Does Triamcinolone Acetonide Help Acne?

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Are you experiencing an outbreak of acne and looking for ways to clear up unsightly blemishes and prevent them from coming back in the future? There are many choices, both over the counter and dermatologist prescribed, to help with your acne. Is triamcinolone acetonide one of them?

What is Triamcinolone Acetonide?

Triamcinolone acetonide is a medication used to treat a variety of skin conditions. It’s a steroid that helps reduce inflammation in the body. It reduces swelling, itching, and redness that may occur with eczema, dermatitis, allergies, or rashes.

Triamcinolone acetonide is a potent corticosteroid. Corticosteroids are a class of drug that resemble cortisol, a hormone naturally produced by the body’s adrenal glands. These types of medications are used to treat or support Addison’s disease, organ transplants, inflammation, autoimmune diseases, asthma, hives, and chronic pulmonary disease (COPD).

What is Acne?

Acne is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes spots and pimples, especially on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest, and upper arms.

According to the Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease, acne affects the skin’s oil glands and hair follicles. The small holes in your skin (pores) connect to oil glands beneath the skin. An oily substance called sebum is made in these glands.

The pores connect to the glands by a canal called a follicle. Inside the follicles, oils carry dead skin cells to the surface of the skin. A thin hair also grows through the follicle and out to the skin. Sometimes, the hair, sebum, and skin cells clump together, forming a plug. The bacteria in the plug cause swelling. When the plug starts to break down, a pimple grows.

Is Triamcinolone Acetonide Used to Treat Acne?

No. As a matter of fact, according to Pharmacy Times, the most common adverse effect of triamcinolone acetonide is acne. Other side effects of inhaled triamcinolone acetonide include cough, sore throat, difficulty speaking, minor nosebleeds, and oral thrush.

Additionally, topical triamcinolone acetonide can lead to thin skin and skin lesions. According to the National Health Service of the United Kingdom, the use of high-strength steroids like triamcinolone acetonide can damage the skin, which would be noticeable on the face and certainly not helpful in curing an already inflamed area.

According to the University’s of Michigan School of Medicine, triamcinolone acetonide topical will not treat bacterial, fungal, or viral skin infections. The University of Michigan School of Medicine also reiterates triamcinolone acetonide should not be used on broken or irritated skin.

What Should You Use to Treat Acne?

Although triamcinolone acetonide is not a good choice for helping your acne, there are plenty of good choices out there. Natural, home-remedies include salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or tea tree oil. Your dermatologist may prescribe a retinol or oral medication. Or perhaps a procedure using a laser or microdermabrasion will be more beneficial than triamcinolone acetonide for clearing up your acne.

Home Remedies for Acne as an Alternative to Triamcinolone Acetonide

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that can penetrate the pores of the skin and dissolve skin debris that clog pores. It can also act as an anti-inflammatory and help red inflamed pimples and pustules go away faster.

Salicylic acid also breaks down the skin cells to promote exfoliation. The best acne to treat with salicylic acid are blackheads and whiteheads, because salicylic acid can directly dissolve the keratin plugs and regulate the skin cells. This is the kind of anti-inflammatory action you want for acne. Not the kind delivered by triamcinolone acetonide.

Another alternative to triamcinolone acetonide for acne is benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is a topical medication used to treat acne breakouts. Benzoyl peroxide is found in many over the counter products. As an anti-microbial, it reduces the amount of acne-causing bacteria in the skin. This product also keeps the pores clear from blockages.

Tea tree oil is another alternative, available over the counter or at your local pharmacy. It’s a common and inexpensive essential oil and a frequent addition to skin and hair care products. Tea tree oil has been shown to have antimicrobial properties, but it may not be effective to heal all types of acne.

Prescription Strength Alternatives to Triamcinolone Acetonide

If the at home remedies haven’t cured your acne, and we know you aren’t going to use that old tube of triamcinolone acetonide that’s lying around, it may be time to visit your dermatologist. Dermatologists have a variety of acne remedies available only by prescription.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, a dermatologist will not prescribe triamcinolone acetonide for your acne but may prescribe an antibiotic to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation. Or a dermatologist may prescribe birth control pills for outbreaks related to hormones.

Your dermatologist, as an alternative to triamcinolone acetonide, may use lasers and other light therapies. These devices reduce the P. Acnes bacteria. Blue light therapy is an FDA-approved therapy for acne. Blue light therapy can be used to treat acne that is already present or to control an outbreak before it occurs.

Another alternative to triamcinolone acetonide is chemical peel. Chemical peels are a strong form of chemical exfoliation. A chemical peel “damages” the skin encouraging new cells to replace the old ones and giving skin a glowing, fresh appearance.

Remember, always consult your dermatologist if you have any questions. A trained professional will prescribe the right protocol to identify and clear up acne.

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