At one point or another, chances are we will all have some encounter with acne. While blemishes are sometimes inevitable, choosing an acne treatment can often prevent skin problems from getting out of control.
The purpose of an acne treatment is to heal blemishes presently on the skin, preventing new lesions or pimples from forming, and to minimize scaring. Most drug treatments help with exfoliating dead skin to prevent clogged follicles, minimize oil production and clean bacteria from the skin. As with all drug treatments, it is always important to read about side effects and go over them with a doctor if you don’t understand them. Some acne may even be treatable with over-the-counter medicines. These often include topical medications that are applied directly to the skin, or medications that are taken orally. In some cases, doctors may provide both, depending on the acne.
When treating common issues such as blackheads or whiteheads, doctors may recommend a basic over-the-counter medicine designed for people who suffer from mild acne. Benzoyl peroxide is commonly used as an acne treatment because it can destroy bacteria and reduce oil production. Salicylic Acid is a good medication eradicating both blackheads and whiteheads, since it breaks them down and also reduces the amount of dead skin cells, which can, and do, plug follicles. Using these products may cause redness and irritation, so use them with discretion. Since this form of acne treatment is typically used for mild breakouts, it can sometimes take up to two months of constant use for skin to show improvement.
People who suffer from severe acne may need to be given an acne treatment prescribed by a dermatologist via topical cream or an oral medicine. Antibiotics can stop or reduce the growth of bacteria, and also reduce inflammation. Vitamin A, or retinoids, cleans the follicles off while other medications can clean them from within. Most retinoid creams have some form of Vitamin A, such as Retin-A, Differin, and Tazorac. Other forms of medication can reduce oil production and also treat bacteria, like extra strength Benzoyl peroxide. These types of medications come in all varieties like creams, lotions or gels and are determined by the doctor when finding the right medication for your skin type.
Finding an acne treatment for cystic acne should always be discussed with a dermatologist. If the doctor does not see improvement with either over-the-counter drugs or prescription treatment, they may prescribe Accutane, which is a retinoid. This drug is taken for a specific amount of time, and greatly reduces the size of oil glands, thus reducing oil production. Some doctors may also put women on birth control pills, which have been shown to reduce androgen, a hormone produced by the ovaries.
Depending on the amount of blemishes a person has, there is always an acne treatment that can help either prevent further breakouts or reduce scarring and inflammation. If over the counter drugs do not help, ask a dermatologist to find which one is best for your skin and condition. Unless your case of acne is mild, try to refrain from self-diagnosing the best creams, ointments or supplements, as you may spend a lot of time, money and frustration finding the right product for your skin type and condition. Whenever possible, seek the advice of a professional and do it right the first time around.
By using the right cleansers and exfoliation, dry skin should clear up within a week. If the condition of the skin still has not changed, it may be best to see a dermatologist for a prescription moisture cream, or any advice on a skin care product. If your skin goes from dry to oily, or continues to have outbreaks, see a professional to determine if any other life factors may be contributing to skin dryness. Winter weather can often lead to more dry skin, and too much sun exposure can also lead to cracking and peeling of the skin.
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