Acne treatment made my pimples worse. And now?

Many people suffer from acne problems (moderate or severe), either by the appearance of blackheads or pimples on the skin. An issue that, in addition to causing discomfort, can also affect self-esteem .

So, when this complication becomes chronic, it is necessary to seek the help of a dermatologist in order to know the correct treatment for your case.

Thinking about the frequent doubts that arise regarding this type of treatment, we spoke with Dr. Sylvia Ypiranga, dermatologist and advisor to the Department of Cosmiatry of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology ( SBD ). Check it out and learn more:


What are the most common treatments for acne?

There are different types of acne, the most common being that which usually appears in adolescence, due to hormonal changes (especially in testosterone levels).

However, many people suffer from this condition even in adulthood, characterizing cases of moderate to severe acne. Normally, this type is more resistant , since it is not simply linked to a “momentary” change in the organism.

In the first case, that is, in acne that occurs in adolescence (or even in adult life, in isolation), the treatment is simpler. The use of soaps , gels and creams suitable for this type of skin is usually indicated – controlling sebum production and then acne.

When it comes to a chronic problem and acne is constant and resistant (difficult to be eliminated), it is quite common that a drug intervention is necessary .

This includes the use of oral antibiotics or, in more severe cases, treatment with isotretinoin (Roacutan) may be prescribed by the dermatologist. This is usually one of the last alternatives to fight acne, due to the side effects of the medication.

Topical medications , such as retinoids and salicylic acid, can also be used .

Often, there is even the prescription of a joint treatment. That is, involving both oral medications (antibiotics, contraceptives, isotretinoin, etc.) and topical, especially in the most severe cases, in order to potentiate the effects.

It is also worth noting that other common treatments involve complementary care, such as peeling , laser, phototherapy with blue light, among others.

The choice is made according to the patient’s condition, also considering the organism’s response to the prescribed therapies. Therefore, regular medical monitoring is essential.

Acne treatment dries out or weakens the skin?

Not all acne treatments that dry out or weaken the skin, especially the simpler ones, such as using soaps and creams / gels. However, there are some who are more likely to cause this type of damage.

Dermatologist Dr. Sylvia Ypiranga explains that this occurs only with “ topical abrasive treatments (the famous“ acids ”) or with isotretinoin. These involve a remodeling of the epidermis, accelerating the cell renewal process ”.

In the case of isotretinoin, an oral medication indicated for severe and / or resistant cases of acne, the action occurs from the reduction of sebum production as a whole.

Therefore, it affects not only the skin (leaving it dry and even dry), but also the hair and other areas that need lubrication (eyes, mucous membranes, intimate area, etc.).

However, although these effects are common, Dr. Sylvia makes it clear that they can be minimized with care such as proper skin hydration . In addition, of course, follow the treatment according to the dermatologist’s guidelines.

I had anti-acne treatment and had more pimples: what happened?

Some people expect immediate results as soon as they start anti-acne treatment, however, Dr. Sylvia Ypiranga reinforces that, “in the beginning, there is a possibility of worsening of the condition , but it is not a rule. This occurs mainly in more severe cases, with the use of isotretinoin, and is related to the mechanism of action of the drug ”.

In this case, for example, the medicine causes a change in the pattern of functioning of the sebaceous gland, which can cause the increase in the pimples at first.

However, if what happened was the appearance of more acne after finishing the treatment prescribed by the dermatologist, you need to go back to the doctor to get a diagnosis.

This is because this issue may be related to an ineffective therapy for your case, requiring a new intervention. Or, yet, something else may have interfered with the treatment – for example, hormonal, emotional factors and certain medications.

In this sense, there is also a need to follow professional guidelines correctly and never establish care on your own. Whereas, even in mild cases, a wrong treatment could cause a rebound effect (causing more acne).

Therefore, if you do not have a good response to the indicated therapy or have a picture of remission after finishing it, seek the help of the dermatologist again.

What care is needed during treatment?

In addition to properly treating acne, you must also have other care associated with it, in order to preserve the health of the skin and not cause damage to it during this period.

The first step is to follow the guidelines of the dermatologist. But, in addition, Dr. Sylvia Ypiranga explains that “in all cases, moisturizers and specific moisturizers should be used for skin with acne, in addition to using sunscreen and avoiding exposure to the sun “.

However, when the person is undergoing a more delicate treatment, using medications such as isotretinoin, more caution is needed.

In this case, in addition to skin care, the dermatologist’s recommendation is “to avoid the concomitant use of other medications with vitamin A and tetracycline-based antibiotics”.

It is also worth stressing that it is extremely important to use contraception and avoid pregnancy for at least 3 months after finishing treatment with isotretinoin. Since this medication can cause harm to the baby and even lead to miscarriage.

Finally, a tip that can contribute to the success of anti-acne treatment is to cherish healthy habits and good nutrition. Mainly avoiding an excessive consumption of carbohydrates and milk derivatives.

How do I know if anti-acne treatment is right for me?

The only way to know if anti-acne treatment is right for you is to seek professional guidance. That is, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist, so that he / she can examine your skin and understand what your problem is.

That way, it will be possible to prescribe the appropriate treatment according to your needs. What may or may not be related to the care normally indicated.

Therefore, you should not look for your symptoms on the internet or “exchange experiences” with a friend. As with other illnesses, self-medication and self- care are not recommended.

Each organism and each skin is unique, so that it has its own particularities and needs. So be sure to seek professional guidance .

The treatment for acne is part of the reality of many people, as a way to end this discomfort, seek the health of the skin and even regain self-esteem. However, it should always be done based on medical assistance, in order to guarantee its effectiveness and safety.

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