Acne is caused by trapped oil, bacteria and dead skin cells within the pores.
Mild to moderate acne, consisting of small bumps, blackheads and whiteheads,
can often be treated with an over-the-counter regimen such as benzoyl peroxide
or salicylic acid. Benzoyl peroxide is a topical disinfectant that kills
acne-causing bacteria within the pores. Salicylic acid is an exfoliant that
sloughs away dead skin cells and the inner lining of the pore. While each
ingredient works independently of the other, the most effective regimens
rely on both. Severe acne consists of painful, inflamed cysts and nodules
that extend into the deeper layers of skin. Severe cases require a physician's
care and prescription medication. Several medications are approved for acne
treatment, including retinoids, oral contraceptives, and oral and topical
antibiotics. Your physician will prescribe one that is best suited to your
skin and the severity of your acne.
Reviewers say the following about acne treatments:
- Acne is not caused by
junk food. It can, however, be caused by an allergic reaction to certain
foods, including nuts and dairy products.
- It may take some experimentation
to find the right treatment. There is no single product or combination
of products that is right for everyone. Finding a perfect match will
more than likely take a lot of trial and error as well as mixing and matching
of products. This is true of over-the-counter treatments as well as prescription
- Results may not be immediate. It can take six to eight weeks
to see results from any particular product. In some cases, conditions
may get worse before they get better. You should, however, discontinue
use if you experience irritation or an allergic reaction.
don't have to feel it for a product to be working. Experts say that
tingling sensations are nothing more than a marketing ploy. The ingredients
that create them will not fight blemishes and may irritate your skin.
- Acne treatments
generally do not treat existing blemishes, but they prevent new blemishes
- Over-the-counter acne treatments work best when applied to
the entire affected area and not just to spots.
- Moderate to severe acne
may require the care of a dermatologist. Some cases of acne will not
respond to over-the-counter treatments. This type of acne requires the
immediate attention of a dermatologist to help prevent scarring.