Beyond pimple cream: 4 ways to fight acne and get results

Over-the-counter zit creams can only do so much. If you simply can't get ahead of your acne, it's time...

Over-the-counter zit creams can only do so much. If you simply can't get ahead of your acne, it's time to seek the advice of a physician or dermatologist. Thankfully doctors are armed with several treatment options for your skin condition. Here's the 411.

Acne treatments focus on reducing skin inflammation, curing bacterial infections, reducing oil production and generating new skin growth, according to the Mayo Clinic.

1. In-office treatments
Ask about having laser or light therapy treatments. These methods focus on stunting the glands that produce sebum (so your skin won't get so oily) and killing bacteria that cause infections. Laser and light therapies also minimize the appearance of existing acne scars. Bonus!

2. Prescription creams
When your favorite face wash or skin care ointments from the drugstore just can't keep up, it's time to use something more powerful. Doctors can prescribe creams with higher dosages of pimple-fighting medicines than what you can get over-the-counter. These are usually derived from vitamin A and work to unclog hair follicles, increase cell turn over and kill bacteria, according to the Mayo Clinic.

3. Oral antibiotics
If your acne is considered advanced or severe, an oral antibiotic can fight the skin irritation. These prescription-level drugs work to reduce inflammation, redness and bacteria on the skin. Antibiotics are often used for a few months, just until the skin begins to clear, and may be prescribed for use with topical skin creams.

4. Alternative therapies
If you have acne-based cysts, your doctor may recommend procedures to drain the pockets of infection. This treatment is done in the doctor's office on an outpatient basis. Chemical peels, microdermabrasion and collagen injections may be recommended after draining cysts. These additional therapies help smooth scarring and increase fullness in the skin.

So, are you ready to get some professional guidance? Call a physician in Atlanta to get the ball rolling. Expect an initial consultation and a possible referral to a dermatologist.

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