If you have acne, you’re probably embarrassed and upset. Acne is an outbreak of pimples or blackheads or other blemishes that appear on the face or other parts of the body. You want an acne treatment that works so you can get rid of it fast. But first you have to understand what can cause acne.
What causes acne?
Acne is caused by an overproduction of oil and dead skin cells entering the skin follicles. It clogs the follicles and thus swells and causes the bump or blemish. It can also be caused by bacteria or pus-filled lesions.
Together, they form a kind of biological traffic jam that clogs the pore opening and causes the follicle below to swell. Doctors today believe that a key factor that causes acne is inflammation, so if you want an acne treatment that works, you need something that treats skin inflammation.
Another thing to know is that everyone’s skin is different and therefore what will work as an acne treatment that works for one person may not work for another. You may need to try more than one acne product to get the clear skin results you want.
Types of acne treatment
There are various types of acne treatments so try to find an acne treatment that works. Here are some suggestions:
Over-the-counter acne treatments
Over-the-counter types generally fall into two categories, pore cleansers or products that stop the overproduction of oil or hormones that can cause breakouts.
These products can be purchased without a prescription and usually contain benzyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Sometimes it’s best to try two or three different brands of these types of products and switch off every month or so from using them. This is because the body can become resistant to a particular product and this tricks you into preventing that from happening as you search for an acne product that works best for your situation.
Here’s a little more depth on the ingredients in some over-the-counter acne medications:
benzyl peroxide — Benzyl peroxide comes in different concentrations, from 2.5 percent to 10 percent, but be careful if you have sensitive skin because it can cause skin dryness, redness, burning and peeling in some people.
salicylic acid. This slows the shedding of dead skin cells so hair follicles don’t get clogged as much. It comes in concentrations of 0.5 to 2 percent and can sting and irritate some people.
alpha hydroxy acids. Glycolic acid and lactic acid are alpha hydroxy acids that are used in some over-the-counter acne products. They are an acne treatment that works by removing dead skin cells and reducing inflammation, as well as stimulating new skin growth to promote smooth skin.
Sulfur-This removes dead skin cells to prevent pore clogging and removes oil. It can cause dry skin in some people and has a strong odor.
Another possibility is the Zeno, which is an electronic device that removes pimples and uses heat to kill the bacteria that can cause them. It is FDA approved and is an acne treatment that works for many people. Talk to your doctor about it. It’s said to work about 70 percent of the time, but it usually works best if the acne problem is mild and not widespread.
Treatments prescribed by the doctor
If you have severe acne, you may need a prescription from your doctor. Sometimes an antibiotic is needed to get rid of acne-causing bacteria and this may be an acne treatment that works for you. They are often used in conjunction with an over-the-counter topical product and a good facial cleansing routine.
Several of the antibiotics prescribed for acne include products like Solodyn, which is extended-release, as well as Minocycline and Oracea, which contains doxycycline. If a middle-aged woman has acne, doctors may prescribe an off-label treatment of Aldactone, which is an anti-androgen drug that dries out the skin and works best on acne that forms on the chin and jawline .
Some women also find birth control pills to be an acne treatment that works for them if their acne is caused by hormonal problems. One advantage is that it can also control mood swings and make a woman’s period more regular and less painful.
A drug that is an acne treatment that works by suppressing oil production is called Accutane or in its generic form is called Isotretinoin. You need a prescription for it.
Another relatively new acne treatment that works for some people is laser treatments. These are expensive, but can help some acne sufferers. One type of laser treatment works to inhibit the bacteria that sometimes cause acne.
Another laser-like treatment for acne is photodynamic therapy. This is sometimes combined with a topical treatment called Levulan, for two types of action to clear acne problems.
In general, finding an acne treatment that works for you can be frustrating, but there is sure to be one of the above treatments that will get the job done. Start with the cheapest or if your situation is really bad, go to a dermatologist or family doctor for advice. Above all, wash your face every day with non-medicated soaps, don’t pick or squeeze pimples or breakouts, and keep your hair and hands away from your face.
Use all acne treatments only as prescribed and if you don’t see any results in a couple of months, it’s definitely time to see your doctor for an acne treatment that works for your situation. No one likes acne breakouts, but there is hope of getting rid of them and preventing the problem from attacking your skin. Try one of these acne treatments that work today and you could soon have clearer, brighter skin.