WHAT NOW?

Once you’ve de­cided it’s time to do some­thing about it, here are the next plau­si­ble steps to take.

Herworld (Malaysia) - - HER LOOK -

1 GO FOR CREAMS

There are three types to con­sider…

Ben­zoyl per­ox­ide: You can buy th­ese eas­ily over the counter. The more pop­u­lar ones are Oxy-5 and Oxy-10 – also known as an an­ti­sep­tic, they’re used to kill the germs in an­gry, red, pus-filled spots.

An­tibi­otic gel: Also used to treat spots, it’s nev­er­the­less said that your skin may build up a re­sis­tance to it over time.

Retinoid: This is mainly used to re­duce oil pro­duc­tion and dry out the skin.

2 NEXT UP IS AN­TIBI­OTICS

If the creams aren’t enough to help with your prob­lem, the next step would be to take an­tibi­otic tablets, which are safe and cheap. The more com­mon one is known as doxy­cy­cline. Most peo­ple are averse to the idea as they’d have to go on a three-month course of this, but rest as­sured the an­tibi­otics pre­scribed are specif­i­cally for acne – they’re not the same as those given for other in­fec­tions.

Did you know?

You shouldn’t use the same an­tibi­otics for more than six months as you’ll grow re­sis­tant to it. This re­sis­tance will, how­ever, dis­ap­pear af­ter a pe­riod of time – the bac­te­ria will lose its in­tel­li­gence and be­come sen­si­tive once more. In this sense, a pos­si­ble so­lu­tion is cycli­cal an­tibi­otics (switch­ing back and forth be­tween types).

Are there side ef­fects?

There have been a few re­ports of gas­tric prob­lems, but it’s gen­er­ally very, very safe.

What’s the down­side?

This isn’t a cure – when you stop the an­tibi­otics, your acne will most prob­a­bly come back, es­pe­cially if you start an­tibi­otics around the age of 13 or 14. That would leave you with a few more years of volatile skin and po­ten­tial hor­monal acne. But if you were to take an­tibi­otics to­wards the end of your teenage years, the acne may dis­ap­pear com­pletely.

3 THE LAST STEP IS ACCUTANE

Accutane is essen­tially retinoid in oral form and sim­i­larly, it will help dry out the skin. How­ever, be­fore go­ing on Accutane, it’s im­por­tant to look at sev­eral fac­tors – pri­mar­ily men­tal health. You have to be very, very care­ful with this med­i­ca­tion as although there has been no sci­en­tific proof, it’s been well-doc­u­mented to af­fect men­tal health, even be­ing linked to de­pres­sion and sui­ci­dal thoughts. It’s also im­por­tant to note that the dosage of Accutane in Malaysia (and the most of Asia) dif­fers from the stan­dard dosage – which is meant to be 1 mil­ligram per kilo­gram of body weight. For ex­am­ple, if some­one weighs 60kg, they’d have to take 60mg – but in Malaysia, most peo­ple use 10 to 20mg. The stan­dard dose is still fol­lowed strictly in some Eu­ro­pean coun­tries where the peo­ple are big­ger-sized. The cause for this is un­known, but it could be due to high costs. If we were to fol­low the orig­i­nal pre­scrip­tion, that would cost us RM9 per 20mg – that would mean RM30 a day over a six-month pe­riod, which is not sus­tain­able. While it is at a lower dose, it still works and the plus side is that the side ef­fects are not as dras­tic.

Im­por­tant to note:

Accutane can cause de­for­mi­ties in ba­bies ( not in­fer­til­ity) and as such, the pre­ven­tion of preg­nan­cies through us­ing con­tra­cep­tives is cru­cial. You’d have to stop tak­ing Accutane for a min­i­mum of five weeks be­fore try­ing to con­ceive.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.