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An Overview of Common Treatments for Acne

Aug 3, 2008
Acne is the term used to describe plugged pores of the skin. It can affect people of all ages, races and genders. Most people struggle with acnes during some period of the life usually teenage years. Acne is the pimples (white heads and blackheads) and even deeper lumps that are found on the face, neck, chest, back, and upper arms. Acne is not a life threatening condition but is can be devastating to the patient. It can lead to scarring and disfiguring with even the mildest cases. There are many treatment options for those who suffer from acne. The treatment used depends on the type and severity of the acne.

For mild acne the treatment of whiteheads, blackheads and minor pimples usually consists of a cleansing treatment. You will need to cleanse the entire effected area with a mild soap. Once you have cleaned with a mild soap like Neutrogena or dove you will want to apply an over the counter benzyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These products can be found over the counter and mild acne should be able to be successfully treated without prescription medicine. Benzyl peroxide product such as Benxi, Benzac or even Clearasil work by killing the bacteria that causes the acne. This treatment can take one to two months to work. It will not create a natural resistance to the bacteria. Salicylic acid helps prevent the future clogging of pores and also helps breakdown whiteheads and blackheads. This medicine is found in many over the counter products such as Clearasil and Stri-Dex.

More serious acne breakouts may require a physicians treatment. The deeper acne like cysts and nodules can leave scarring. You doctor may suggest the use of prescription treatments to quickly resolve the acne and prevent scarring. If you have moderate to severe acne you doctor may put you on a variety of medications and treatments.

Of course a daily cleanser will still need to be used in addition to applying benzyl peroxide. You may also be given prescription antibiotic gels, creams or lotions. In severe cases a prescription oral antibiotic maybe used. Pimples or acne should never be drained or popped unless by a health care professional. Large pimples may need to be drained by a health care professional to help prevent scarring and to clear up the infection.

Curing acne takes time and each individuals treatment will be different. What works for your friends may not work for your skin. You will need to allow time for the skin to heal and in some case acne maybe come worse before getting better. There are several products offered over the counter that are sworn by celebrities and other people. Products like Proactiv maybe a good solution for your acne problem. You can also consider taking low dose birth control pills to help reduce acne flare ups that revolve around a women's menstruation. To prevent scarring try to never scratch or pop a pimple. Squeezing a pimple not only bruises the surrounding tissue but can also push the infection deeper into the tissue.

The best way to treat acne is to find what works for your skin type and acne and stick with it. A daily routine should be put in place to help resolve and control future acne outbreaks. If scarring from acne has already occurred there are also treatments that can help prevent future scarring as well as remove scars that are already in place. You should see a dermatologist to discuss your options.
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