Treating Common Acne

The two most common questions that people ask about acne is "should I treat it?" and "why isn't my treatment working?" This might seem surprising, but answering these questions adequately can save a lot of people a great deal of grief and enrich the lives of those who are needlessly suffering from acne.

Should you treat acne?

Acne is a very common problem, and for this reason, its effects are often underestimated by those who are no longer affected by it. The truth is that acne affects people in different ways. Some are hardly bothered by moderate acne, while others can be severely affected by even mild acne.

Acne commonly has a negative impact on a person's overall self-esteem and well being. It can also cause scarring, which unlike acne, leaves a permanent change in the skin. Given that there are many safe and effective treatments for acne available now, acne should be treated as soon as possible.

Dermatologist Dr. Richard Thomas discusses the possible consequences of neglecting treatment:

What is the most common challenge in treating acne?

Both from the patient perspective and from a dermatologist's perspective, one of the most frustrating things about acne treatment is that it can be dreadfully slow. Most medications have a relatively quick effect on the body. As an example, many antibiotics will take effect within days and the results are immediately noticeable. This is not the case with most acne treatments. As a guideline, 15-25% improvement can be expected every month. This can be a slow process, and it can be discouraging to patients who may feel that the treatment itself is ineffective.

Although there is no way to speed up the actual process of treatment, patients would do well to know ahead of time that treatment will take considerable time before results can be expected. Similarly, dermatologists should inform patients about appropriate expectations so that the patient does not give up on the medication too quickly. Patience is required to treat acne effectively.

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