Cheap Acne Solutions
Acne breakouts occur when your hair follicles become clogged with bacteria, oil and dead skin cells. For many people, simply just washing your skin with soap and water does not prevent pimples from forming. The best way to treat mild to moderate acne, according to Daniel Kern, founder of Acne.org, is by keeping your skin clean and using a few different inexpensive, over-the-counter acne medications.
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in the United States, according to the Acne Resource Center. The most frequent types of acne include blackheads, whiteheads, papules and pustules, all of which are easily treated with a daily regimen that involve cleansing and topical medicated treatments. While no one knows exactly what causes acne, genetics, hormones, prescription medications and oil-based cosmetics are top contenders.
For some, keeping skin clean goes a long way in preventing future breakouts and clearing existing lesions. It's also the cheapest solution for problem acne. A 2008 acne study by the Japan Society of Physiological Anthropology found that study participants who took a morning shower and washed their skin with soap and water minimized sebum production---the oil produced by the sebaceous glands---for up to four hours. Kern suggests washing your skin twice a day using lukewarm water. Wash problem areas with your hands for 10 seconds or less. Avoid using a washcloth since it may irritate your skin. Cleansing will remove surface oils, which can prevent topical medications from penetrating pores.
Your first line of defense in treating and preventing acne is the topical medication benzoyl peroxide. This medication is extremely inexpensive. Benzoyl peroxide kills P. acnes, the bacteria that cause pimples to form. It's important to use a generous amount, apply it to entire areas that breakouts typically occur and also apply between breakouts in order to prevent acne from forming.
Salicylic acid is another cheap topical medication that will treat breakouts. Salicylic acid slows cells from shedding inside the pore, it also helps slough off dead skin cells and prevent them from clogging the hair follicle. You can use a cleanser containing salicylic acid or apply the medication directly to your skin using a pad or cotton ball.
If your acne does not respond to over-the-counter treatments, discuss options with your physician. Using a prescription acne medication does not mean that it will cost an arm and a leg. In fact, many prescription medications used to treat acne are available in generic form, which is much less expensive than brand-name medications. Additionally, large chain store that have pharmacies often sell commonly prescribed medications for a nominal price, which can be as low as $5.
The American Academy of Dermatology reports that oral antibiotics commonly prescribed to treat acne include erythromycin and tetracycline, both of which are generic drugs. Oral antibiotics reduce P. acne and decreases inflammation. Topical retinoids, including isotretinoin, unclogs pores and prevents whiteheads and blackheads from forming.
No matter what your budget is, it's important to treat your acne. The Acne Resource Center reports that 20 million Americans have acne severe enough to cause scarring and only 11 percent of those people actually seek help. You can prevent scars from forming by following a daily treatment regimen using over-the-counter medications that are very inexpensive. If your doctor suggests using prescription medications, be sure he knows that you want to use a generic brand. According to the FDA, generic drugs are the same as their brand-name counterpart in safety, dose, quality and the way they work. Generics must use the same active ingredient as the brand name. The FDA also requires that generic drugs are made in factories that meet the same standards set for brand-name drugs.
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