Remedies to Heal Acne
If you suffer from acne, whether it is a chronic condition or the occasional flare up, you probably would love nothing more than finding a solution to your skin problems. With all the different acne products available, choosing the right product for your skin can be difficult. Learning a little bit about each kind of acne remedy will help you choose the appropriate products for your skin.
The answer to your skin problems could be in your pantry. Oatmeal masks are effective at soaking up excess oil and clearing skin. Just mix together enough oatmeal and warm water to create a paste and spread a layer over your face. Leave the mask on for 10 minutes or until dry. Honey is also an effective skin treatment, because it kills bacteria on the skin while its sticky texture pulls dirt from the pores. To use this method, simply spread a layer of honey over your face and leave on for up to 10 minutes before rinsing.
Benzoyl peroxide is the key acne-fighting ingredient in many over-the-counter (OTC) acne products and is effective at treating many types of acne. It is included in face washes and scrubs as well as topical creams and gels. Benzoyl peroxide works by cleaning out the pores and drying up excess oil to prevent further breakouts. It also fights the Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria, a large factor in acne breakouts. It comes in concentrations OTC of 2.5 percent to 10 percent. Higher concentrations are better if you have particularly oily skin, but they can be too drying if you have dry, normal or combination skin. If you use benzoyl peroxide, continued use is required to maintain clear skin.
Another common OTC-acne ingredient, salicylic acid, is particularly effective on small, non-inflammatory acne. According to the Acne Net website, salicylic acid does not fight the P. acnes bacteria, nor does it have an effect on excess oil production. It works primarily by unclogging pores and preventing uneven shedding of skin cells, one of the leading causes of acne. If you have sensitive skin, it may be irritating to the skin or have a tingling sensation, but it does not have the same drying effect as benzoyl peroxide. Like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid must be used continuously to prevent breakouts.
If OTC medications do not yield results, you may consider seeing a dermatologist. One medication a dermatologist might prescribe is an antibiotic to fight the P. acnes bacteria, particularly if you have moderate-to-severe chronic acne. Oral antibiotic treatment may last up to six months and is often paired with a topical treatment as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
Topical retinoids are derived from Vitamin A and have been shown to be effective at treating acne. Retinoids work slowly to unclog the pores and keep them unclogged. This allows other medications to seep into the pores to clean out hidden debris. Retinoids are often prescribed for once-a-day use with another acne medication being used at the opposite time of day for maximal effect.
When all else fails, isotretinoin may be what your dermatologist prescribes. Isotretinoin is a retinoid also, but it comes in a pill form. Isotretinoin may be taken once or twice a day for up to four or five months. According to the Acne Net website, isotretinoin is the most effective acne treatment available, because it concentrates on all the factors that predispose a person to acne, such as excess oil production, clogged pores, P. acnes bacteria and inflammation. Side effects have been reported, such as dry skin and eyes, depression, nausea and abdominal pain. Additionally, women who take isotretinoin are required to be on two reliable forms of birth control, as the chances of severe birth defects are high. However, patients who have had their acne cleared up by a course of isotretinoin often see permanent results.
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