Treatments for types of Acne forums

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Jun 13, 2004
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Treatments for Mild Acne

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Acne can't be cured, but it can be treated successfully. Treatments for both mild and severe acne work in one or more of the following ways:

  • By reducing oil production
  • By reducing bacteria that causes infection
  • By improving the way dead skin cells exfoliate, they can't clog pores.
For mild acne, doctors often recommend using an over-the-counter remedy first, before resorting to more serious treatments that require a prescription. (Keep in mind it takes about a month to see results from over-the-counter products.) Here are some of the most widely used over-the-counter medications for mild acne:
  • Benzoyl Peroxide -- This is a drying ingredient that helps reduce oiliness and kills the bacteria that causes pimples, but it doesn't affect oil production. It comes in creams, gels and lotions. (Benzoyl Peroxide is available over-the-counter in milder forms and by prescription in stronger formulations.)
  • Salicylic acid -- Sold in creams, lotions or pads, it fights blackheads and whiteheads by helping to unclog pores.
  • Sulfur lotions -- Available in creams and lotions, sulfur reduces bacteria to help control whiteheads and inflamed pimples.
Always wash with a mild cleanser. Avoid harsh cleansers and grainy scrubs -- they can actually make your acne worse. Resist the tendency to cleanse vigorously because this may further irritate the skin and do more harm than good.
  • Don't wear makeup to bed. Make sure you remove all your makeup with a mild cleanser and water before going to bed.
  • Don't use astringents. If you remove too much oil, your skin will react by producing even more oil.
  • Don't pick or squeeze pimples -- this can lead to scarring.
  • When choosing makeup, buy only oil-free products (labeled non comedogenic).
  • Use an oil-free and non comedogenic sunscreen daily.
Treatments for Severe Acne
If you can count more than 10 blemishes on your face, your acne is considered severe and you should consult a dermatologist or family physician. Your doctor may suggest one of the following prescription medications:

Tetracycline. This oral antibiotic helps clear up the infection occurring inside clogged

pores. A caution: It can cause vaginal yeast infections and photosensitivity (to sunlight), and should not be taken while pregnant.

Minocycline and Doxycycline. Oral antibiotics in the tetracycline family, they fight bacteria and are broad range.

Retin-A(Tretinoin). A derivative ofvitamin A, this treatment comes in a gel or cream and is applied directly to the skin. It fights bacteria, reducesinflammationand opens blocked pores. Because it causes peeling, one can experience severe redness and irritation, and may become sensitive to the sun. Sometimes Retin-A is used along with benzoyl peroxide.

Adapalene (Differin). A

topicalRetin-A related drug. Milder than Retin-A, it causes less irritation and still works to unclog pores.

Accutane (Isotretinoin). Highly potent, this oral medication is prescribed for very severe acne only. Accutane reduces oil production, clogging of pores and bacteria in the skin. Its use results in skin dryness. Cautions: Do not take while pregnant or while trying to get pregnant because of potential birth defects. Doctors have recently discovered that this drug may be responsible for severe depression and other behavioral changes. A serious discussion with your doctor is extremely important before taking Accutane.

Azelaic acid. A gel or cream applied directly to the skin, this product exfoliates dead skin cells, preventing clogged pores.

Clindamycin Phosphate (Cleocin-T). This antibiotic applied to the skin is also an anti-inflammatory.

Sulfacet and Novacet. These sulfur drugs come in lotions that help reduce bacteria in the skin.

Body Acne

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<!-- V/6 generated DART tag v3.0 --><!-- sstype=other --><!--DART params(5|4tcm|82hq|/v_beauty/skinbody/acne:82hq)-->Body acne is common in adults and teens, showing up mostly on the chest, back and buttocks. Like facial acne, stress and hormones can cause blemishes. However, other factors can induce acne lesions on the body.

Perspiration and tight-fitting clothing are two of the most common culprits, which explains why many physically active women are plagued by body acne. Tight-fitting clothing such as spandex traps perspiration against the skin, and it then mixes with surface oils. The result is a film that clogs pores and causes blemishes ranging from whiteheads to inflamed papules and pustules.

Treatments for body acne are similar to those for facial acne, but body acne tends to be more resistant to treatment because it is difficult to reach. Body skin is also thicker than facial skin, and the blemishes are constantly exposed to friction from clothing. To keep acne under control, wash daily with a salicylic-acid-based cleanser, and be sure to shower as soon as possible after perspiring. Wipe the area with a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid pad and follow with an alpha hydroxy acid-based body moisturizer if needed (it will help exfoliate skin while preventing it from drying out). Use a salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide spot treatment on individual pimples at night.

Stubborn acne is usually treated with a topical retinoid such as Retin-A or a course of oral antibiotics such as tetracycline or minocycline. It will usually take anywhere from a week to a couple of months to see results. As a last resort, Accutane is used, though in higher dosages than for facial acne.


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