Effective Home Acne Solutions
Knowing the most effective home acne solutions is important because approximately 90 percent of acne cases do not require medical assistance, according to "Acne: Treating Yourself," a report by Health Guidance. Learning what solutions and products to avoid, what over-the-counter medicines are the most effective and whether diets and stress can hamper treatment of acne can help you devise a home acne solution.
Plain soap is more effective than expensive soap, according to "Acne," a report by The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library, and the "Acne: Treating Yourself" report. You should gently wash the areas of your face and body that have acne once or twice daily. Abrasive soaps, alcohol pads, antibacterial soaps and aggressive and frequent washing "provide no added benefit and may further irritate the skin," The Merck Manuals reports. "Heavily-advertised products" such as Noxzema and acne soaps with sulfur are also not recommended.
Covering up acne with cosmetics is tempting, but most cosmetics aren't effective solutions. "Water-based products, applied lightly, are the least likely to cause problems," according to the Health Guidance report. Acne sufferers shouldn't use cosmetics such as eye shadow, hair-care products and moisturizers at all unless they are oil free, according to the University of Michigan Health System's "Acne Vulgaris" report. Cosmetics labeled noncomedogenic also help some people because "they don't promote the formation of closed pores."
Benzoyl peroxide is the most effective ingredient in over-the-counter, or OTC, medicines for acne "by far," according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel. It destroys P. acnes and reduces the amount of oil in your skin. Benzoyl peroxide is in several over-the-counter products, including Vanoxide, Noxzema Acne-12, Loroxide, Fostex and Benoxyl, according to the Health Guidance report.
Three other ingredients in over-the-counter medicines showed promise as effective home acne solutions, according to the FDA panel: resorcinol, salicyclic acid and sulfur. All three ingredients "break down blackheads and whiteheads," according to the "Acne Vulgaris" report. Over-the-counter medicines are effective within eight weeks whether they are in creams, gels, lotions, pads and soaps. Their side effects include burning, redness and skin irritation.
Many people with acne try numerous solutions that don't work. "Squeezing, pinching or picking blemishes can lead to the development of scars or dark blotches," according to the "Acne Vulgaris" report. Rubbing and touching skin lesions, and blackhead extractors should also be avoided. However, acne experts emphasize that chocolate and greasy foods do not cause or worsen acne. Avoiding stress is a solution because acne is caused by a change in hormones, and stress spurs a change in hormones.
Taking care of your skin as you shave and go outside is more imperative when you have acne, according to the "Acne Vulgaris" report. Softening your skin with soap and water before putting on shaving cream and shaving gently and as little as possible can protect you against cutting your pimples. Staying out of the sun is important because anti-acne medicines "can make you more prone to sunburn" and skin cancer.
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