film on your skin after you apply the medication, there is too much medicine in that area and you need to apply a thinner coat and make sure it is spread evenly on your face.

  • If your skin gets too dry, you can apply a light (“non-comedogenic”) moisturizer on top of your medicine or you may switch to using the medicine every other day instead of every day.  If your skin is still too irritated, you may need to switch to a milder medication. If your skin is red and very itchy, you may be allergic to the medication and you should stop using it.


 If you experience any unusual symptoms or severe headaches that so not resolve with acetaminophen or ibuprofen, stop taking the medication and call our Laguna Niguel office at (949) 545-6600 and Schedule a Consultation Today! 


DermaBare Aesthetics & Laser Center is a premier aesthetic skin care practice led by a team of experienced medical professionals who use the latest treatment techniques to produce attractive, natural-looking results. In addition to performing IPL Treatment or Photo Rejuvenation, DermaBare is a leading provider of laser hair removalIPL Photofacial and Botox in Orange County. To learn more, or to schedule a free consultation, contact the practice today at 949-545-6600.

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