Pimples and acne are two major skin problems, including blackheads and whiteheads, that most people acquire from puberty to adulthood. These are skin disorders – face, back, head, etc. – which give discomfort and lower our self-esteem. Seeing your face plagued with acne and pimples can be devastating.
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There are solutions and treatments available that can address these skin problems. Several options such as over-the-counter topical and oral solutions are readily available, Home treatments is another option while visiting a dermatologist is necessary especially for those who are suffering from severe acne condition.
Acne is the presence of infected or inflamed sebaceous gland/s in the skin. Acne, pimples or other skin conditions can also grow on the shoulders, back, head and other areas of the body.
If you look closely, the skin has tiny holes called pores. These pores have hair follicles and are connected to oil glands that are underneath the skin. When dead skin blocks the pores, dirt, and sebum (which is produced by the oil glands), bacteria build up occurs, and the outcome is often blemishes on the surface of the skin.
What Causes Acne
Pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads are different types of acne. These skin conditions usually start during the onset of puberty. Some people are lucky to have tight pores wherein the oil glands are not susceptible to dirt that can cause inflammation and breakouts on the skin. However, there are lots of individuals who suffer from it when puberty begins, and even through adulthood.
Several factors contribute to having skin breakouts. Here are some of the possible triggers of acne:
Hormones – this is a common factor for those unpleasant zits and acne. From infancy to childhood, your face is often as smooth as silk, but by the time you hit puberty, it is where all the changes begin to happen in your body. It is not just the change in your voice or the shape of your body-your skin experiences its own changes. Tight pores slowly open up, and severe amounts of sebum production occur, mainly focusing on your facial skin.
Medication – certain medications contain androgen and lithium which triggers or adds up to the androgen hormone we have in our bodies. The rise of androgen hormones occur at puberty; thus, taking in more of this hormone might result in having acne.
Stress – we often overlook stress, in general, as one of the culprits in causing distress to our body. Skin, in particular, can quickly react to stress. Notice that when you lack sleep, your skin starts to dry up. It also reacts to emotional, physical and mental stress.
Hormonal change – there are certain stages in our life when we undergo hormone changes, especially with women. Women go through hormonal changes every month, which occurs during the menstruation cycle. Women are prone to skin problems more than men due to these changes in their bodies on a monthly basis.
Makeup – this is one of the expensive perpetrators that we will use that can damage our skin. Failing to wash off makeup will trigger acne on your skin – and even if you are lucky enough not to break out with heavy makeup use, it is best practice to always wash your face to avoid long term damage. If you have a face that is often oily, be sure to deep cleanse your skin to keep your pores unclogged to avoid inflammation and breakouts.
Acne Treatments and Medications
There are many available methods to get rid of acne. Depending on your lifestyle and skin type, there is a solution available in the market. You can choose from topical, oral or even clinical solutions. Home remedies are also available for those who prefer an all-natural approach to treat your skin problems.
Top 10 Acne Treatments and Medications
Perhaps the number one solution that people usually think of is an OTC (over the counter) topical solution. However, depending on the severity of the acne and breakouts, topical solutions can only address what is superficial. If the condition of the acne is severe, there are also other available solutions such as oral, cosmetic or clinical solutions.
- Salicylic Acid – this is the go-to solution for most people especially for adolescents. Salicylic acid is an active and major ingredient of products for most skin care products. This is also known as beta hydroxy acid (BHA). It dispels excessive production of oil. It also exfoliates the skin gently which removes the thin layer of dead skin. It dries up the skin which kills the acne or pimple as it works. It may work best if this is in products that stay on the skin (moisturizer, toner or spot treatments).
- Glycolic Acid – if salicylic acid is beta hydroxy, glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). Both AHA and BHA share the same effect on the skin; however, BHA is oil soluble making it more ideal for non-prescription acne products. Meanwhile, AHA is best for making sun-weathered or damaged skin appear fresh and recover more quickly.
- Retinol – this is also a common ingredient for OTC skin care products. The retinoid cream is an anti-ageing topical solution which also contains Vitamin A, which is effective in removing acne. Retinoid is anti-inflammatory which is suitable for acne.
- Birth Control Pills – this is ideal for women who break out every time they are nearing their period. Because hormone change is one of the triggers for acne and other skin problems, this is one of the standard oral solutions for women suffering distress on their skin.
- Antibiotics – for those who suffer from moderate to severe acne, this is one of the most effective medications. However, this is usually accompanied with a topical retinoid or benzoyl peroxide for best results. Antibiotics are prescribed for short-term use to prevent antibiotic resistance. Possible side effects may also occur, such as dizziness or an upset stomach. It can also increase skin sensitivity to the sun.
- Accutane – which is also known as Isotretinoin, is a powerful medication used for the treatment of severe acne. This very ideal for body acne in men and cystic acne in women. Accutane also contains Vitamin A which can close up sebaceous glands. It means that it can cause the skin to dry up so it would be best to use moisturizers while taking this powerful oral solution. Be sure to research the side effects of Accutane carefully before choosing this medication.
- Cortisone Shot – this treatment is a quick fix which is ideal for people who do not have time to wait for the skin to clear up. This is mainly done by celebrities or for those individuals who are high-maintenance with tight schedules that need to look their best at all times. A cortisone shot is directly injected into the acne. The effect will take effect in just a few hours after administering the shot.
- Photodynamic Therapy – or also known as PDT, is a treatment that uses a light-activated system which can eliminate the causes of acne. Although further studies still need to determine its effectiveness for the treatment of skin problems, it is already being used by cosmetic clinics.
- Chemical Peel – is a procedure that requires a constant application of chemical solutions. This treatment must be done by a dermatologist since this can implicate severe skin damage if misused. The solution contains AHA, BHA or retinoic acid. This is a temporary fix to heal acne and acne scars but not a solution to eliminating this skin problem from reoccurring.
- Extraction – a frequent and painful treatment done in cosmetic clinics. This is done with the use of special tools that can extract the contents of pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, and acne. However, after this treatment, special creams and topical solution are needed to avoid scarring.
Treatments and medications for these skin problems may cost large sums of money over time. If you are the type of person who prefers an all natural approach to skin treatments, there are available home remedies that you can do.
Skin problems can be avoided through a simple lifestyle change. There are certain things you can do to help your skin from breaking out. Here are some of the things you can do to take care of your sensitive skin:
Use gentle facial cleansers or mild soap – avoid facial scrubs and cleansers that contain ingredients that can worsen your skin problems. Facial scrubs have tiny components which can harm your skin. Wash your face no more than twice daily.
Wash off makeup – never sleep with any amount of makeup on your face and neck. This might lead to irritation and may cause inflammation in the pores which lead to acne and breakouts.
Drink plenty of water – as we know, our body is composed of 60-70% water, which includes the skin. When the skin lacks moisture, it can quickly dry up and can be prone to irritation. Water washes away the toxins not only internally but also externally. It also replenishes the fluids in our cells which helps skin naturally hydrated and keeps it young looking.
Eat your veggies – since veggies contain vitamins, nutrients, and water, this will help your organs function properly which also includes the skin. Keeping a healthy and well-balanced diet is key to healthy skin.
Avoid irritants – if you have already noticed that you have oily skin, you must take care of your skin correctly. On the other hand, if your skin is as dry as a desert, it is also important to properly care for your skin type. This means you need to know your products well which includes makeup, cleansers, skin care products and the food you feed your body. If you neglect all of these, it can significantly impact your skin’s condition and it can make your blemishes worse.
Acne, whether it is on the face or anywhere else on the body, is an uncomfortable problem. However, knowing what to do is your first line of defence. You can better know the causes of your acne by visiting a dermatologist, who can determine if you have a hormonal imbalance or another underlying issue.
Do not take second chances especially when dealing with your skin. The face is the first thing that we all notice, so keeping a clear skin will be great for your confidence and self-esteem. See a skin doctor to have your skin problems addressed, and then begin a concentrated routine to combat your acne and breakouts for the long term!