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When to Choose Acne Spot Treatment

Acne is the most common skin condition.  It is an inflammatory condition of the hair follicle characterized by the formation of comedones, pustules, papules, and nodules that most commonly affect the face. Acne can also occasionally affect the neck, chest, back and arms.  Dermatologists generally recommend that we focus on treatment of the whole affected area rather than just treating spots of acne.  Treating whole areas both addresses the acne we have as well as prevents new acne lesions from forming.  For people with limited acne, however, the interest is sometimes just acne spot treatment. 

teenager with acne
Photo by Erik Lucatero on Unsplash

What is Acne Spot Treatment?

Acne spot treatment is when only an individual lesion of acne is treated instead of an area.  This technique is used when someone has very mild acne and only gets the occasional spot. When someone develops a particularly tender, nodular acne lesion; this treatment can also be used to speed up resolution and reduce the risk of scarring.

Below is a list of some of the techniques used for acne spot treatment:

  1. Steroid injections– a steroid is a drug that reduces inflammation in the body.  They can be injected directly into a deep tender acne lesion to speed resolution and reduce the risk of scarring.
  2. Acne surgery– acne surgery is a technique by which the contents of an acne lesion is removed.  This type of acne spot treatment may involve and extractor, a needle and sometimes a scalpel.
  3. Medical– sometimes drugs such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or even topical sulfa drugs are put on an individual lesion to encourage drainage or reduce inflammation.

Got Acne?

It’s usually best to treat the entire area; however, when breakouts are occasional, the lesions are few, or the lesions are severe, spot treatment is the best approach. 

If you need additional assistance or have questions about acne care, please feel free to contact us.


Do you need help addressing a skin, hair, or nail issue?

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