Acne Blemish Care, Medications & Skin Treatments
Acne, which affects approximately 40 to 50 million Americans, is the most common dermatological condition in the United States, according to the American Association of Dermatology. Acne blemish care, medications and skin treatments are all part of a comprehensive care plan for acne-prone skin.
Acne medications, blemish care and skin treatments work together to help blemishes heal and to minimize the risk of recurrence. According to the Mayo Clinic, acne treatments work by speeding up cell turnover, reducing inflammation and oil production, and fighting bacterial infections.
Over-the-counter treatments, prescription medications and cosmetic procedures are the major types of acne treatments. Over-the-counter medications are usually topical medications that are either benzoyl peroxide- or salicylic acid-based. Prescription treatments can be topical, such as retinoids, or oral, such as isotretinoin or antibiotics. Laser therapy, light therapy, microdermabrasion and chemical peels are some examples of cosmetic procedures used for acne-prone skin.
Unfortunately, there aren't any acne treatments that will cure acne overnight. It takes time for any treatment course to work. Generally, a patient can expect results in eight weeks for most acne treatments. For the prescription isotretinoin, a single course of treatment for acne is 15 to 20 weeks, states the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Simply applying treatments to the acne blemishes or taking oral medications isn't going to produce the best results possible. Instead, the patient must also practice appropriate skin care. This can be achieved by cleansing the acne-prone area gently twice per day. Additionally, picking at the blemishes must be discouraged, as this may lead to an infection and scarring. Touching the acne-prone area should also be discouraged. Hands and inanimate objects like phones can introduce bacteria into the skin and worsen acne.
Caring for acne-prone skin requires a personalized approach, particularly for people with dark skin. Certain acne products aren't appropriate for African Americans and other people of color. Consulting a dermatologist prior to using acne products, especially products that dry the skin, is advisable for anyone with skin of color, states AcneNet.
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