What is worse than waking up in the morning with a huge pimple in the middle of your forehead? It is the proverbial “elephant in the room.” Acne plagues millions of Americans on a daily basis and many people do not know how to treat it. We have all had our fair share of pimples, breakouts, or even acne, but what happens when it leaves a permanent reminder on your face everyday? Acne scarring can easily happen over the years. Fortunately, a vast amount of preventative treatments, as well as, special skin care remedies are available to help prevent acne and acne scarring.
Over the course of your life, your body will shed and re-grow skin continuously. Acne occurs when excess oil and dead skin combine and pug up your hair follicles. This blockage causes bacteria to grow underneath the skin, which then becomes inflamed, thus resulting in acne. Having acne does not mean that your face is dirty. In fact, washing your face too much can also clog your pores. The combination of hormones, genetics and even stress can contribute to acne breakouts.
Although your face my look clear right now, it is very likely that there are hundreds of tiny “pre-pimples” located just beneath the surface of the skin. Often times these pimples do not surface, but by not taking the right steps to treat your skin, they are more likely to appear. The pimples you see on your face begin as “pre-pimples” and often take up to three weeks to appear. With preventative treatments, you can take care of your skin before ever having to worry about these blemishes rising to the surface.
The reality is you are not alone! Although acne occurs very commonly in the teenage years, it is also prevalent among many adults. Typically, when adults have chronic cases of acne they need prescriptions or daily types of treatment and skin therapy. This article will delve into these life-changing options.
Special Skin Care and Diet Considerations
Make-up can be your best friend or your worst enemy when it comes to acne. It is great because it can cover it up, but bad because it can make it worse. Avoiding oil-based makeup should be at the top of your list when trying to prevent acne. In addition, people with acne should avoid using thick facial masks and exfoliators that can clog the pores. Although you may think you are trying to get rid of the problem area, you may be actually making it worse. These products cannot only irritate the skin, but they can also make it difficult for prescription medications to work.
Another myth people tend to follow is using rubbing alcohol to dry out the area. The myth is that putting rubbing alcohol on the skin will rid the area of oil. This does not work and generally irritates the skin causing further breakouts.
There is a wide variety of diet myths. It has been said that foods such as chocolate, soda, peanuts, shellfish and fatty foods are more likely to cause breakouts. The fact of the matter is that everyone is different. If you have noticed that eating certain types of food cause you to break out then it is possible, and you should avoid those foods. There is no scientific evidence however linking food types to acne. However there can be a correlation between touching greasy foods and then accidentally touching your face. You should avoid touching your face, especially problem areas, whenever possible.
Let’s Talk Treatments!
According to Dr. Charles Crutchfield, leading board certified Dermatologist, of St. Paul, Minnesota, explains, “Preventative acne treatment has proven to be successful over the years in many cases. There are particular ingredients in theses products which can significantly improve your skin. Whether you suffer from mild acne or more a severe case, there is a world of options for you. From medical grade skin care that deeply cleanses your skin, to acne medications and laser treatment, your acne can be managed very safely and effectively with the assistance of a board certified dermatologist.” In fact, every dermatologist has their own skill set and area of expertise so you’ll want to research information about how to select your dermatologist. In the end, these options are likely to change the way you feel about yourself when you look in the mirror, as well as, improve your self-confidence when interacting with other people. Not only can this help you become more successful in life but you will feel happier!
A Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That
There are similar ingredients across the board in skin care and acne products. These ingredients each have their own purpose and provide successful results for treating acne in many people. Typically, each of the ingredients is used within other products and is not to be used on its own.
The following ingredients can be found in many acne products and they may drastically improve your acne:
- Vitamin A- used as a cleanser that thoroughly rids dirt or oil left on the surface of the skin.
- Glycolic Acid 8%-15% – helps get rid of dead acne causing skin.
- Salicylic Acid 1%-2% – also helps get rid of dead skin. Usually used in conjunction with a microdermabrasion scrub.
- Vitamin C- helps keep skin well hydrated.
- Benzoyl Peroxide – an active acne fighting ingredient.
Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peels
After acne has taken its toll on your skin, microdermabrasion and chemical peels may improve the appearance of your skin. Several treatment sessions may be required, but results can be promising for people with acne.
Microdermabrasion may work well for people who have superficial to moderate acne. The technology uses a fine crystal spray to cause a gentle abrasion, thus breaking up dead skin and other imperfections. The benefit of microdermabrasion is that after the procedure there is no downtime and treatment takes only a short amount of time. Many people begin with this treatment.
Although more invasive than microdermabrasion, chemical peels remove the entire outside layer of your skin to treat moderate acne and skin discoloration that often goes hand in hand with acne. This treatment removes all dead skin and allows new skin to grow in its place. Since this procedure is more invasive, the downtime may last up to three weeks. During the procedure, a chemical peel agent is applied to the skin to be removed about ten minutes later. The results build over time with continued treatments.
Laser treatment is a highly targeted approach involving the use of a high intensity light beam to treat very specific acne blemishes, scars and skin discoloration. As Dr. Jason Lupton, leading board certified Dermatologist, of San Diego California, and international lecturer on the topic of laser treatments explain, “When a laser is used alone in the hands of a highly skilled dermatologist , without the use of any chemical agents applied thereafter, your appearance can be significantly improved without any downtime. ” It may require up to six sessions to achieve a fully satisfactory result. This treatment may be followed by other treatments for severe acne and/or acne scarring. This may include acne medications such as Accutane and oral antibiotics. Though, the choice of medications is carefully selected and monitored because some medications are associated with health risks.
Alas, today we have advanced solutions to prevent and treat acne. Moving forward, pimples, breakouts and scarring can be significantly diminished, if not completely alleviated. We’ve uncovered the true meaning of acne treatment. And dermatologists have an armory of tools just waiting for you to receive treatment so you can enjoy beautifully glowing healthy clean skin!
It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.