Acne: one of the greatest causes of self-esteem issues in teenagers today. This is a skin condition that is characterized by unsightly and (sometimes painful) blemishes. It is estimated that an average of 80% the population today have had a case of skin breakout at one point in their lives.
Acne does not discriminate by race or gender, it occurs to everyone. However, most cases commence teenage years. While this condition cannot be prevented, it can quite effectively be treated with over-the-counter medication. However, there are those times that these pimples just won’t go away! What are your options if you have stubborn acne?
In order to come up with an effective treatment plan, you need to know what you are dealing with. Here is a brief guide on the most common types of acne.
This is characterized by a black pimple on the skin. Their black color is due to the fact that they are open which allows oxidization of the clogged debris leading to discoloration. It is usually a clogged hair follicle (pore)
Just like blackheads, this is a blemish caused by clogged pores. The debris is usually comprised of dead skin and sebum that blocks the hair pores. They appear white since the pores are closed so oxidation does not occur.
These are an advanced stage of whiteheads where the clogging causes bacterial infection in the skin causing inflammation. These blemishes are often characterized by swelling and redness. Since it is usually very dry, further dryness can aggravate the situation.
This is an advanced papules stage which is characterized by inflammation, swelling, itchiness and presence of pus. They look like sacs of whitish or yellowish pus and can be painful to touch. In most cases, people are tempted to touch or squeeze it, which can lead to scarring.
This is characterized cysts and nodules which are large, inflamed blemishes that do not go away as easily. This condition is usually an indication of a more severe underlying issue that is beyond the typical over-the-counter treatments. If you have a full face of these red, large inflammations, it is time to visit a dermatologist.
Depending on what you have and the severity of the case, you may need simple or complex treatment options. In most cases, acne does disappear by itself or with the help of over the counter medication. However, if your regular treatment options don’t seem to cut it anymore, here are other effective acne treatments you can consider.
Basically, acne medication helps reduce the skin’s oil production, fight bacterial infection, speed up the skin cell turnover and reduce inflammations, which prevents scarring. If over the counter options have not been working for you, it is time to pull out the big guns; a combination of medications to help fight the condition.
Topical Acne Medication
These are the most common options. They work best on clean, dry skin (wait for about 15 minutes after washing before you apply the medication). Though this treatment option is effective, sometimes it comes with side effects such as rashes, itchiness, skin peeling and dryness. The most common topical medication includes:
They are mostly contained in lotions, creams and gels. Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives and can be applied every evening or as directed by your physician
These are effective antibacterial treatments and are mostly combined with benzoyl peroxide to curb resistance to antibiotics.
Oral Acne Medication
Pantothenic Acid (B5)
This s one of the naturally occurring compounds that helps reduce oil production on the skin which helps in clearing acne. You can take it in its natural form in foods such as cauliflower, or take supplements.
Combined Oral Contraceptives Therapy
This therapy helps in regulating hormonal fluctuations in the body, and is quite effective in clearing acne in females (including adult women). The approved versions include Estrostep, Tri-Cyclen, and Yaz.
This is for the most severe of all acne cases. It is a very powerful and effective drugs combination though anyone taking it must have close doctor supervision as the side effects can be severe.
Acne is a common problem whose treatment options evolve day in day out. There are varied options when it comes to effective acne treatment. Other than topical and oral treatments, there are combined therapies that help clear the acne as well as treat the scarring should you have any from previous acne cases. One of the most common alternatives to common over-the-counter options is the light therapy. In cases of severe scarring, skin surgery is recommended.
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