Acne treatment Acne treatment

Things to Help Acne

Things to Help Acne

Acne is the most common skin condition, and the majority of people will experience it—at least when they're teenagers. It also can persist into adulthood in a significant minority of people, often causing psychological distress, scarring and embarrassment. It's caused by an overproduction of sebum combined with the blockage of pores. These conditions make the skin vulnerable to bacterial buildup, resulting in inflammation, pimples and blackheads. Fortunately, there are things that can help.

Reduce Your Stress Level

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, stress doesn't cause acne, but it can make acne worse. A vicious cycle can result, since acne flare-ups can lead to more stress and lowered self-esteem. There are a number of techniques for stress management that can benefit your outlook and your acne too. Meditation, visualization and gentle yoga are popular stress busters, and there are many books, DVDs and classes that can teach them. They have to be practiced regularly to make a difference, however, so carve out some time in your schedule for them daily. Social support also helps relieve stress. Make sure to take time for friends and group activities. Your skin may show the difference.

See a Doctor

There's an ever-increasing array of treatments for acne, and one of them is bound to work. If over-the-counter products and time aren't doing the trick, see a doctor. Your family doctor can get you started with treatment and then refer you to a dermatologist if needed. Antibiotics, stronger topical treatments than what's available at the drugstore, light therapy and retinoids are among the medical options. Bring a list of questions and a friend for moral support, if needed, when you go for your appointment. Also bring a list of any other medications you're taking, since some of them can interfere with acne therapies.

Don't Stop Too Soon

Achieving clear, pimple-free skin is a cause for celebration, but not necessarily a sign to stop treatment. Too often, people with acne stop using topical treatments and even prescription medication when their skin clears up, only to experience another breakout soon down the line. If you are using more than one acne product, the AAD advises that you don't cease using them all at once. Instead, stop using them one at a time and watch how your skin reacts before stopping the next one. If you're using acne medicine under the care of a physician, consult her first before changing or ceasing your treatment.

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