Acne Treatments While Pregnant

Mandy asks…

Im gona start on tazorac was wondering if it really worked im on the retin a wondering if there similar with ?

dryness peeling? i did research but ppl make it seem as if it bad and doesn’t work was wondering if its true ?

admin answers:

One of the most common ways of treating acne is the use of retinoids. Retinoids are substances derived from Vitamin A, which attempt to cure acne by normalizing the lifecycle of follicle cells. There are two types of such substances, based on application: external (topical) and oral. The best known external retinoids are Retin-A, Differin and Tazorac, while the oral retinoids list is headed by the popular Accutane.

However, about one quarter of the patients who used Accutane or other drugs based on isotretinoin may relapse and require additional treatment.

But the biggest drawback of retinoids is the long list of side effects, which sometimes makes retinoids look like a disease rather than a cure.

The most common side effects are dry skin and nosebleeds. Many patients have also reported liver problems, while a few complained of depression. However, the scientific community is still split on the issue of depression. More seriously, isotretinoin is known to cause birth defects, which is why female patients have to use two separate forms of birth control or vow abstinence during the treatment. Pregnant women are not allowed to use anything but the mildest treatments.

The bottom line is that retinoids are a good idea if one can cope with the side effects. This begs the question: why not use something just as effective, but without the side effects. Acne treatment systems, such as ClearPores: are also popular because of their success in dealing with the condition, but lack the extreme side that makes retinoids a pain to use. The choice between these treatments is yours.

Nancy asks…

What is the best acne treatment? (also for acne scars)?

Hello, I’m Ronald and I have acnee (and scars) what are the best remedies to cure acne? I’ve tried many home remedies and even laser treatment. Your input is highly appreciated.


admin answers:

Hi Ronald.

TREATMENT OF ACNE (Self-Care at Home)

1• Wash once or twice daily with soap and water to remove excess oil from the skin. An acne cleanser purchased over-the-counter in any drug store can also be helpful. Avoid scrubbing too abrasively because this can actually irritate the skin and cause acne to worsen.

2• Over-the-counter acne medications can be used either at bedtime or during the day. Always follow the directions on any acne product.

3• Many cover-up products are available without a prescription to improve the appearance of blemishes while they have a chance to heal. Most work well and should not worsen acne.

4• Some cosmetics and other skin care products, however, can cause acne to worsen. Look for make-up, cosmetics, and skin care products labeled with the word noncomedogenic. This means that it does not cause or worsen acne.

TREATMENT OF ACNE (Medical Treatment)

Many treatment options are available to treat all forms of acne. Medications are the main treatment for acne and usually work well. Several preparations are available over-the-counter, while others require a prescription from a doctor.

1• Over-the-counter medications: Nonprescription or over-the-counter medications for acne are plentiful and can be effective for milder forms of acne. They come in the form of soaps, washes, and cleansers.

…1.a. Many contain benzoyl peroxide, which does two things. First, benzoyl peroxide kills the acne-causing bacteria, which are thought to play a role in acne. Second, benzoyl peroxide can cause drying and flaking off of skin, which can help prevent the pores from becoming plugged. Plugged pores can develop into acne blemishes.

…1.b. Scrubbing excessively with any over-the-counter preparation can actually cause acne to worsen by additionally irritating the hair follicles.

2• Prescription medications: Doctors can prescribe medications when acne becomes moderate to severe or is not controlled by over-the-counter medications. Prescription drugs can be used effectively alone or in combination with other prescription and nonprescription medications.

…2.a. Antibiotics: Antibiotics can be effective in treating most inflammatory acne (papules and pustules). They work by killing the bacteria and also by decreasing the redness and swelling seen in the inflammatory forms of acne.

……2.a.i. Antibiotics may be applied to the skin in the form of gels and lotions, or by way of pills. We now know that using a combination of 2 medications together may be very effective in treating acne. Using a topical antibiotic with topical benzoyl peroxide, for example, may prevent bacterial resistance to the antibiotic. Giving an antibiotic by mouth is often needed for acne that is more extensive, red, and tender.

……2.a.ii. Antibiotics taken by mouth can be associated with more side effects than if applied to the skin and may interact with other medicines such as birth control pills. Sensitivity to the sun can result in a “bad sunburn” in some people who take the antibiotic tetracycline by mouth.

…2.b. Retinoids: Medicines made from vitamin A (retinoids) are useful in treating several types of acne lesions. Topical retinoids are effective in treating the noninflammatory types of acne (blackheads and whiteheads).

……2.b.i. Topical retinoids (applied directly to the skin) help to open clogged pores by creating a mild peeling effect. Drying of the skin can be a frequent side effect. Oral retinoids are reserved for treating the more extensive nodular type of acne or severe inflammatory acne, which has not responded to other treatments. Oral retinoids not only have a peeling effect but also decrease the production of oil.

……2.b.ii. They can also be associated with a number of serious side effects including birth defects in babies of women who become pregnant while taking the medicine. They can also cause elevated blood fats (triglycerides) and damage to the liver. Your doctor may recommend certain blood tests to check for these problems (and to make sure you are not pregnant) if you are given oral retinoids. Depression and suicidal thoughts have been reported while taking oral retinoids.

……2.b.iii. A combination preparation, known as Epiduo gel, containing both the retinoid adapalene and benzoyl peroxide, was approved by the U.S. FDA in December 2008. The once-daily prescription treatment was approved for use in patients 12 years of age and older.

…2.c. Other medications: A doctor may recommend other types of drugs or therapy to improve acne. For women, medications such as birth control pills or certain “water pills” may be helpful. These drugs counteract the acne-causing effect of male hormones. Newer treatments for acne include the use of light or zinc. Your doctor can advise you whether these types of acne therapy might be good for you.

Take Care. Regards.

Lizzie asks…

Does anyone know a natural alternative to spironolactone for pcos?

I have elevated androgens, acne, mild hair loss, excess body hair. My weight is perfect though. I also have mild hypoglycemia due to insulin issues.

I HATE DRUGS. Has anyone found an alternative to spiro? One of my holistic docs (the endocrinolist one) is suggesting spiro and metformin.

Yes, drugs have plants in them. But they also have toxic man made ingredients.

admin answers:

You are very, very wise to try to avoid pharmaceutical drugs if at all possible. Yes, there are alternatives to spironolactone and metformin in the treatment of PCOS. Natural treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome is multifactorial. You should see a qualified naturopath for specific herbal remedies and diet recommendations, but the basics are below.

Lifestyle. Exercise and weight reduction have been shown to be highly beneficial in the treatment of PCOS and its symptoms. Exercise can helps reduce weight, regulate menstrual cycles, and reduce risk factors for diabetes and heart disease which are associated with PCOS.

PCOS Diet. Women with PCOS respond well to a low glycemic index, low simple carbohydrate, low animal product, high fiber diet which helps reduce weight, regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, and reduce inflammatory prostaglandins.

Nutritional Therapy. Depending on your specific presentation of PCOS, there are a variety of nutritional therapies which will be considered. Nutritional therapies can help to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, reduce circulating androgens, improve ovarian function, improve fertility, reduce risk of heart disease, and support liver detoxification of estrogens.

Herbal Therapy. Depending on your symptoms of PCOS, a variety of herbal therapies may be considered. The goal of herbal medicine might include: reducing circulating androgens, optimizing ovarian function, and supporting optimal endocrine function.

By the way, just to let you know why you are so wise to avoid spirolactone: Even though the drug that your endicrinoligist is suggesting has been shown to be effective in hormone-induced acne it has various unpleasant side effects. Spironolactone is a diuretic [it causes you to pee a lot]. The side effects in low-dose spirolactone are:

irregular menstrual cycle [most common]
breast tenderness [most common]
thirst, dry mouth
stomach cramps, vomiting, and/or diarrhea
increased blood potassium levels
low blood pressure

Both blood potassium levels and blood pressure should be checked periodically while you’re taking this medication. Also, you shouldn’t get pregnant while using spironolactone. And spironolactone isn’t a good choice for you if you have kidney problems, or a history (or family history) of breast cancer, uterine cancer, or ovarian cancer. According to the National Institutes of Health, spironolactone is known to have caused tumors in lab animals.

Metformin is also much less desirable than the low Glycemic Index diet that is recommended for PCOS patients. Its side effects include:

MULTIPLE MEDICATIONS. You may be at risk for health problems or symptoms if you take metformin in addition to other medications.

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