Acne Blemish Remedies
Three factors often play a role in acne, according to the Mayo Clinic. The overproduction of oil from the sebaceous glands and the shedding of dead skin cells can both block pores when the oil or cells collect within the hair follicles. This can set the stage for the third factor, an excess of bacteria. The bacterium associated with acne thrives in the oil, resulting in infection and inflammation of the hair follicle. A successful acne remedy must treat these factors.
Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most common active ingredients in acne creams. Not only can it rid your pores of bacterial buildup, but it also helps dry excess oil and remove dead skin, taking care of the three factors that contribute to acne at once. It is available in both nonprescription and prescription strengths.
The prescription strength cream can contain more than just a higher concentration of benzoyl peroxide. It also may include an antibiotic like erythromycin or clindamycin. These medications help fight the bacterial buildup and lessen the inflammation that causes pimples.
Another common remedy for acne is salicylic acid. Much like benzoyl peroxide, it reduces the bacterial buildup, excess oil and dead skin that can contribute to acne. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends this form of treatment if you are unable to tolerate other topical medications since it is considered less potent than retinoids.
Both the American Academy of Dermatology and the Mayo Clinic recommend retinoids for treating acne. Retinoids reduce the size of any obstructions within the pores, which lessens inflammation and improves the appearance of your skin. It also encourages cellular turnover, a process of shedding and growing skin cells. This topical medication is only available by prescription. Like benzoyl peroxide, retinoids are often coupled with other active ingredients such as erythromycin or clindamycin.
Many women suffering from acne can experience improvement in their complexions by using oral contraceptives, advises the Mayo Clinic. Oral contraceptives help treat acne that results from hormonal changes, such as the changes that take place just before and during menstruation.
In moderate to severe cases, acne treatment may turn to oral antibiotics, notes the American Academy of Dermatology. A number of different antibiotics are effective, including erythromycin, tetracycline, trimethoprim, doxycycline and minocycline. This form of treatment is only used for a limited time since the bacteria responsible for acne can acquire a resistance to these medications, making them less effective as time goes on.
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