Acne Breakout Treatment
Acne, or pimples, can appear anywhere on the body in the form of whiteheads, blackheads or painful cysts. People of any age can get pimples, though it is more common in teenagers due to the hormonal changes associated with puberty. The National Library of Medicine states that 75 percent of teenagers experience pimples.
Acne can be prevented or reduced by taking proper care of skin. This is especially true for people with oily skin since oil can cause dirt and bacteria to build up in small pores on the skin's surface. Proper skin care includes washing it one to two times daily and using oil-free cosmetics, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. In addition, individuals with oily hair should wash it daily to avoid the transfer of oil from hair strands to skin.
It's important to note that there is no cure for acne, but it can be managed. Typically, over-the-counter therapies are tried first. These are lotions containing chemicals called salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide that work by drying out oily skin. These also kill bacteria as they stimulate the removal of dead skin cells, both of which can clog pores. These chemicals can help reduce and prevent breakouts. In the beginning phase of treatment, some individuals may experience flaky and irritated skin.
For individuals with moderate to severe acne, a prescription treatment will most likely be necessary. Topical and oral treatments exist. Topical drugs include tretinoin, based on Vitamin A, which inhibits pores from becoming clogged. There are also combinations of benzoyl peroxide with antibiotics to help kill bacteria. A drug called isotretinoin is reserved for severe cases of acne, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Women with acne may benefit from oral contraceptives, also known as birth control pills.
Dermatologists may perform therapy with light on individuals with persistent acne. The Mayo Clinic notes that the procedure does not harm the skin, but rather reduces the activity of glands that produce oil. Light therapy may even help with scars from severe breakouts.
Other procedures that dermatologists perform include microdermabrasion and chemical peels. These change the surface of the skin and are usually used in combination with prescription treatments. A dermatologist will decide whether these treatments are necessary, as they can cause side effects like blistering and discoloration.
If you're suffering from a breakout, keep hair off your face. Also, the Mayo Clinic warns not to pop pimples because it can aggravate the skin around the blemish as well as spread bacteria to other areas of the face.
Many activities and products can irritate skin. Because each individual is different, it's important to pay attention in order to avoid triggers that irritate breakouts. For example, sunlight may irritate acne in some people.
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