Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Steps to Get Rid of Acne

Steps to Get Rid of Acne Steps to Get Rid of Acne Steps to Get Rid of Acne

Acne---inflammation that results from pores becoming clogged with dead skin cells, oil and bacteria---is a prevalent dermatological concern. In fact, according to the New York Presbyterian Hospital, or NYPH, almost 80 percent of people in the United States between the ages of 11 and 30 are afflicted by some degree of acne. Acne outbreaks typically begin at puberty. While many cases resolve by the end of teenage years, acne problems can continue well into adulthood for some.

Avoid Oil

Excess oil is a key contributor to acne. Acne-prone areas generally produce too much oil on their own, so prevent oil from being introduced to these spots from other sources. Avoid touching these areas with your fingers. Don't lean your face on objects---such as phones---that come into contact with skin. Keep your glasses clean and your hair off your face. Use cosmetic products made without oil and that are identified as "nonacnegenic" or "noncomedogenic."

Wash Properly

Wash acne-prone areas twice a day with warm water and a soap specially formulated for acne. Scrubbing can contribute to irritation and promote acne, so use your fingertips to gently lather your skin.

No Popping

While the impulse to pop pimples may be strong, it's not advisable. Forcefully breaking acne pushes bacteria further down into the skin, contributing to more breakouts and possibly leading to infection, cautions the Nemours Foundation. Popping can also cause redness, swelling and even scarring.

Over-the-Counter Products

Over-the-counter acne treatment products are often effective for getting rid of acne. The Mayo Clinic recommends products made with benzoyl peroxide to kill bacteria, to exfoliate dead skin cells and to reduce oil in the skin. Mayo Clinic also suggests trying products containing salicylic acid to exfoliate and break down some acne formations or those made with alpha-hydroxy acids to exfoliate and soothe inflammation. Sulfur is another beneficial active ingredient to look for, as it can help remove dead skin cells and excess oil.

Prescriptions

When over-the-counter products don't suffice to treat acne, there are numerous prescription options. Your dermatologist can recommend one of many available topical antimicrobial agents to kill acne-causing bacteria. Systemic antibiotics are another possible course of treatment for killing bacteria and treating infections, explains NYPH, which notes that doxycycline, erythromycin and tetracycline are standard options for moderate-to-severe acne. Topical retinoids, which are medications derived from vitamin A, can help unclog pores in mild-to-moderate cases, notes Skin Care Physicians, a site of the American Academy of Dermatology. An oral retinoid, isotretinoin, is reserved for the most severe, chronic acne cases. Highly effective, it also has high risk for serious side effects, including psychiatric side effects and birth defects when taken by pregnant women, explains NYPH. The birth control pill is also prescribed to some women for whom it is a safe option and who need ongoing acne control.

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