How to Get Rid of Your Acne
Nearly everyone will develop acne at some point during life. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) estimates that more than 40 million people in the United States suffer from acne, making it the most common skin condition to affect Americans. The number of teens with acne is even higher, with as many as 80 percent experiencing some severity of acne, according to the Nemours Foundation. Acne may appear as whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, pustules or large cysts. It generally begins during puberty due to hormonal changes inside the body and an increase in oil production in the skin. When oil production increases in the sebaceous glands, dead skin cells become trapped and the pores in the skin become clogged. Acne develops when these clogged pores swell and become infected with P. acnes, a bacterium normally found on the skin.
Wash your face twice each day with a mild soap and warm water. Harsh soaps and cleansers can irritate the skin and stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce excessive oil, according to the Nemours Foundation. Exfoliate only once or twice each week, or as needed, to unclog pores without irritating your skin. Always shower after exercise or heavy sweating.
Stop using oil-based cosmetics. Switch to hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic products. Oil-based moisturizers and makeup can clog pores and lead to acne outbreaks. Exposure to environmental greases, such as those used in cooking, can have the same affect on the skin.
Keep your hands off your face, and resist the temptation to rub, scratch, or pop pimples. Doing so will only increase irritation and inflammation, and it may lead to infection.
Keep your hair out of your face, wash hats and headbands frequently, and protect the skin on your face when applying hair gels and sprays. All of these may lead to oily, irritated skin and an increase in acne.
Try an over-the-counter acne medication to get rid of your acne. These medications, which typically contain either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, work by killing the bacteria responsible for acne or by regulating cell shedding and keeping the pores unclogged.
Apply garlic, mint oil, cucumber paste, oatmeal or honey to your skin to help control acne outbreaks. According to Quickcare, these natural remedies are effective acne treatments in some cases.
Perform stress reduction techniques. Chronic stress may cause or worsen acne, according to the AAD. Engage in regular physical activity, get plenty of sleep, and spend time doing yoga or relaxing with family or friends.
Visit your doctor for a prescription-strength medication to treat your acne. Topical creams containing retinoic acid and oral antibiotics may help clear up your skin even when over-the-counter medications have failed to improve your symptoms.
Consider taking birth control pills if you believe your acne is caused by a hormonal imbalance, or discontinue your current birth control if it may be contributing to the frequency or severity of your outbreaks.
Undergo corticosteroid injections to treat large, painful cysts. A prescription medication called isotretinoin may also be helpful in severe cases of cystic acne, according to the Mayo Clinic. This medication, however, may cause significant side effects in some people.
Visit your dermatologist for laser therapy, light therapy or a chemical peel. These procedures may help treat existing acne and prevent new outbreaks from occurring. They may also be beneficial when used on acne scars.
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