Acne & Spot Treatment
Acne can appear on all skin types and is most commonly treated with over-the-counter acne creams and lotions. Acne can be seen in many different forms, including pustules, papules, cysts, nodules and blackheads. When your skin produces pustules, cysts and nodules, it may be necessary to spot treat the area with a product that is highly effective in drying up and clearing individual acne breakouts. It is important to know the different types of spot treatments available, any side effects that may occur, and how quickly the acne will disappear from your skin.
There are many types of spot treatments for acne, including some that are natural and some that are developed chemically. Chemically produced spot treatments include 2.5% benzoyl peroxide cream and salicylic acid, which work by killing off acne-causing bacteria on your skin. Natural spot treatments include tea tree oil and calamine lotion. Tea tree oil is an antimicrobial oil that also kills off acne-causing bacteria, and calamine lotion is a mineral-based lotion that dries up acne.
The effects of using a spot treatment on an acne blemish depend on which type of spot treatment you use. Benzoyl peroxide creams can work very quickly in drying up and clearing blemishes but can be too strong for some people. Tea tree oil and calamine lotion are more gentle on your skin, making them a beneficial spot treatment for sensitive skin types.
Some spot treatments can sometimes cause side effects. Benzoyl peroxide cream can cause redness, peeling, swelling and burning if used too frequently or in too high of a concentration. Tea tree oil can cause redness if it is not diluted before it is applied to your skin. It is important to be aware of any potential side effects before using an acne spot treatment and to check with your doctor before using any new acne product.
Using an over-the-counter chemical acne spot treatment can clear acne breakouts faster but may be more irritating on your skin. Natural spot treatments may take longer to clear acne but are more gentle on your skin. If you do not experience irritation or inflammation, continue using the acne spot treatment of your choice at least three weeks before discontinuing it to give the product time to clear your skin.
If your individual acne breakouts do not clear within six weeks after using a spot treatment, consult a doctor or a dermatologist, who may have a prescription-strength spot treatment you could try.
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