Acne Control & Cures
According to the KidsHealth website, 17 million people in the United States have acne and 80 percent of pre-teenagers and teenagers have acne. Acne is a skin condition characterized by different kinds of bumps on your skin. Completely clogged pores form bumps known as "whiteheads." Partially clogged pores form dark bumps called "blackheads." Sebum, bacteria and dead skin cells can infect your skin and cause red bumps called "pimples" or cysts.
Cures and Treatments
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, controlling or curing acne may require treatment for four to eight weeks and immediate cures for acne do not exist. You can effectively control acne only by practicing ongoing acne treatment. Topical treatments in the form of gel, lotion and create can help control acne.
Wash Twice a Day
MayoClinic.com recommends controlling acne by washing problem areas with non-medicated soap or mild cleansers two times per day. MayoClinic.com also advises that excessive washing and scrubbing may worsen acne, so do not wash more than twice a day.
Products to Avoid
Skin, hair and cosmetic products can contribute to acne problems. MayoClinic.com suggests avoiding oily cosmetics and makeup, sunscreens and hair products. Use products with labels that say "oil-free" or "noncomedogenic." These products reduce the risk of clogging pores on your skin.
Avoid touching your face to help control your acne. Keep hair off your face by using an appropriate hairstyle or tying it back. Avoid resting your hands on your face and try to hold objects like telephones away from your face. Use antibacterial wipes to clean surfaces like headphones or cell phones before your face touches them.
Benzoyl peroxide is an ingredient in acne products that kills Propionibacterium acnes, which causes acne inflammation. According to MayoClinic.com, benzoyl peroxide may be the most effective active ingredient in acne control products. Benzoyl peroxide helps remove excess oil and dead skin cells that clog pores on your skin. Benzoyl peroxide comes in strengths that range from 2.5 to 10 percent.
Your hair follicles shed cells that can clog pores and contribute to acne. Salicylic acid is an ingredient in acne products that suppresses cell-shedding activity inside your pores. Salicylic acid may help dissolve white heads and blackheads. Over-the-counter acne products contain 0.5 to 2 percent salicylic acid.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Alpha hydroxy acids are synthetic versions of the natural acids that exist in fruits. Alpha hydroxy acids include glycolic acid and lactic acid. These acids exist in over-the-counter acne treatment products. Alpha hydroxy acids treat acne by removing dead skin cells that can clog pores and reduce acne inflammation. These acids help treat acne scares by promoting new skin cell growth.
Acne treatment products may combine sulfur with other ingredients. Sulfur helps remove dead skin cells that can clog pores and irritate or cause acne. Sulfur also helps remove excess oil on your skin.
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