Prescription Topicals to Treat Acne - Beach Beauty Bar and Acne Clinic
Prescription Topicals to Treat Acne

Prescription Topicals to Treat Acne

Prescription topical treatment for acne is unfortunately a Band-Aid to a larger issue. Skin is an organ, and like any other organ, it needs certain nutrients and conditions within the body to look and perform its best.

Aside from occasional breakouts induced by harsh skincare, cosmetics, or pollution, chronic acne is more commonly a sign of internal imbalance and inflammation.

Do you want clear skin?

Focusing solely on the outside without addressing what’s going on the inside is a losing battle. Sure a zit cream can dry up a pimple fast, but only addresses the symptom, not the root cause.

That means, you’ll likely be using zit cream for years, or even decades.

Two Most Common Prescription Topicals

If you’re unlucky enough to have difficult-to-treat acne, you might have been prescribed some topical medication only to give up after several months of little or no progress. We have found the main topicals prescribed by a dermatologist are clindamycin and tretnoin.

Both of these prescription topicals leave your skin dry and itchy and don’t address the root cause of acne.

There are downsides and side effects that come with using topical medicines. Not everyone has side effects from topical treatments, but many do. These include:

1)  Dry and flaking skin, making the skin feel tight or itchy

2) Stinging, burning, or soreness when applied

3) Allergic reactions

4) Sunlight sensitivity

One of the ways that prescription topical treatments help fight acne is by drying up the skin.

For this reason, many topical treatments cause skin dryness and irritation. While this can shrink spots and make skin less greasy, having dry skin that peels and flakes can be very unpleasant. This is especially a concern for people who also have eczema.

It’s shocking how dry our skin becomes when using topical treatments.

This brings me to my next point of discussion. Topical antibiotics and treatments don’t ALWAYS work for acne. And moreover, they simply stop working altogether at a certain point.

Why Prescription Topical Antibiotics Don’t Work For Acne

Prescription topical antibiotics kill the bacteria, C. acnes, associated with acne which may result in fewer pimples. They may also have an anti-inflammatory effect, which can help explain their efficacy, particularly for inflammatory lesions.

They have not, however, been found to make much of a difference for non-inflammatory lesions.

While they may work short-term, topical antibiotics are NOT a long-term solution, as the bacteria will eventually develop resistance to the antibiotic. They should be stopped after 6-8 weeks, or as soon as marked improvement occurs, whichever comes first.

Beyond the threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, another concern is that antibiotics are typically indiscriminate. They don’t distinguish “good” bacteria from “bad” bacteria, so they can wipe out the good along with C.acnes. Just as your gut needs a variety of bacteria strains living in harmony to be healthy, so does your skin.

Additionally, antibiotics find their way into widespread circulation throughout your body. This is because your skin is an organ and absorbs much of what you put on it. This disrupts the balance of other natural and healthy bacteria or microbiomes, particularly in your digestive tract.

More and more research is starting to look at the microbiome of the skin as a whole. I think the acne treatments of the future will be more about fortifying the body and supporting “good” bacteria. This will naturally keep the “bad” bacteria in check.

Patience is a virtue

Healing acne will take time. Practice patience. If you’ve tried prescription topical acne products and they aren’t working, you know first-hand that they’re not effective for everyone. That’s because they treat the symptom without getting rid of the root cause.

Topical acne treatments cannot fully eradicate acne caused by nutritional deficiencies, inflammation, gut imbalance, hormone imbalance, blood sugar imbalance, or stress. Only targeted dietary and lifestyle changes can.

Contact us for your initial consultation & we will address all of your skincare concerns with careful precision today. Let us help get you on your journey to clear skin.

Keep in mind: We can treat you if you’ve been using topical prescription medication only after a two-week waiting period for a peel.

However, we can still do a hydrating treatment in the interim while you wait.

Cheers to clear!


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