Female With Super Bad Acne on Face and Chest. What Can I Do to Get Rid of This? (photo)

Hi, I am only 19 years old and I have suffered from really bad acne all my life. I am so insecure and embarrassed about it. I have tried everything on my face from proactiv, face cleansers, oral medication, and even visiting a dermatologist. None of it worked for me. In addition, I can't even wear any kind of makeup for more than 30 minutes because my face gets really greasy and looks horrible. My chest looks so bad that I can't even wear a bikini. I am willing to do anything at this point.

Doctor Answers 3

Laser for treating and controlling acne

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The Spectra laser system is able to help treat and control acne. Although you may think of lasers as being used for wrinkles and skin aging issues, they can be used for many different areas. They can work beneath the skin surface to make microscopic changes in tissue. Outcomes are far more predictable.  For acne, the procedure requires the application of a photosensitive lotion which reaches into your pores. It helps the laser penetrate the skin. When the laser interacts with the lotion, it cleans out any blockages in your pores. It also kills bacteria. And it reduces the activity level of the sebaceous glands. This is the area that topical treatments are not able to address. Furthermore, the Spectra laser is also much safer than using oral prescription medications.. 

Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Female with super bad acne. What to do?

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  The problem with this condition, which is so very, very common, is that there are so many different treatments because no one treatment works for everyone.  So treating this condition is usually on a trial and error basis, and you need to establish a relationship with a local dermatologist or other interested physician who is interested in helping you.  There is no cure, but certainly the condition can be improved.  I would consider light chemical peels with salicylic acid or TCA, light  based treatments such as IPL or PDT, topical tretinoin, etc.  As just one treatment example, research the Obagi Blue Peel and search for before and after photos.  Don't despair.  There is hope!

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 138 reviews

Acne Treatments Should Be Individualized

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It is not uncommon to meet patients that complain of persistent acne even after trying multiple treatments. In patients with moderate to severe acne, a combination approach is often required. That is, using topical and oral therapies in combination to treat the acne. Each therapy targets a different mechanism that contributed to the development of acne. In some female patients, acne development is closely related to hormones in the body. Birth control pills and medications such as spironolactone can help regulate hormone fluxes and control acne. Isotretinoin is another oral medicine that has been shown to have a 70-80% cure rate. If these treatment do not work, chemical peels, photodynamic therapy and laser procedures are also available and have been shown to be effective in patients that fail medical treatments. Your dermatologist can individualize a treatment with these therapies to give you the best outcome.

Adam J. Mamelak, MD
Austin Dermatologic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.