So you've tried literally everything to clear your skin. Here's what to do next.

Having a long-term relationship with breakouts and acne is a thing that's just part of many people's lives - whether you've been blessed with them since your teenage years, or they've decided to crop up in adulthood. 

It sucks. And it's even more frustrating when you feel like you're s**t outta luck on the treatment front. 

Watch: Here's how to treat blackheads as an adult. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

If you've tried literally every single thing under the sun to clear your skin (new skincare products/routines, facials, trying to control your triggers) but you're still seeing little to no progress, it's time to look at other options.

We spoke to Dr Imaan Joshi from Skin Essentials and asked her to share her professional advice on the alternative treatments for acne for when you feel you've tried everything.

1. Go to a professional and get a proper diagnosis.

Acne is a fickle thing, and it's important to understand that there's no one cause - it's different for everyone. 

That's because breakouts on your face can be related to many different skin conditions - such as acne, rosacea and dermatitis - just to name a few.

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So, instead of jumping on different treatments willy nilly, it's best to see a professional and work out what's actually going on with your skin. 

"Don't diagnose it yourself - it’s a medical disease that needs a medical diagnosis and treatment," said Dr Joshi.

Some of these skin concerns are obviously more common than others, so it's important that you know what to look for when it comes to identifying the symptoms. Dr Joshi said it depends on ages and stages.


"If this is in adolescence, it’s very common. Around 80 per cent of teens will have some form of acne - some 20 per cent will have it serious enough to warrant medical attention. Most young people will outgrow it in their 20s, but many won’t," she explains.

"In adults, women are more commonly affected and may suffer from adult acne, exacerbated by hormones which flare up due to periods, as well as other factors. Some of these include poor product choice, sensitised skin, overzealous use of products and simple measures such as wearing makeup to bed or using outdated products."

2. Make sure you're giving treatments enough time to work.

It's also important to keep in mind that there's no quick fix when it comes to dealing with acne and breakouts, and treatment often involves making consistent and long-term changes to both your skincare routine and lifestyle.

Just to give you an idea, Dr Joshi said it usually takes around six to 10 weeks on average for topical creams and skincare regimens to work - so, make sure you're giving things enough time before you switch to something else!


"After your professional consultation and the correct diagnosis and regimen is picked for you, six to ten weeks is how long it takes for you to begin to see changes with topical creams, skincare regimens that are over-the-counter (OTC) and oral medications."

"This may be quicker if you use in-clinic treatments as adjuncts. I call it 'jump starting' the process," she adds.

3. Look at any contributing lifestyle factors.

While diagnosing your skin, your GP or dermatologist may also take a wee look at certain lifestyle factors to suss out if there are any other things that could be contributing to your acne/breakouts. 

Image: Getty We're talking things like diet, sleep, environmental factors and emotional wellbeing - these kinds of things all play a role in the health of your skin, so it's worth knowing exactly what you need to tweak to help you on the road to clear skin.

"The evidence is still out on the correlation between acne and food but as a last measure, doctors will often recommend a dairy-free trial to see if it makes any difference to some," said Dr Joshi.

4. Consider medical treatments.

If over-the-counter products are doing squat all for your cute face, it could be time to look at medical treatments. 


"See a doctor who has an interest in skin - a GP, a cosmetic doctor or failing those, a dermatologist - especially if basic measures haven’t worked," said Dr Joshi. 

Medical treatment options include things like prescription creams and tablets. However, it's obviously not a one-size-fits-all approach, and your GP will work out a tailored treatment for best results - sometimes it's a combination of both that'll do the trick.

"Acne medication may be your last resort or if the severity of your acne means we want to hit it hard and fast," said Dr Joshi.

"The longer you leave it, the longer the process continues leaving long-term problems in its wake - scarring, tethering and puckering of skin, as well as post-inflammatory erythema and hyperpigmentation that costs a lot of time and money to fix."

"Remember that great skin takes time, effort and commitment - so if you have a concern the best time to start is now."

Feature image: Getty

Do you suffer from acne? How do you manage the condition? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below. 

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