Good Acne Solutions
It's a rare person who never has to deal with an acne breakout. According to the University of California Davis Health System, 85 percent of teenagers have to deal with acne, and Marie Claire magazine says post-adolescence acne is an issue for as many as 17 million Americans. Finding good acne solutions is essential for keeping your skin looking its best.
Good acne solutions need to perform two specific functions: Acne treatments should clear up current breakouts by soothing and neutralizing blemishes, and they should clean pores and soak up oil to prevent future breakouts from occurring. A few treatments combine both functions in a single product, but more often, you'll need a combination of products to effectively manage acne.
When you're a teenager, your skin needs tougher acne fighters designed to deal with hormonal acne, explains skincare guru and developer of the Murad skincare line, Howard Murad, in Elle magazine. Adult-onset acne is a different matter, and if you're getting breakouts in your late 20s to 40s, you should focus on treatments that soothe inflammation and irritated skin instead of those that invade pores to attack bacteria, according to Murad.
Several different types of products play a role in treating acne. Exfoliators, which can come in the form of granular scrubs or chemical peels, help rub away dead skin cells that clog pores. Oil-free moisturizers help to hydrate oily skin so that it doesn't become dried out and over-produce acne-causing oil to compensate. Anti-inflammatory treatments are designed to soothe inflammation and redness caused by acne outbreaks and help them to heal faster. Spot treatments, such as benzoyl peroxide or sulfur, help to dry up pimples and prevent scarring.
When it comes to treating acne, many people believe that redness and burning are signs your treatment is working, but these symptoms actually mean your regimen is too harsh for your skin, says Murad. He recommends opting for the gentlest acne treatment first and increasing intensity only if and when you need to.
One of the worst things you can do to treat acne is to pop or pick at an existing blemish, warns KidsHealth.org, an online health and parenting information resource maintained by the Nemours Foundation. Popping a pimple spreads bacteria around the area, increasing redness and inflammation, causing more breakouts and potentially creating scars. If you have a true breakout emergency and need to banish a pimple immediately, call your dermatologist to schedule a cortisone shot.
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