Let's delve into the topic of acne once again. Since acne is a common concern for my customers, I will provide more details about this condition. Contrary to popular belief, vitamins and foods containing them do not have an adverse effect on acne. In fact, they serve as excellent sources for natural and innovative treatments for existing skin problems. Understanding the types of acne and their causes is crucial in determining the appropriate treatment.
Acne can affect anyone, whether you are a teenager, a man with acne caused by shaving and growing facial hair, or a woman whose face has been altered by inflammation such as acne and pitted scars. It is a myth that only teenagers face acne; in fact, a staggering 50% of adults also suffer from this condition. Hormonal imbalances caused by puberty, menstruation, menopause, polycystic ovary syndrome, and even pregnancy can lead to an increase in sebum production, the natural oil of the skin.
The Psychological Impact of Acne and Common Myths
Active Voice: Acne can not only affect an individual's physical appearance but can also lead to psychological trauma. The sufferer often experiences shame due to their appearance and may even blame themselves for the acne. It is crucial to note that this kind of stress often exacerbates acne and blackheads. Thus, seeking appropriate treatment strategies is essential for effective management and treatment of acne.
Under this subheading, let's also debunk some common myths about acne. One of the most widespread myths is that chocolate can cause acne. However, this is untrue; if it were accurate, anyone who ate pizza or a chocolate bar would likely get acne. In reality, oily foods and hormones are more likely to be the culprits behind any outbreaks of acne. Eating chocolate in moderation should not have any effect on your skin, nor should it worsen any acne you may already have.
Antibiotics such as tetracycline and doxycycline are common treatments for acne, but it often recurs. Isotretinoin (formerly known as Accutane) is an effective treatment, although it is usually only given to those with severe acne.
Types of Acne and Factors that Worsen It
Active Voice: Acne can be classified into different types, including comedones, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. Comedones are clogged pores that look like pimples or blackheads, while papules are small pink bumps without pus, and pustules are red bumps with visible white or yellow pus. Nodules are large, hard, painful bumps under the skin, and cysts are pus-filled nodules that remain deep under the skin.
Various factors do not cause acne but can make it worse. These include the blockage of dry cells and pores mixed with sebum, accumulation of tallow, bacterial infection of the buildup, and inflammation spreading acne.
General Skin Care Tips to Help Get Rid of Acne
Under this subheading, let's provide some tips for managing acne:
Avoid exposure to environmental contaminants
Do not excessively cleanse or exfoliate the skin
Avoid contributing factors such as obesity, smoking, pinching, and picking at acne scars and scabs
Try to minimize consumption of foods that are high in sugar, as they can cause hormonal imbalances
Use acne products and apply a non-comedogenic moisturizer and sunscreen that won't clog pores
Manage stress and ensure you get enough sleep
Avoid wearing tight-fitting and unbreathable clothing
While hats or helmets can make acne worse, they do not directly cause it.
Acne Treatment Options
Active Voice: There are various treatments available to manage acne, depending on the severity of the condition. Over-the-counter drugs are only effective for mild acne. For moderate to severe acne, a combination of topical and systemic prescription medications may be necessary.
Over-the-counter medications such as Benzoyl Peroxide, Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Sulfur and Resorcinol, and Pore Tape can help treat mild acne. However, caution should be exercised when using these products, as some can cause over-exfoliation of the skin. Benzoyl Peroxide can be found in popular brands such as Neutrogena, SkinCeuticals, No7, and L'Oreal, while Salicylic Acid is a key ingredient in Oxy products, Noxzema or Stridex acne pads, and acne gels. Sulfur and Resorcinol can be found in Clearasil healing products and Rezamid lotion. Finally, pore tapes can help temporarily remove blackheads.
For moderate to severe acne, a combination of both topical and systemic prescription medications may be necessary for successful treatment. Recommended prescription medications include Azerex and Finacea (azelaic acid), Vinlevy (cream with kraskoteron), Upson (Gel Dapsone), Retinoids such as Retin-A, Avita (tretinoin), Tazorac, Fabior (tazarotene), and Differin (adapalene). Topical antibiotics including ATS, Akne-Mitsin, Emtsin, Eli, Eliseth, Eryderm, Erygel, Theramycin Z (erythromycin), Cleocin T, Clindagel, ClindaDerm, Clindets, and Evoclin (clindamycin) and Epiduo Gel (adapalene and benzoyl peroxide) can also be used to treat moderate to severe acne.
Oral Prescription Medicine for Severe Acne
To manage severe acne, healthcare providers may prescribe oral prescription medications. Some commonly prescribed antibiotics for acne include Sumicin, Acticite, Achromycin V (Tetracycline), Vibramycin, Doryx, Doryx MPC, Oracea, Acticlate, Atridox, Doxy 100, and Doxy 200 (Doxycycline), Dynacin, Minocin, Minocin Kit, Solodyn, and Ximino (Minocycline), Cleocin, Cleocin T, Evocrine, Clindes (Clindamycin), Erythrosine, Iroton, and E-mycin, and Erythrosine Lactobionate (Erythromycin). It should be noted that Erythromycin is safe for pregnant and lactating individuals.
Women with hormonal acne may be prescribed oral contraceptives (OCs or birth control pills) such as Ortho Tricyclen (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol), Estrostep (norethindrone acetate/ethinyl estradiol), and YAZ (drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol).
Other medications such as Aldactones (spironolactones), an antiandrogen, and Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Fortamet, Glyumetsa, and Riomet (metformin) can reduce insulin resistance associated with polycystic ovary syndrome or hyperinsulinemia.
Professional skin care treatments from cosmetologists can also help manage acne and acne scars. These treatments include chemical peels, corticosteroid injections, laser treatment, light therapy, and microdermabrasion, which can clear clogged pores and cysts.
Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Rid of Acne
To manage acne at home, you can try the following steps:
Step 1: Wash your face twice a day with a cleanser containing 2% salicylic acid to achieve a clean and healthy complexion. Take a coin-sized amount in your hands, add a few drops of warm water and lather into a circular motion. Wait for a few minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water. Salicylic acid soothes inflammation and adds antioxidants to combat free radicals.
Step 2: In the morning, after rinsing off the salicylic acid product, use an exfoliant or a mild 10% glycolic acid solution. Gently massage it into the skin and then rinse with lukewarm water. Glycolic acid penetrates deep into the pores to loosen "set" plugs, resulting in a beneficial effect on your skin.
Step 3: Cool the affected area with an ice cube, ensuring not to freeze the skin. After that, take the benzoyl peroxide kept in the fridge and place it in your palm, alongside an ice cube, to prevent skin inflammation when applied. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes, before using an ice pack on the affected area. This will open the pores, reduce inflammation, as well as relax the area. Once finished, wipe away the excess product with a soft cloth, leaving the rest on overnight.
Step 4: Apply a moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15 to your face, both in the morning and throughout the day to protect against sun damage. An oil-free moisturizer will offer protection to your skin against the damaging rays of the sun, which can weaken the skin's natural defenses against bacterial attack.
By following this regimen, 95% of acne sufferers can experience a reduction in symptoms, including inflammation, redness, pimples, and blackheads within 24 hours. Milder cases may see resolution within days or a week, and even severe cases can expect to see healing within 6 weeks. While relapses are a possibility, sticking to the treatment plan can prevent recurrence and eliminate acne in a few days.
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4. Acne can't be prevented or cured, but it can be treated effectively