A team of leading dermatologists in Canada has set out new approaches to help treat people who suffer from acne.
Studies have shown that acne can have an effect on self esteem and has been linked to increased anxiety and even depression. It is believed that a staggering 85% of people aged between 12 and 24 suffer from acne.
However, most sufferers develop comedonal acne, which is characterised by blackheads and whiteheads. Two other severe types are localised mild-to-moderate papulopustular acne – for which symptoms include superficial red blemishes and pimples – and severe inflammatory acne, where symptoms such as deep pustules or nodules appear.
Published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), the report – based on a study led by Dr Jerry Tan, of the Department of Medicine at Western University in London, Ontario – lays out guidelines for how professionals should treat the inflictions.
For comedonal acne, it says: "Topical benzoyl peroxide, retinoids or a combination of topical retinoids with benzoyl peroxide or clindamycin is recommended. If a single therapy does not work, use of fixed-dose clindamycin-tretinoin may be considered, and in women, combined oral contraceptives."
As for localised mild-to-moderate papulopustular acne, it says: "Topical benzoyl peroxide is recommended. There is also strong evidence for use of topical retinoids and fixed-dose combinations. For more extensive moderate papulopustular acne, oral antibiotics or combined oral contraceptives (in women) with the above topical treatments are recommended."
Finally, for severe acne it says: "[The] use of oral isotretinoin is strongly recommended, although only physicians with experience in prescribing and monitoring the drug should prescribe. Strict pregnancy preventive measures must be followed."