Nov 9, 2012

How to Treat Acne

Everyone is all-too familiar with the common skin condition caused by hormonal changes and the increase of testosterone during adolescence in both boys and girls. It often runs in the family and usually disappears by the time adulthood is reached.  This skin complaint is easily recognizable in the form of whiteheads, blackheads and red bumps, otherwise known as “spots.” They appear mainly on the face, neck and shoulders, but when the condition is severe, it may also appear on other parts of the body.

A regular self-care routine, such as washing the skin gently with a very mild soap, can keep spots under control. It is generally not recommended to wash more than twice a day, as washing too frequently can make the skin dry and worsen the condition, this occurs when oil production increases to compensate.

If you are going to use a cleanser, use one that is very mild and that will not irritate the skin, and make sure you rinse with lukewarm water.  It is very tempting to squeeze any spots to try and clear them, but this will only leave broken skin and possible scarring, which can take a long time to disappear.  Apply minimal makeup, as this could potentially block the pores and prevent your skin from breathing.  If you are going to use any products, look for water-based products or a specialized skin care range.

SkinMedica has a wide selection of products specifically targeted to treat acne prone skin. The Acne Treatment Lotion from the range contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide which is an effective, popular acne treatment in addition to Witch Hazel and Willow Bark extract.

Hair can also be a contributing factor in the appearance of spots on the skin, especially if it is oily.  Make sure the hair is washed regularly and that it does not fall onto the face or areas prone to skin disease. In severe cases, it is possible to purchase treatment over the counter, but these medications can be harsh on the skin and cause it to peel.  

Exposing your skin to the sun can help reduce the appearance of spots, although only for short periods of times, using SPF to protect against the dangers of UV light exposure.  Doctors sometimes prescribe antibiotics for treating severe cases of acne.  Prescribed antibiotics either come in the form of oral pills or topical antibiotics that can be applied to the skin.  

Hormonal treatments can also be necessary for women who have acne that is associated with conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome. These kinds of therapies are normally prescribed by the doctor and are used when all other forms of treatment have failed to work.  

Other methods of treating acne include chemical peels, extracting black heads with a pen-shaped instrument and photodynamic therapy. Though treating acne can be a long and frustrating process, there are many options out there that can help you clear your complexion and increase your confidence.

Flora Andrino is a UK-based writer covering a range of health topics, including SkinMedica acne treatments.  She writes on a freelance basis for major blogs.

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