Acne is a skin disorder that takes place when the pores become blocked with lifeless skin cells and sebum. It affects people of all ages, typically between the ages of 12 and 25 years old. The symptoms usually appear on the face but can appear on the back, neck, chest, shoulders, or other body parts where sebaceous (oil) glands are present. If you have such a skin condition, look for effective treatment.
What causes acne?
As we age, the ability of our bodies to shed dead skin cells slows down and leads to the stimulation of excess sebum production. Moreover, hormonal changes can also cause the sebaceous glands in some people to produce too much sebum. The dead skin cells and excess sebum clog the pores and form a soft plug. Bacteria that usually survive on our skin initiate to develop in these blocked pores, causing inflammation, swelling, redness, and pus-filled spots (whiteheads and blackheads).
What are the effective remedies for acne?
There are several different treatments, which can help get over this skin disease. They may include topical retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, Accutane®, and chemical peels. The best pimple treatment depends on-
- The severity of your skin disease
- Your skin type
- How long you’ve had the problem
- Your preferences
- If you have only a few blackheads and whiteheads, your doctor may suggest that you use benzoyl peroxide or a topical retinoid.
- Acne is more extensive or severe, he or she may prescribe one of the oral antibiotics.
- If the zit has caused scarring, your doctor may suggest Accutane.
- Pimples on your back are extensive, combination therapy of Accutane® and another drug may be recommended to prevent further scarring.
- In cases of blackheads and whiteheads that are stubborn or that bleed easily, a chemical peel or laser treatment may initially be recommended to remove the upper layers of skin.
- If you have had acne for a long time and it has caused scarring, you may want to consult with a dermatologist who specializes in treating scars.
The treatments above are the most common types of pimple remedies, but there are others. Your doctor can discuss the options with you and help look out which one is right for you. It may take some trial and error before you find an effective treatment that works well for you.
Remember, if you are embarrassed about your zit, there are ways to treat it. Talk with your dermatologist or primary care doctor about the best remedy for you. They will lend a hand in making sure that you get clearer skin and can feel more confident in your skin.
Benzoyl peroxide (Benzac®, Brevoxyl®, others) is an antibacterial ingredient that helps clear pores of acne-causing bacteria. It also has exfoliating properties that remove dead skin cells trapped in the pores, contributing to blackheads and whiteheads.
How does benzoyl peroxide work?
The treatment works against the bacteria associated with skin disease. Moreover, it also unclogs pores and allows the other topical medications you will use to penetrate more effectively. This remedy is available in many forms, including ointments, gels, creams, lotions, and pads.
How should you use benzoyl peroxide?
For best results when this remedy, follow these steps-
- Benzoyl peroxide works best when you apply it to dry skin using a cotton ball or pad. Avoid letting water contact your face for at least one hour after applying the cream because the product can lose some of its effectiveness. Apply this acne treatment after washing, taking a shower, or after a bath. It can bleach fabrics. Therefore, be sure to use a white cotton ball or pad if you apply the product while wearing dark clothing.
- If benzoyl peroxide gets in your eyes, flush with plenty of water.
- Be sure to use an oil-free moisturizer once or twice a day to prevent dryness.
Topical retinoids are medications related to vitamin A that help clear pores and treat blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. Moreover, they also prevent breakouts. You need a prescription to get topical retinoids because these products are powerful and can cause serious side effects if used incorrectly.
When and how should you use topical retinoids for acne?
Your doctor may tell you to apply a topical retinoid once a day at bedtime or more than once a day if needed. Follow instructions for using this treatment carefully. Using too much can irritate your skin, especially when you first start using the medication.
Antibiotics such as erythromycin, clindamycin, and tetracycline can assist treat pimples. They kill the bacteria that cause some pimples. They work best on acne with pus because antibiotics can’t penetrate the skin’s layers to reach the oil glands. These medications are available in many forms, including gels, creams, lotions, and oral pills.
How do antibiotics work?
Antibiotics help control pimples by killing the bacteria associated with it. They prevent future breakouts and clear up most current pimples faster than they would heal on their own. However, antibiotics cannot reduce the number of oil glands.
How should you use antibiotics?
For the best results when using antibiotics for acne, follow these steps-
- Use an antibiotic exactly as directed on the product label or by your doctor. Using too much can increase antibiotic resistance over time, making it harder to treat pimples in the future.
- Avoid contact with eyes, nose, mouth, genitals, or any areas of broken skin because the medicine can irritate those areas.
- Clean your hands before and after applying this medication. It will help prevent the spread of bacteria to other people and reduce the amount you get on your skin.
- Begin by using a small amount on one or two pimples to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction.
If you are using a topical cream, lotion, or gel for acne, consider the following-
Apply it once daily at bedtime for 2 weeks, then twice daily as directed by your doctor. Do not wash the treated area(s) for at least 1 hour after applying the medication. It will reduce skin irritation.
If you are using an oral antibiotic, follow these steps-
Take the medication as directed on the package or bottle label. Gulp down the capsules with water. Antibiotics work finest when taken on an unfilled stomach 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. Stopping antibiotic treatment for acne early can increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics.