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Over-the-Counter Acne Treatments Not Working? Try These Cosmetic Dermatology Services

Acne can plague people from adolescence all the way through adulthood. Fortunately, many strides have been made for acne treatment. If you haven’t had success with over-the-counter treatments, here are some cosmetic dermatology services to consider.

Light Therapy

Believe it or not, light can be used in a variety of ways to improve the appearance of your skin. One of those ways is treating acne. Some types of light, particularly red light and blue light, are excellent at killing a certain strain of bacteria — P. acnes — that is partially responsible for acne outbreaks in some patients. If you’re looking for a cosmetic dermatology treatment to supplement another treatment that’s making progress on your acne, this is a good option to discuss with your dermatologist.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels might get a bad reputation from some media, but the truth is that they can be incredibly effective at smoothing and evening out the skin. They’re often used for acne treatment when over-the-counter methods aren’t working. Chemical peels can be administered in varying intensities, depending on the level of your skin’s sensitivity and how severe your skin condition is. Where acne is concerned, chemical peels are most effective on two specific types of acne: blackheads and papules. Since these types of acne live so close to the skin’s surface, and the role of a chemical peel is to gently remove the outermost layers of skin, it’s typically pretty effective as a treatment option when over-the-counter methods aren’t proving very successful.

Acne Extractions

One of the most common cosmetic dermatology treatments for acne is extraction. This method — thought it may seem very similar to popping a pimple at home — is sterile, safe, and performed by a dermatologist or esthetician. The purpose of this treatment is to clear out clogged pores, blackheads, and whiteheads from the skin. In some cases, your dermatologist may even perform an excision on a cyst if necessary. These procedures are still considered outpatient procedures, though a local anesthetic may be required for a cyst excision. If over-the-counter methods aren’t working, but your acne isn’t severe, extractions may be a good option to discuss with your dermatologist. It should be noted that this is not a one treatment and you’re done kind of procedure. You may have to return for additional extractions in the future to maintain your results.


Microdermabrasion is a procedure that is typically used to help even out skin tone and smooth out the skin. That being said, it can also be a cosmetic dermatology service catered to treat acne. The procedure involves using a machine to gently remove the outermost layer of skin, which can help open up and unclog pores. It’s recommended for more mild acne and issues with hyperpigmentation more so than for severe acne. Your dermatologist can help you determine if this would be a good treatment for your skin.

While there’s no one treatment for all acne, your best acne treatment is out there. If you’re struggling with adolescent or adult acne and over-the-counter treatments just aren’t working, contact SE Dermatology Specialists today.

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