When we think of acne, the picture that comes to our minds is that of an adolescent, who is physically changing from a child into an adult. However, acne is not restricted to juveniles only. Both adult and juvenile acne are infections generated by the same bacteria.
Acne Meds – Cutting Through the Confusion
How do you know which over the counter treatments are the most effective? It would be so good to know these things BEFORE you get your first breakout of pimples, don’t you agree?
Finding the best acne treatment for you can be so confusing, what with the plethora of information through advertisements not to mention the helpful advice of our family and friends. Everyone claims to have the ‘miracle cure’ which promises to get rid of your embarrassing pimple problem overnight… or sooner! Still, the best advice remains to consult your doctor or dermatologist before taking this potentially serious matter into your own hands. If not treated properly, acne is a rather complicated condition which can deteriorate rapidly, leaving you with unsightly lifelong scars.
What Kind of Acne Do You Have?
The first thing you’ll want to do is find out exactly what kind of acne you have. All forms of acne are not created equal. Some are far more stubborn and difficult to get rid of than others. Also the treatments will vary depending on the type of acne you have. This is why professional help is so important. You want to be absolutely certain that you are going after the right issue before you start attacking it with random over the counter medicines.
Keep in mind that everyone is different. What works for your friend or even other family member might not be right for you. In fact, that very treatment could even make YOUR condition worse. Therefore you are well-advised to obtain a proper diagnosis before you potentially waste your time and money on non-prescription acne treatments.
It’s important to know that different acne treatments react differently when even the smallest variables change. You are unique. No one else has your exact body chemical composition. Just this one factor alone will make your results different than anyone else, even though you are using the exact same treatment. Depending on your condition, you may need a product to deal with the infections resulting from acne. Other products specialize in suppressing sebum production. Still other are physical or chemical scrubbing agents that strip off the top layer of skin thereby minimizing the chances for bacteria to go undetected and flourish. You’ll get an idea of how a particular product is supposed to work by reading the list of active ingredients.
Some Effective Acne Ingredients to Look For
If you require a peel, you’ll want to look for products containing benzoyl peroxide. This solution promotes the growth of new skin cells while clearing your pores. By using this treatment you can reduce the risk of infection simply by decreasing the level of bacteria on your skin. You’ll want to start with a mild concentration of 2.5% to be sure that your skin can tolerate this treatment. If necessary, you can later advance to stronger concentrations once you are certain you won’t have any adverse reactions to this product.
Another product which removes surface skin cell build-up is salicylic acid. It performs in much the same way as benzoyl peroxide in that it stops your pores from clogging.
If you are looking for a product that has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, those containing Melaleuca or Tea-Tree oil might be worth investigating. However you should be aware that many over the counter products don’t have enough pure Melaleuca oil for them to be effective as a healing ingredient. You may be fooled into thinking you are getting full benefits just because this element is listed on the label. As insurance, you may want to find a reliable source of pure essential Melaleuca oil and add several drops to your current cleansers and creams.
Research shows that pantothenic acid, a B vitamin, is necessary in order for co-enzyme A to be effective. Co-enzyme A determines the production of hormones and fatty acids. While studies were too small to come to any decisive conclusions, they were just compelling enough to make it worth looking at pantothenic acid as a potential acne treatment supplement.
Acne Treatments – We’ve Only Just Begun
Please keep in mind that although they do improve the condition of the skin by relieving the symptoms and reducing infection, none of these ingredients alone treat the underlying causes of acne.
The best advice remains to seek a correct and accurate medical diagnosis before spending your time and money on any over the counter acne medicines. Armed with the right information, you can then confidently choose the best acne treatments that are most likely to benefit you.
The best approach to acne would be to avoid an acne outbreak altogether, if possible. There are actions you can take to help prevent the acne from occurring. Some actions to take include preventing the pores of the skin from becoming clogged; unclogging pores that are already infected; combatting any bacteria that are the cause of the infection; and reducing any redness that may already be present because of the acne.
Caring for your face with a gentle washing once or twice daily using just soap and water can make all the difference in keeping your pores clear. In addition to this, applying benzoyl peroxide will aid in drying out the skin as well as cleaning it even further. Benzoyl peroxide is the active ingredient in most over the counter facial wipes such as Oxy Pads. One of the truly nice things about using benzoyl peroxide is that it can be coupled with other acne treatments.
Another popular method of acne control is exfoliating. Simply put, it is a process that removes dead skin cells from your skin’s surface. It is these dead cells that can clog the pores of the skin and cause acne. The result of exfoliating is skin that is much softer, smoother, and healthy looking. Just as a word of caution: the compounds in exfoliating agents can be quite harsh, and therefore it is wise to test a new product on a small area of your skin before using it on your entire face, just in case there is a negative reaction.
Some products for acne control have a double purpose. Exfoliating products not only remove the dead skin cells from the surface of your skin, but they also offer the benefits of anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory products. Both of these ingredients can help to treat the existing acne and reduce the redness and swelling that often accompanies an acne attack.
Other common ingredients found in products to treat acne are sulfur and azelaic acid. One ingredient to be cautious of using on the face is salicylic acid. While this ingredient can help to prevent the pores from clogging, it is very irritating to the tender skin on the face.
For very persistent or severe acne a consultation with a dermatologist may be needed. The dermatologist can help set up an effective cleansing routine. He or she may also use lasers or write a prescription to fight tougher cases of acne. Acne medications can be very harsh, and you should be made aware of any possible side effects by your doctor.
If the idea of prescribed treatments from a dermatologist concern you, give the over-the-counter products a try. They are readily available, less expensive, and just might work for you. Since these products are applied externally, you will also avoid ingesting any acne medications and suffer the possible side effects that they can cause.
Acne in teens is very common. It usually appears at the onset of puberty and can be quite distressing for teenagers.
When the body begins producing hormones, the tiny oil glands known as sebaceous glands at the root of the hair follicle become over-active. This excess oil combine with the normal shedding of dead skin cells cause the pores to become clogged. The oil and bacteria trapped within a pore is the beginning of a pimple. It usually takes about two weeks for a pimple to surface which is why you can often ‘feel’ them before you see them.
There are many myths and misconceptions associated with the development of acne in teens – junk food, poor hygiene and even masturbation! Absolutely none of these ideas are true.
You do not ’cause’ acne. Hormone development is a fact of life and there is nothing that you can do about it. However, you can do something about the resulting acne. A good, consistent, skin care program can make a world of difference!
Acne is not caused by lack of cleanliness and excessive washing can exasperate the problem. Gently wash twice a day using warm water, a soft facecloth and a mild, hypoallergenic soap. Never scrub! You may even wish to try one of several very good acne skin care programs on the market designed specifically to control acne.
Most acne in teens responds well to over-the-counter products containing benzoyl peroxide. This ingredient is available in a number of different lotions and creams. The percentage of available benzoyl peroxide varies among brands. Choose a product with the highest concentration possible – usually around ten percent. Always test a dab on an inconspicuous part of your body to see if there is any reaction. Use only what you need to ‘spot treat’ the areas affected. Benzoyl peroxide can cause excessive drying of the skin if you use too much.
Although it is difficult, resist the urge to ‘pop’ pimples. This will only aggravate your acne by spreading the bacteria to other areas. It can also lead to permanent scarring.
It is better not to wear any makeup at all but if you do, choose cosmetics labeled ‘noncomedogenic’. They are specially formulated not to promote acne. Never go to bed without removing your makeup!
There are many options available today for treating and controlling acne in teenagers. If you find that you are having little success with your present skin care routine, visit the Acne Skin Care Guide for help.