Acne is common skin condition that many of us experience in our teens. However for some, acne is a persistent problem that follows them into adulthood. Acne prone skin is characterized by its oily appearance. The excess production of oil in the skin is usually the result of overactive sebaceous glands. If left untreated, the oil can build up and clog the pores, leading to an overgrowth of bacteria, which can result in infection and inflammation. These affected areas of the skin will often develop into painful eruptions, commonly known as zits or pimples. Acne can be a major source of embarrassment and cause emotional distress, and in cases of inflammatory acne, can lead to scarring. To prevent breakouts, people with acne prone skin should take extra steps to keep their skin clean and clear of debris. Fortunately, there are a number of skin care products, medications and treatments that can help control excess oil production and inhibit the development of acne lesions.
The following are visible signs of acne-prone skin:
Oily skin: There is an overproduction of sebum, which causes the skin to look and feel oily
Facial Redness: Acne-prone skin is often very sensitive and gets red easily
Skin Blemishes: Blemishes such as blackheads and whiteheads are commonly found on acne-prone skin. These lesions may get larger and develop into inflammatory blemishes such as papules and pustules (pimples or zits)
Excess oil production in the sebaceous glands is the primary cause of acne. Teenagers are especially vulnerable to developing acne due to elevated testosterone levels that occur during puberty. In most individuals with acne, the levels of testosterone are no different from those with no acne, but there is an increased sensitivity to this hormone in the oil glands. The oil produced has a slightly different composition, leading to proliferation of certain bacteria and inflammation. A variety of factors can contribute to the development of acne, such as heredity, medication and direct contact with oily substances or cosmetics that can block skin pores.
Good skin care is essential to healthy and blemish-free skin. A daily and thorough cleansing regimen can help maintain a clear complexion. Acne cleansers will remove accumulated oil, make-up, sweat, and dirt on the surface of your skin. In doing so, these products make it easier for topical acne treatments to be absorbed. However, excessive use of acne cleansers can lead to irritated and dry skin. Most people with acne will only need to cleanse with such products once or twice daily.
The most effective way to prevent acne is to keep the skin clean and clear of debris that may clog the pores. Use gentle cleansers and exfoliators to remove the build-up of excess oil, dirt and dead skin cells. After cleansing, use an oil-free moisturizer to keep the skin adequately hydrated. Another way to prevent acne is to use cosmetics specially designed for acne prone skin that are either oil-free or non-comedogenic (which simply means they don’t clog pores). Look for cosmetics that don’t contain isopropyl myristate, isopropyl esters, oleic acid, stearic acid, petrolatum and lanolin (especially acetylated lanolin, alcohols and lanolin fatty acids).It’s also helpful to avoid contact with objects that may be greasy. Avoid touching your face after handling an item that is dirty or oily. Objects that are held close to the skin, such as cell phones or telephone receivers, may often have an oily residue on them. Make sure to keep them clean to prevent transferring oil directly to your skin.
Acne can be treated with a variety of options. If you have minimal acne, you can often get reasonable results using over the counter products, which are primarily directed at reducing the blockage of pores.
In general, these products include cleansers and some topical treatments, such as lotions, pads, gels, and creams applied to the skin. Over-the-counter products containing active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and alpha-hydroxy acids are helpful in combating blocked pores and reducing inflammation.
A doctor may prescribe a stronger prescription medication for acne that doesn’t respond to over-the-counter treatments. Medicines that contain ingredients such as retinoids, are one of the most effective anti-acne agents for unblocking the pores of oil glands. They are generally considered to be the first choice of treatment for whiteheads and blackheads (comedones). Your physician can choose the one that is best suited to your needs.Benzoyl peroxide (BPO) is a powerful antimicrobial agent that is effective against inflammatory acne. Topical antibiotics are frequently combined with benzoyl peroxide. There are also products that combine BPO and adapelene. Acne results from several contributing factors, consequently, combination products are especially effective because they can address several causes. If you have severe acne, consult with a dermatologist to find out which treatment option is best for you.Oral anti-inflammatories and antibacterials may be used to treat inflammation. Oral antibiotics and birth control pills are also useful therapies prescribed by doctors to treat acne.For cases of cystic acne, or acne that doesn’t respond well to other treatments, isotretinoin (an oral retinoid related to vitamin A) may also be used. Isotretinoin is a very potent medicine that carries serious risks and side-effects if not properly administered and closely supervised by a doctor during treatment. The treatment should aim at reducing the acne and prevent the potential of scarring
In serious cases of acne scarring, medical procedures such as microdermabrasion, photorejuvenation, scar revision or laser resurfacing treatments may be used to minimize the appearance of scars.
- Alpha Hydroxy Acid
- Benzoyl Peroxide
- Glycolic Acid
- Salicylic Acid
- Benzoyl Peroxide
- Benzoyl Peroxide / Adapalene Combination
- Birth Control Pills
- Sodium Sulfacetamide
- Laser Skin Resurfacing
- Pulsed Dye Laser
- Scar Revision