I have been diagnosed with hormonal acne but it has subsided for the most part. My skin is clear but I have left over dark spots on my chin area; what's the best way to treat and/or prevent hormonal acne and residue of dark spots?
Best Way to Treat Hormonal Acne?
Doctor Answers 6
If the acne is hormonal, based on a clinical assessment (history taking, location of acne) and/or blood work, then the birth control pill is something to consider, or another pill called spironolactone. To deal with the marks that remain, prescription vitamin A products can be particularly helpful as well as various prescription fading creams. Chemical peels & microdermabrasion are a more aggressive treatment, often with faster results, but more expense. Laser resurfacing is another option, but has more down time and expense, but often deeper/better results.
Combination treatment is best for control and prevention
Acne is a complex problem--if a hormonal component seems to be playing a role in a female patient, I consider treatment with spironolactone, an oral medication that has hormone normalizing effects on the skin. This will help to control and prevent further acne breakouts. This can be combined with various topical measures to help fade the brown pigmentation including topical retinoids (Atralin is a favorite of mine), Finacea gel, or salicylic acid peels. Light therapy with IPL or photodynamic therapy may also help to decrease brown spots and prevent future breakouts.
Chemical peels offer the best resolution to the dark spots of acne
Chemical peels offer the best resolution to the dark spots of acne. While other treatments such as lasers and home creams can work peel have been doing the job for 2000 years!
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Hormones for the acne, retinoids for the discoloration
You have two problems: 1. you have hormonal acne, often associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome and 2. you have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Treatments for PCO and the acne include Yaz and Spironolactone. Adding Tazorac or Retin A not only prevent recurring acne, but also help with the discoloration without bleaching your normal skin. Silkpeel and chemical peels are great options to fade dark spots more quickly.
For the hormonal acne, ask your medical provider and Spironolactone which can help work as an anti-androgen and works well for patients who break out with female acne. Also Aczone is a topical medication that works well for hormonal acne and often is not too drying for patients.
Dark Spots from Acne
Topical treatments can help. Serial microdermabrasion and chemical peels can also play a part. Intense pulse light treatments can be useful as well.
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.