Acne is a skin condition that causes blemishes to appear on the skin. An estimated 40 to 50 million Americans experience this skin condition --- and a large percentage of these are teenagers, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. It is possible to reduce or eradicate acne's occurrence.
Your skin consists of tiny pores, not always visible to the naked eye, that contain a hair follicle and an oil gland. Acne results when oil glands produce excess oil, pores become clogged, bacteria infiltrates the pores and/or inflammation occurs, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. To reduce acne, you should use techniques that include following a regular skincare routine and using medicated products when necessary.
A daily cleansing routine is vital to preventing and treating acne. You should wash your skin twice daily using a mild cleanser and lukewarm water, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. This helps to reduce the amount of oil and dirt present on the skin. Do not scrub excessively. Instead, use a technique of applying cleanser in gentle circular motions with your hands --- using a washcloth to cleanse the skin may be too irritating.
In addition to cleansing, you can utilize a topical treatment to clear acne. These help to clear up excess dirt and oils in the pores. Medications sold over the counter include benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulfur, resorcinol and lactic acid. A spot treatment is meant to be applied to individual blemishes. Dot the medication on the blemish, then rub to the area slightly surrounding the blemish --- this helps to reduce nearby bacteria or oils. Acne creams meant to be applied to the entire face should be applied in a thin layer.
If over-the-counter acne-clearing methods fail to produce your desired results, see a physician who can prescribe stronger treatments. These include topical creams that contain vitamin A, according to the Mayo Clinic. These creams work to reduce oil in your pores and encourage skin exfoliation. Isotretinoin is an acne medication in pill form that reduces oily secretions that lead to acne. You also can take antibiotics to kill acne-causing bacteria.
Just as there are good acne-clearing techniques, there also are poor ones. Avoid picking or popping acne lesions, which can introduce bacteria and lead to skin scarring. Refrain from using skin or hair products that contain oil---these can be clogging to acne-prone skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Look for products labeled "non-comedogenic," which indicates they will not clog pores.
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