Acne Care & Treatment
Acne occurs when dirt, dead skin cells and oil clog the hair follicles in the skin. This causes inflammation and the formation of acne blemishes. Good skin care habits help to prevent or control acne in some cases. When good skin care habits do not prevent acne, several treatment options eliminate blemishes and improve the appearance of the skin.
Good acne care improves your appearance and prevents the formation of acne scars or pockmarks. Controlling acne also helps improve confidence and self-esteem, especially for those who feel embarrassed about pimples.
Acne care involves regular cleansing of the skin and the use of over-the-counter or prescription products to reduce oil production, unclog the pores and prevent the formation of blackheads, pimples and whiteheads. Products for cleansing and toning the skin include soaps, acne washes, astringents and moisturizers. Acne treatment options include retinoids, oral antibiotics, topical antibiotics, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.
Acne washes, soaps and cleansers wash away dirt, oil and bacteria to prevent clogged pores. Astringents act as drying agents to eliminate excess oil from the skin. Moisturizers prevent the skin from drying out, which prevents the skin's overproduction of oil to compensate for a lack of moisture.
Each type of acne treatment affects acne differently. Oral and topical antibiotics kill acne-causing bacteria to prevent inflammation and the formation of pimples. Retinoids have several functions in treating acne. They help the skin shed dead cells, encourage cell division and prevent the formation of blackheads and whiteheads. Salicylic acid slows down the shedding of dead skin cells in the hair follicles. This prevents clogged follicles, according to the New Zealand Dermatological Society. Salicylic acid also helps to break down whiteheads and blackheads. Benzoyl peroxide inhibits acne-causing bacteria to prevent the formation of pimples.
Simple lifestyle changes help to prevent clogged pores and the formation of pimples. Some of these changes include washing your hands before touching the skin, especially the skin around the mouth and nose. This prevents the spread of bacteria to the face, reducing the risk of acne inflammation. Wash your skin in the morning and before bed at night. Regular washing eliminates excess oil, environmental pollutants and dead skin cells. Avoid picking at acne blemishes, as it increases irritation and redness.
The right type of acne care and treatment for your skin depends on several factors. Your doctor may recommend products that decrease oil production and wash away excess oil if you have oily skin. For dry skin, your doctor might recommend a moisturizer to decrease dryness and prevent the overproduction of oil. Your medical history and current list of medications also affect the acne treatments you can use. Isotretinoin, for example, interacts with tetracycline, carbamazepine, vitamin A and minocycline, according to Drugs.com.
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