Acne is a skin condition that occurs in 40 to 50 million Americans, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. When the skin's pores become clogged with dirt, oil, bacteria or dead skin cells, acne blemishes occur. Because acne can cause self-esteem issues and be painful in some instances, effective acne treatment is necessary.
In order to understand how to treat acne, it's important to know what is causing it. More than 85 percent of teenagers experience acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. In teenagers, acne is often caused by hormone fluctuations that cause the body to produce excess amounts of oil, according to the Mayo Clinic. Other acne causes include improper cleansing, including cleansing too much or not enough. Taking certain medications, such as steroids, testosterone, estrogen and phenytoin, also can contribute to acne, according to Medline Plus.
Washing your face twice daily with a mild cleanser can help to remove dirt, oil and makeup that are on the skin and can help to reduce the impurities that cause acne blemishes, according to Kids Health. Using an exfoliating scrub once a week can help to eliminate dead skin cells that can clog the pores. Make sure the products you use on your face--makeup, sunscreen or moisturizer--are labeled as non-comedogenic. This means the makeup does not contain skin-clogging oil. If you note acne marks on the hairline, cease using products such as hair sprays or gels. These can clog the pores around the hairline, according to Kids Health.
If you do experience acne blemishes, treating them with a solution that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can help to reduce the pimples, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. These spot treatments may take several applications to prove effective because they encourage sloughing of the pores. You also can apply a facial mask, such as a mud mask, to draw impurities out of the skin.
Picking at the skin or popping your pimples, blackheads or whiteheads can cause scarring to the face, according to Medline Plus. This action also can introduce bacteria into the skin that can result in infection. Although it can be difficult to do, refrain from picking at the skin.
While some people think certain foods, such as chocolate and French fries, cause acne, these foods have little effect on the skin, according to the Mayo Clinic. While it's a good idea to eat a healthy diet free of greasy or sugary foods, these do not contribute directly to your acne, and ceasing to eat them is not an effective treatment.
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