Solution for Body Acne
An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from breakouts. The National Institutes of Health reports that the exact cause of acne is unknown, but it’s believed that hormones and genetics are partially, if not fully, to blame. What this means is that while acne cannot be cured, it can be controlled and prevented.
There are a few actions you can take to minimize breakouts. Sneha Baxi, clinical assistant professor at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy recommends not wearing restrictive clothing, avoid touching your skin with your hands, use oil-free moisturizer and sunscreen, keep your hair clean, and don’t pick at or pop pimples.
Founder of Acne.org, Daniel Kern suggests adhering to a rigorous regimen that includes using benzoyl peroxide, alpha hydroxy acid, a gentle cleanser, moisturizer and concealer.
First, cleanse your skin with a perfume-free cleanser. Be sure to remove the residue from your skin products. Apply 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide generously over the areas of your body prone to breaking out. Benzoyl peroxide will kill P. acnes, the bacteria that cause lesions to develop. An alpha hydroxy acid, AHA, like lactic acid or glycolic acid, according to Kern, will stop a newly forming pimple in its tracks. You only need to apply an AHA to each new lesion. If you need to hide a pimple on your chest or back, use a concealer that is labeled noncomedogenic, which means that it will not clog pores. Because over-the-counter acne medications are developed to break down pimples, they can be very drying. Keep your skin hydrated with an oil-free moisturizer.
If your acne is moderate to severe, or if after four or five weeks of using over-the-counter medications has shown no improvement, you can call your dermatologist. There is a variety of prescription-strength medications that can lower sebum production, kill bacteria and help cells regenerate quicker.
The American Academy of Dermatology reports that oral antibiotics reduce P. acnes. Oral contraceptives are used to regulate hormones, which trigger the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Unlike antibiotics, birth control pills can be used long-term. Topical retinoids unclog pores and prevent the formation of whiteheads and blackheads.
Laser and light treatments, according to the Mayo Clinic, should be reserved for acne that has not responded to previous therapies. Although these procedures are very effective at minimizing inflammation, because they are still relatively new, the long-term effects are not fully known.
Blue light therapy, an FDA-approved procedure, is believed to destroy the bacteria that cause acne to develop. Pulsed light and heat energy is thought to destroy P. acnes and reduce the size of the oil glands. Diode laser therapy works by destroying sebaceous glands.
The Mayo Clinic explains that photodynamic therapy combines a topical medication and light to destroy bacteria as well as improve the appearance of acne scars. Photopneumatic therapy works like a vacuum to suck oil and dead skin cells out of the sebaceous glands. It also helps destroy bacteria and reduce inflammation.
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