Acne is a skin disorder. It is not medically dangerous, however, it can be psychologically damaging to the person who suffers from it.
For the most part, teenagers are the ones who are affected by acne. Adults however, can be affected by acne as well. Acne is caused by a build-up of oil and ‘sticky’ skin cells. This combination clogs the hair follicles of the skin and acne is created.
Acne can look different depending on the type of If acne that you have. Whiteheads are the most common type of acne. These are caused by the clogging of the hair follicles. If the clogged cells come to the surface and air gets to them, they become blackheads. Many people think that blackheads are caused by dirt but this is not true.
There are many myths regarding the causes of acne. Many people think that chocolate and greasy food, such as french fries and pizza can cause acne. This is not true.
Acne treatment starts with acne prevention. There are a few causes that can be prevented and there are also some that can not be helped.
Scrubbing your face too hard can make your acne worse, not better. Using oil-based makeup and tanning oil can clog pores and cause acne. If you already have acne, the makeup or tanning oil will make it worse.
There are a couple of acne causes that can not be helped as well. Boys are more susceptible to acne than girls are. This is because boys have more skin cells that girls do. Also, a girl who is menstruating is more likely to have an acne break out than a girl who is not.
If it is something that can be prevented, then you should do what you can to stop. Prevention is the best form of treatment
Over the Counter (OTC) Acne Treatments
There are many different types of over the counter treatments. Each one claims to be better than the rest. There are different medicated pads and creams. For blackheads you can find tape which you can put over the area where the blackheads are and rip it off, removing most of the blackhead. There are many companies who offer different products but are almost the same. Each company competes with the next for the customers. Between Stridex, Clearasil, and Neutrogena, there are many treatments to choose from.
There are three main things that over the counter (OTC) acne cleansers contain. They are Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, and antibacterial components. Benzoyl Peroxide is another major agent in over the counter acne treatments.
When a patient chooses to try over the counter treatments, they should first try medicated pads. After that, if there is still no change, they should try Benzoyl Peroxide.
If the patient still has not noticed a difference after eight weeks, it is probably time to call a dermatologist (skin doctor) to get a prescription-strength medication.
Topical Prescription Strength Acne Treatments
If over the counter acne medications are not working for you, you may want to have something prescribed by a doctor. Benzoyl peroxide may be prescribed but in strengths much stronger than what is available in the stores.
Another medication that your dermatologist may prescribe is Retinoids. These products are very effective in unclogging pores and glands. These medications are used topically and it is up to your doctor which one should be used. These medications are used mainly to get rid of whiteheads and blackheads.
Oral Prescription Strength Acne Treatments
If a topical ointment is not right for the patient or not working well, there is an oral medication that doctors can prescribe. It is called Accutane. This medication is a vitamin A analog. This only means that its molecular structure is like that of vitamin A. This medication was made available in the United States in 1982. When women and girls of childbearing age are on this medication, they are required to use two forms of birth control. This is because if they were to get pregnant while on Accutane, the baby could be born with several deformities. That is one of the side effects.
Doctors tell patients that when they take Accutane, they should take it with a fat-filled food, for example, 2% milk. This is because the fat can absorb the food enough to get it to go into the patient’s system enough for it to reach the skin.
The success rate of Accutane is good. After one course of Accutane, thirty-five to thirty-eight percent of users notice a full recovery. Seventy percent of the people who use Accutane experience a full recovery. Occasionally, patients will have a problem after being in remission. This is more likely to happen to adults than teenagers.
There are many different types of acne medications. It is up to your doctor to decide whether you should use over the counter (OTC) medications or prescription medications. If you do need prescription medications, it will be up to your doctor whether you need topical medications or oral medications. However your doctor decides to go, you can be sure that your acne should be gone, or at least a lot better within eight weeks.