Treatments That May Help When You Have Stubborn Acne

Posted on: 11 July 2016

If you have acne that doesn't respond to over-the-counter or prescription medications, your dermatologist may want to try some type of acne surgery. Surgery can be used to treat a single pimple or it can be used to treat widespread acne. These are the options you may be offered depending upon the type of acne you have and the location of the cysts.

Surgical Extraction

This type of acne surgery is used on blackheads and whiteheads that are not inflamed. If you have a pimple that is red, sore, and appears to contain pus, the doctor will likely recommend a different approach. This surgery is similar to what happens when you squeeze a pimple. However, instead of squeezing out the contents of the pimple, the doctor uses an extractor to pull it out. Once that's done, the lesion will be much flatter and less noticeable. Blackheads usually have a small opening on top, and these can be cleared with a needle. Whiteheads, on the other hand, are closed, so the doctor needs to open them with a blade to remove the contents.

While you may be able to receive similar results by squeezing your pimples at home, it is not a good idea to do so. You may develop an infection or be left with scars. It is much better to let your dermatologist use a mechanical extractor because there is a lower risk of side effects when compared to squeezing.

Laser Treatments

Another type of surgery uses a laser to burn off the acne lesions. Since there is a slight risk of scarring, this treatment is used when you only have a few pimples that need to be removed. The laser is an improvement over using a blade to cut into a pimple, especially one that is inflamed. However, because both methods have a risk of scarring, your doctor may want to try injecting the cyst with a corticosteroid first to see if that will help reduce swelling and the size of the lesion. When you have the laser surgery, your dermatologist will zap your pimple with a laser light. You may feel a slight sting, but the procedure isn't uncomfortable, and you heal from it much quicker since there is no incision involved.

Chemical Peel

In addition to the above types of surgery, your dermatologist may consider a chemical peel. A chemical peel may work better if you have widespread acne with several lesions. To do this, the doctor applies a layer of chemicals to your skin and then peels it off when it is dry. As the chemical mask is pulled up, it pulls out surface lesions, blackheads, and pus from cysts, so any lesions that remain are flatter and less noticeable. Chemical peels have a small risk of scarring too.

Surgical treatments may get rid of large or bothersome pimples and cysts, but they won't prevent new ones from breaking out. For that reason, your dermatologist may recommend a combination of treatments that includes medications you use daily and some form of surgery that removes stubborn lesions that don't respond to the drugs. For more information, speak to a dermatologist, like one at Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists of Moreno Valley.