Reduction of Acne
If you suffer from breakouts and blemish-ridden skin, you're not alone: Acne affects more Americans than any other skin condition, marring the complexions of an estimated 40 to 50 million people nationwide, the American Academy of Dermatology states. Although not all factors contributing to acne are controllable, a variety of treatment options exist for regaining clear skin. For sufferers, reducing acne can bring a host of aesthetic and psychological benefits.
A variety of methods are available for treating acne, whether mild or severe. In some cases, avoiding pore-clogging cosmetics, sunscreens and lotions can improve the condition of acne and allow skin to heal, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation explains. Skin products containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, tretinoin and other acne-fighting ingredients can also reduce the occurrence of breakouts; such products may come in the form of gels, liquids, masks, foams, washes, soaps and lotions, and may be available over-the-counter or by prescription. In cases of severe acne, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation notes that antibiotics and prescription medications such as isotretinoin can bring acne relief.
Improving your skin condition can produce significant benefits and potentially improve your quality of life. According to the Dermatology Online Journal, acne--especially when severe--can yield psychological repercussions such as depression, anxiety, social phobia, dissatisfaction with appearance, impaired self-image and low self-esteem. Along with bringing aesthetic improvements, reducing acne can contribute to better mental health by reducing your self-consciousness and helping you gain confidence in your appearance.
Even the most potent acne treatments won't create a clear complexion overnight, and most treatments take weeks or months before producing visible improvements in your skin condition, AcneNet states. You may need to use a product consistently for four to eight weeks before determining whether it is or isn't effective. Avoiding pore-blocking cosmetics and abstaining from popping pimples may help your acne clear up faster.
Several myths surround acne reduction and treatment. As AcneNet explains, waiting for acne to "run its course" and vanish on its own is neither effective nor necessary. Acne can persist for years if left untreated, and using an acne-fighting product, medication or other treatment method ensures faster relief from breakouts. Additionally, while some people believe acne results from specific foods--such as chocolate, pizza and other greasy fare--this is a misconception: No link exists between diet and acne, and altering your diet is unlikely to reduce its occurrence.
Although maintaining a healthy skin-care regimen is helpful for combating acne, washing your skin too vigorously and too frequently can worsen outbreaks. As the Palo Alto Medical Foundation explains, excessively scrubbing acne-prone skin--especially with a harsh fabric like a washcloth--can irritate whiteheads and blackheads, aggravating the infection responsible for acne and resulting in more pimples. A gentle cleansing regimen, using a mild soap or acne cleanser, is more effective for reducing acne than vigorous scrubbing.
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