Acne treatment Acne treatment

Acne Care Tips and Resources

Acne Care Tips and Resources Acne Care Tips and Resources

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. It affects just about everybody, at least in adolescence. For a significant minority, acne extends into adulthood and can cause self-consciousness and anxiety. The pimples and blackheads characteristic of acne result from an overproduction of skin oils combined with blocked sebaceous glands. These factors encourage an overgrowth of bacteria. Acne can be helped, however, with proper treatment and resources.

Cleansing Tips

Acne isn't caused by excess dirt, so it's not necessary to vigorously scrub your face. In fact, that can make the problem worse. Instead, use a mild antibacterial cleanser twice daily or according to package directions. A mild astringent or toner for mopping up extra oil is also a useful addition to your skin care regimen. The Mayo Clinic recommends products with alpha hydroxy acids for people with acne. While they don't impact sebum, alpha hydroxy acids can help slough off dead skin cells. Masques containing sulfur are also worth trying. They function by drawing out excess oils. is a resource that provides comprehensive acne information, including advice about cleansing and skin care regimens.

Nutrition Tips

Acne is no longer thought to be caused by an excess of junk food, but diet and nutrition do play a role. Make sure to eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water. Supplements may sometimes help. A study by Z. El-Akawi and colleagues in Clinical & Experimental Dermatology found that healthy volunteers without acne had a significantly higher level of vitamins A and E in their circulatory systems than patients just beginning acne treatment. They concluded that low levels of these vitamins may lead to acne. Omega-3 fatty acids, found primarily in seafood and fish, may also be important for healthy skin, according to a report in Lipids and Disease. Communities feature plenty of seafood and fish in their traditional diets have lower rates of acne, suggesting that omega-3 fatty acids may work as an acne preventative. Consult your health care provider before using these or any supplements. The American Dietetic Association is an association that offers excellent resources on nutrition for a variety of conditions. Visit it at

Talk to Your Doctor

If your acne doesn't respond to over-the-counter medicines, if it is severe, or if it simply causing you psychological distress, talk to your doctor. There are a number of ways your doctor can help, from prescribing stronger medication to providing laser and light therapy. If you feel embarrassed about your acne, as many people do, write down your questions beforehand. Consider bringing a friend or trusted family member with you if you need extra support. And bring a list of any drugs or supplements you are taking, since some may interact with prescription acne medication. A family physician can get you started with acne treatment, but if it doesn't respond she'll likely suggest you see a dermatologist. A great resource for finding a board-certified dermatologist is the American Academy of Dermatology's website at

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