Acne, blemishes, breakouts ...... whatever you want to call them, are always unfortunate skin problems and most people have to deal with them at some point in their lives. Fortunately, there are many, many ways to get those pesky pimples under control, from strict skin care regimens, to medications and creams, to innovative home remedies. Finding what works for you can be a constant process of trial and error, but don't worry - this article contains solutions that will work for anyone!
Protect your skin
Wash your face twice a day. When you are trying to prevent acne, it is very important to keep your face clean, washing away dirt and oils from the surface of your skin. Ideally, you should wash your face twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, and use warm water and a mild cleanser, then use a clean, dry towel to gently pat your face dry.
Avoid using rough wash cloths, sponges or loofahs to wash your face. This can simply irritate the skin and cause more redness and swelling of the pimples. Wash cloths can also harbor bacteria, and that is something you want to avoid contact with your face.
When you have acne, even if you will be compelled to wash your face more than twice a day, you must know that this will not necessarily help you. Washing your face too much may cause your skin to become dry and sensitive.
Use a non-acne-causing moisturizer. It is very important to apply a good moisturizer after washing your face to moisturize your skin and avoid making it dry. However, if you are suffering from acne, then you have to use a moisturizer that is appropriate for your skin type. Heavy, oily moisturizers can clog pores and cause further breakouts. Look for "non-comedogenic" labels on emollients - this means they should not cause your skin to break out.
In addition to finding a non-comedogenic moisturizer, you should also be careful to choose a product that is appropriate for your skin type. For example, if you have oily skin, you may want to use a lighter, gel-like moisturizer, while if your skin tends to dry out and peel, you may need a thicker, cream-like moisturizer.
Make sure you've just washed your hands before you apply the moisturizer. Otherwise, any bacteria from your hands will transfer to your face as you apply it.
Avoid touching your face or prominent pimples. Hands are exposed to more dirt and bacteria than any other part of your body, which is why you should avoid touching your face at all costs. In addition to the risk of spreading bacteria and infection, touching spots and pimples can cause them to become more irritated and inflamed, which worsens their appearance and prolongs healing time.
Squeezing a pimple, no matter how gratifying it may feel to you, is definitely one of the worst things you can do to your skin. Squeezing your pimples will only prolong the healing time and may even lead to infection and scarring. Acne scars are very difficult to get rid of, so you want to avoid this as much as possible.
It is very easy to touch your hands to your face without you realizing it. Be careful not to support your cheeks with your hands while sitting, or to put your face in your hands at night while you sleep.
Use exfoliating treatments and masks once a week. Skin exfoliators and masks are great products which are very beneficial to the skin but should be used with caution. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells while effectively cleansing the skin, but if used regularly can dry out and irritate the skin, especially on acne prone skin.
Masks work well to cleanse impurities and calm the skin, and a regular skin care routine can be viewed as a spa-like experience. But they should be limited to about once a week, as they may contain more harsh ingredients and are not suitable for daily use.
Avoid overdoing it with skin care products. Too many creams, lotions and gels can clog pores and cause rashes, so be sure to use any facial product carefully and no more often than indicated on the package. This also applies to makeup, which should be applied as gently as possible and should be removed as thoroughly as possible with a cleanser at the end of each day.
When hair comes into contact with the face, heavily scented shampoo and conditioner products may clog pores, so avoid such things whenever possible. Use a mild shampoo and conditioner so that your skin is not irritated in the shower.
You should also limit your skin's exposure to oils and bacteria by changing your pillowcase at least once a week, and wash your makeup brushes frequently.
Protect your skin from the sun. While traditional advice encourages acne-prone skin to be exposed to more sunlight, believing it will dry out the pimples, modern skin experts disagree. The sun's UV rays can actually cause pimples to become more red and inflamed than before.
For this reason, you'll want to protect your skin from the sun by wearing a protective hat and using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher.
Be aware that some sunscreens are oily, which can clog pores, so you'll want to use products that are labeled "non-comedogenic.
Watch what you eat. Although it has been proven that junk foods such as chocolate do not actually cause acne, it is still important to stay away from greasy foods, which can still have a detrimental effect on your skin. When acne forms, excess oil can clog your pores, so by limiting your intake of oil, you're taking a step in the right direction. Also, if your body is healthy on the inside, this will reflect on the outside.
Stay away from foods such as chips, chocolate, pizza and French fries. These foods are high in fat, sugar and starch, which is not good for your skin or your overall health. You don't need to skip them altogether, just try to limit your intake.
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. The water they contain helps moisturize your skin, and their vitamins and minerals will give your body the ammunition it needs to fight acne. In particular, try to eat vegetables and fruits high in vitamin A (such as broccoli, spinach, carrots, etc.) as this helps flush acne-causing proteins from the system, and fruits and vegetables high in vitamin E , C (oranges, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, avocados) have antioxidant properties and help calm the skin.
Drink plenty of water. Drinking water has many benefits for the overall health of your skin and body. It keeps your body hydrated and helps your skin look stable and plump. It removes harmful toxins and prevents them from building up in the system and causing skin problems. In addition, water helps ensure proper function of the skin's metabolism, allowing it to regenerate. Your should drink 5 to 8 glasses of water a day to ensure that you benefit from it.
Drinking a lot of water has many benefits, but don't feel you have to keep drinking it. Too much water dilutes the blood and can also be harmful to your health, and in extreme cases can lead to seizures. Make a mark when you've reached about eight glasses so there's no problem.
You should also try to stay away from drinking too much alcohol. Alcohol disrupts hormonal balance, such as the imbalance of testosterone and estrogen is one of the main causes of acne. In addition, alcohol damages the liver, which is the main organ for maintaining healthy skin, as it regulates hormone and blood sugar levels and filters toxins.
Use of creams, medications and treatments
Use an over-the-counter cream. If you suffer from persistent acne, you usually need to do more than simply wash your face and eat a healthy diet. Fortunately, there are many over-the-counter creams that can miraculously clear up pimples and prevent more pimples from suddenly appearing where they were. These creams are usually applied directly to the pimple and in most cases there is a noticeable improvement in skin condition within 6 to 8 weeks. The most common active ingredients in these creams are
Benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria on the surface of the skin and also slows down the production and accumulation of oils in the pores. It also acts as a peeling agent to help renew the skin. Benzoyl peroxide has an irritating effect on dry skin, so you should start with the lowest effective concentration.
Salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is another ingredient that helps kill acne and disease-causing bacteria. It also helps break up blackheads and whiteheads, which can develop into pimples once they become infected. In addition, salicylic acid helps the skin get rid of old dead layers to prevent clogged pores and allow new skin cells to form.
Sulfur. Sulfur has anti-bacterial properties and helps break up whiteheads and blackheads, preventing them from becoming infected and forming pimples.
Vitamin A acid. Vitamin A acid contains the acidic form of vitamin A, known as all-trans retinoic acid, which operates like a chemical peel to exfoliate and unclog pores.
Azelaic acid. Azelaic acid minimizes the appearance of acne by preventing oil build-up and reducing inflammation and limiting the growth of bacteria. It is especially effective for darker skin tones.
Ask your dermatologist for a more powerful topical application cream. Some people find that over-the-counter creams are not strong enough to deal with stubborn topical acne. In this case, you may have to ask your doctor to prescribe a stronger topical treatment cream to be effective.
Most prescription creams contain active ingredients derived from vitamin A, such as retinoic acid, adapalene and tazarotene. These creams work by promoting cell renewal and preventing clogging of hair follicles.
There are also antibacterial creams that work by killing bacteria on the surface of the skin.
Consider taking a course of antibiotics. In cases of moderate to severe acne, your doctor may recommend a course of oral antibiotics combined with topical creams. This helps reduce the inflammatory response to bacterial growth. Antibiotic treatment usually lasts four to six months, and at about six weeks, you will begin to notice improvement in your skin.
Unfortunately, many people nowadays usually develop resistance to antibiotics easily, so this approach is not always effective.
Certain antibiotics (such as tetracyclines) can reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives, so women should use an alternate form of birth control when using a course of antibiotics.
In cases of severe acne, treatment with isotretinoin may be considered. If all else fails and severe acne persists, your dermatologist may recommend treatment with isotretinoin. Isotretinoin is closely related to vitamin A. It works by reducing the amount of sebaceous oil produced by the body and causing the oil-producing glands to shrink. A course of treatment usually lasts about 20 weeks, during which time the patient must be closely monitored because the drug has a large number of potential side effects.
When taking isotretinoin, acne usually gets worse before it gets better, a condition that usually lasts a few weeks, but sometimes lasts the entire treatment period.
Some of the side effects associated with isotretinoin treatment include dry skin, dry eyes, chapped lips, sensitivity to sunlight, and less commonly, headaches, hair loss, mood changes, and depression.
This treatment has been linked to serious birth defects, so it cannot be used for pregnant women or those trying to conceive. Therefore, women will be required to undergo a pregnancy test before being prescribed this drug.
If you are a woman, you may consider using oral contraceptives. Since many acne problems involve hormonal imbalances, oral contraceptives are a great way to regulate hormone production - oral contraceptives will also specifically involve the menstrual cycle. Oral contraceptives containing a combination of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol are usually the most effective.
Oral contraceptives can in rare cases produce serious side effects such as blood clotting, high blood pressure and a high risk of heart disease, so be sure to discuss this thoroughly with your doctor before using it.
Find some specialized treatments. There are many effective treatments available at skin clinics, and when used in combination with the methods described below, it can significantly improve the appearance of acne-prone skin. Although they are a bit expensive, they can produce more long-term results than other treatments and even help prevent and reduce scarring. These treatments include
Laser therapy. Laser therapy works by getting deep into the skin and destroying the sebaceous glands that produce oil - the excess oil that will cause acne.
Light therapy. Light therapy works to reduce inflammation and improve the texture of the skin by cleaning the surface of the skin of acne-causing bacteria.
Chemical peels. Chemical peels work by peeling off the top layer of skin in a controlled manner, removing the top layer of skin and exposing a new layer of skin underneath. This treatment is a particularly good way to remove some of the marks or scars that remain after the acne has disappeared.'
Microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is done by using a rotating wire brush to remove the top layer of skin and reveal the new smooth skin underneath. This method can be a bit uncomfortable and can also cause a bit of redness and abrasion-like changes to the skin for a few days before it fully heals.