Top 10 Acne Solutions
A number of treatments are available to lessen the inflammation, bacterial build-up and obstructions within the pores that cause acne. Most of the time, you'll start off with the least invasive medication and move on from there to improve the health of your skin. Your dermatologist can best determine which of these options is appropriate for you.
Applying creams containing benzoyl peroxide directly onto active acne lesions can help speed recovery time. Not only do these products help slough dead skin and dry excess oil causing acne breakouts, but they can also kill the bacteria associated with this skin condition. It's available in both prescription and nonprescription strengths.
Like benzoyl peroxide, creams with salicylic acid help remove dead skin and dry excess oil. But according to the American Academy of Dermatology, this active ingredient also has comedolytic properties, meaning it can actually break up the obstructions clogging the pores and causing the acne lesions.
When commercial acne creams are ineffective at treating active lesions, dermatologists often prescribe topical retinoids. Adapalene, tretinoin and tazarotene are three of the more popular acne medications used to reduce the obstructions in your pores causing the acne lesions.
Sometimes topical or oral antibiotics are used to reduce the inflammation and bacterial build-up causing the papules, pustules and other acne lesions. It's often combined with benzoyl peroxide or a retinoid to increase the efficacy of both ingredients. Clindamycin and erythromycin are two of the most common antibiotics used in topical acne preparations.
Corticosteroids are often used to treat more severe cases of acne, explains Acne.org. By injecting corticosteroids directly into active lesions, inflammation subsides and thereby reduces the size of nodules and cysts. Reducing the inflammation can help prevent permanent scarring of the affected areas of skin.
Women experiencing acne breakouts as a result of hormonal changes can see an improvement in the condition of their skin with oral contraceptives. Since there can be a hormonal component to acne, regulating the hormonal levels with birth control pills can often improve the complexion.
Exposing the skin to laser energy reduces the production of oil from your sebaceous glands. Excess oil can accumulate within your pores and form a soft plug with dead skin, obstructing the hair follicle and resulting in an active lesion. By reducing oil production, you decrease the likelihood of pore obstructions.
Exposing the skin to light energy can destroy the bacteria associated with acne. The P. vulgaris bacterium is said to be photosensitive, meaning it absorbs light energy. This increases the internal temperature of the pathogen and destroys it, thereby improving inflammation and helping recover the skin.
Isotretinoin is an oral retinoid reserved for severe nodular or cystic acne. It helps to reduce the inflammation and clear the complexion when antibiotics, retinoids and other acne treatments are unable to provide results. Typically used as a last resort, this medication is know to cause birth defects as well as depression, sun sensitivity, vision changes and nosebleeds.
Other Cosmetic Procedures
Sometimes you can improve acne lesions with a cosmetic procedure, such as chemical peels or microdermabrasion, notes the Mayo Clinic. They can help control breakouts and are often used in conjunction with other acne treatments.
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