Are there any other ways to cure back acne besides oral medications?
Hi, I'm 26 yr old this yr and I've been having back acne since teenage years and I am unable to wear any outfits that require me to bare my back. I also have eczema on my face that come and go very often. I have visited a dermatologist many years back and was given oral medicine (vitamin A, the kind that requires you to sign a form that says you can't get pregnant while on this medication). However, once I stopped the medication, the problem comes back. The back acne has started to spread towards my shoulders now. I am looking to visit a dermatologist again and I know I will probably be given oral medications but I do not want to be on long medication again. Are there any other ways to cure it besides oral medications?
There are indeed ways to reduce and perhaps alleviate acne on the back, which as my friend Dr Winston has mentioned, light peels tend to help. This can be combined with certain lasers, especially if the real issue is remnant hyperpigmentation from previous acne.
The above, however, usually requires an intense initial treatment period, followed by maintenance treatment once every 1 to 2 months.
Oral isotretinoin (the medication you were prescribed previously) tends to be a more permanent solution, and though it may fail on initial attempts, repeated low dose regiemes can eventually help to permanently alleviate the issue.
The medication, however, can cause dryness and can complicate existing dermatitis that might co-exist with your acne.
I would advise you be seen and assessed proper in clinic to determine your timeline, expectations and current clinical situation before deciding on the path of treatment.
Just to add on a point, there are other skin conditions that may look like acne. A common example is pityrosporum folliculitis. This is caused by an yeast infection and is commonly seen in those who exercise or sweat alot.
This condition commonly affects the chest, back, shoulder but the face is spared. The treatment of this condition is different from acne. Hence it is best to get evaluated by your doctor first to establish the correct diagnosis.
I think you have a complicated skin type that has eczema AND acne at the same time.
If the back acne is bad, what we should do is solve the acne first through medications and improve your skin quality. However, you will also need consistent moisturisers to alleviate your eczema.
Once it is improved, tail the oral medications down and then optimise the topical options using light peels, light moisturisers.
I have done such things for my patient who had acne AND eczema on the face.