When to look for help

If you've tried all the suggestions above have still seen no improvement, a trip to a GP and then on to a Dermatologist is in order.

They will assess your case based on the information you provide, and on physical examination of your acne.

Your doctor may decide that acne surgery is in order. This is a simple procedure, done in the office at the time of the visit. Acne surgery is very simply draining pimples and blackheads, but in a more sterile and medically advisable way than using your fingers in front of the mirror in your bathroom. Special tools are made just for this purpose, and can be used in skilled hands in such a way as to actually improve the acne lesions and lessen the chances of scarring.

Depending on the severity of your acne you may be prescribed a topical solution which includes prescription cleansers, astringents, topical or oral antibiotics, or Oratane® isotretinoin.

Oratane® isotretinoin, is an extremely powerful, highly refined derivative of vitamin A. It may be prescribed if your dermatologist believes that other treatments such as antibiotics are not working well enough and there is a chance of scarring.

Oratane® isotretinoin works by stopping the build-up of excess oil beneath the skin. This then limits the build-up of bacteria that causes acne. Oratane has been proven to be effective even when other therapies are not. There are side effects involved using this drug, most commonly dry skin, lips, and dry eyes. Dryness is a good sign that your treatment is working. Oratane provides for this dryness with a Treatment Kit of products that can be used to provide relief.

Other side effects have been reported, most importantly the occurrence of birth defects when this drug has been used by pregnant women. If you are a woman of child-bearing age, you will be required to have a pregnancy test performed, and a reliable method of birth control before you begin a course of treatment.

If acne is ruining your life, there are things you can do. Our best advice to you is visit your GP or Dermatologist, and keep your hands away from your face.