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Given that acne is by far the most common disease in the world, I’m constantly surprised at the amount of misinformation there is about acne treatments. There are so many commonly held believes regarding treatments, which have no scientific or medical validity, but continue to be passed on from individual to individual. More worrying is the possible consequences of trying some of these options.
Here Are List of Common Acne Treatments that Do Not Work:
- Washing up liquid does not work for acne.
- Sticky tape left on the skin overnight and removed in the morning will certainly remove dead skin cells and excess oil, but is likely to damage the sensitive skin, and may cause an allergy to the glue.
- Squeezing your spots is universally not recommended in combating acne. Doing so will prolong and spread the acne to other parts of the affected area.
- Household cleaning products, even when diluted, should not be used to treat acne. There can be severe adverse reactions including chemical burns from pursuing this route.
- Similarly cleaning powders are ineffective for acne.
- Only one acne product does not work.
- Taking high doses of vitamin A or B will not directly help your acne, and may cause other side-effects.
- Prolonged exposure to the sun or using a sun bed will not help your acne, and can be dangerous if you are also taking oral medication of certain types. For example taking certain antibiotics in tablet form, will make your skin highly sensitive to sun light.
- Sudocrem is an excellent treatment for nappy rash, but highly ineffective for acne, primarily because it contains a mixture of greases and oils which are bad for acne.
- Home facial saunas will do nothing for your acne, but will certainly aggravate, already sensitive skin.
There are many other not recommended acne treatment regimes, many of which will worsen an already difficult condition. Avoid these shortcuts and stick with a programme overseen by your medical professional, or one which is based on solid scientific and medical evidence. If you do this, you’ll succeed in overcoming your acne condition.
What Can Lead to an Acne Breakout?
The exact cause of acne in most cases is not known. Many doctors believe that acne results from several different factors. One of such factors, and that is very important, is the rise in one’s hormone levels. During the pubescent years, the male sex hormones called androgens increase in boys and girls. This can cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and produce more sebum, which results in acne.
It is believed that the tendency on whether one develops acne or not is hereditary. Many studies have shown that boys who have acne also have a family history of acne. Acne is caused by when the sebaceous glands begin secreting oily substances onto the skin. Those with acne are especially sensitive to testosterone, and it triggers the glands to produce too much sebum, which is an oily substance.
Acne is caused by the sebaceous glands becoming over active and they then secrete oily substances on to the skin and those people with acne are especially sensitive to normal blood levels of the hormone called testosterone and this triggers the sebaceous glands to then produce an excess of sebum (oily substance).
But at the same time the dead skin cells lining the openings to the hair follicles are not shed properly and they begin to clog up these follicles. The effect of the excess oil and the blocked follicles results in blackheads and whiteheads forming. However for some people once they are out of puberty they will no longer suffer from acne.
But for other people the build up of oil in their hair follicles will create the ideal environment for a bacterium called Propionibacterium Acnes to grow and this normally lives harmlessly on your skin but when the environment is right for them it will grow.
Propionibacterium Acnes feeds off the sebum, and then produces a substance causes the body’s immune system to react. This then inflames the skin and creates redness and spots. With worse inflammatory acne, cysts will develop under the skin’s surface. These will then rupture and spread infection into nearby skin tissue. This can often result in one’s skin scarring.
Hopefully the information above has provided you with some explanation as to the cause of acne and in other articles written we have explained the various types of treatments and products that are available.
Does Phototherapy for Acne Really Work?
Acne may have persisted for thousands of years and still continues to plague mankind today, but modern advances in technology are providing us with new and innovative methods of dealing with this persistent skin affliction.
Sunlight has long been perceived as a potent way of treating acne, as it is supposed to be antibacterial, and the ultraviolet spectrum also apparently has beneficial effects on acne comedones.
However, long-term exposure to sunlight causes skin cancer and other skin damage, rendering any form of sun-based treatment non-viable. Consequently, scientists sought a means of isolating the beneficial elements of sunlight from the harmful aspects, and reproducing it artificially, so that it could serve as a new form of treatment.
What they discovered was that the visible violet light at the edge of the spectrum of sunlight causes an effect that destroys bacteria and makes it impossible for bacteria to fester in the affected area. All they needed to do now was duplicate that specific effect, beaming that specific quality of light at an acne outbreak to remedy the condition. Fortunately, they succeeded, and the revolutionary treatment known as phototherapy, or intense pulsed light therapy emerged (IPL).
Deep penetrating light therapy over a period of several consecutive days has been demonstrated in studies to reduce bacteria accumulating in skin follicles by as much as 99.9%, due to the rapid oxygen infusion caused by the light. The treatment takes about 3 months to show distinct improvement.
Research comparing it to substances such as benzoyl peroxide has shown that it is superior in performance, and is less likely to cause adverse effects on one’s skin. Generally, phototherapy treatment is considered safe except for those rare individuals who are particularly sensitive to light, though eye protection during the therapy is still recommended to avoid damaging the retinas through accidental exposure.
Recently, laboratory studies have revealed that the reason for the effectiveness of light therapy lies not with its ability to eradicated bacteria, as earlier proposed, but in the fact that it suppresses the activity of certain cells, known as Langerhans cells, within the skin. Langerhans cells form part of the body’s immune response, reacting to the presence of foreign agents by activating other immune cells to attack the alien organisms.
This reaction, particularly of white blood cells against bacteria, is considered a primary step in the formation of acne lesions. Consequently, by suppressing the Langerhans cells or decreasing their number, the immune response against bacteria in the follicles is lessened, and acne outbreaks are prevented or minimized.
Thus, it appears that, while phototherapy does have some effect on the bacterial infections that precede acne, it is more integral in reducing the body’s immune response, so that inflamed acne lesions do not arise. On a related note, light therapy seems to be much more effective against inflammatory acne, such as pustules and nodules, and does little to alleviate non-inflammatory acne, such as whiteheads and blackheads.
Whichever way you look at it, what is clear is that phototherapy provides a decent alternative to conventional acne treatments, and the technology behind it can only improve with the passage of time.
What Acne Solution Works Best?
Been fretting about your acne? Well, you are not the only one. For many, it will be disappointing to find out that there is no perfect, one solution fits all type of acne remedy. However, there exist a number of acne solutions and acne medications that are available for most people. These range from pre-treatment prior to more complex form of acne treatments like acne and scar removal using lasers.
An alternative acne solution is to detoxify your body first. Detoxification proponents claim that internal toxins give rise to many skin diseases and disorders as the skin is the largest eliminative organ of the body. The principle in detoxification therapy is to eliminate these toxins from the body.
The detoxification process filters out impurities from the body while plasma substances are enhanced. The failure of the internal detoxification system has been said to result in eczema, hives, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis and acne.
Nonetheless, the most commonly identified cause of acne is clogged skin pores. This condition arises when over-induced sebaceous glands produce more sebum than what is normally required by the skin. These then will draw in the P. acnes bacteria which will ultimately attract white blood cells. This condition will develop a mixture of dead cells and bacteria, which will accumulate on the skin pores. The results of this action is acne.
A possible acne solution can be found in homeopathic treatment or common daily methods employed in treating acne. The use of soap and water may be included combined with benzoyl peroxide, salycilic acid, sulfur and acetone and alcohol treatments. Typically, homeopathic acne treatments may be bought over the counter.
In addition, there are acne treatments and medications that may be applied on the surface of the skin. These are termed as topical acne medications. Topical medications may come in forms like soaps, gels, lotions and creams. However, topical antibiotics may be included in the list but must at all times be combined with other agents, depending on the prescription of your physician. Topical antimicrobials may be employed in conjunction with other agents (e.g. Azelaic acid).
In addition, another acne solution is the use of oral medications (such as antibiotics). This form of treatment is known as a systematic therapy. These work much like the topical medications. However, please be aware that in time the bacteria may develop immunity against the effects of the antibiotics.
I your acne does not effectively respond with these medications, your dermatologist may recommend that you go for hormonal therapy. Through this, the effects of promoting acne by androgens are reduced. The most severe form of acne may be treated with corticosteroids. This will diminish the secretion of the androgens and is noted to be an anti-inflammatory.
On the extreme, in most severe cases, laser treatment may be the ultimate solution for acne. Not only will it be able to significantly reduce the acne outbreaks, it may also restore the original condition of the skin prior to the infestation. However, a laser treatment is not the cheapest acne solution and therefore, should be weighed against your budget constraints.
When working on a feasible method, it is important that the root cause of the problem be identified. It is best to consult a dermatologist to find this out. A proper diagnosis can help you fight your acne and put an end to your worries.
5 Acne Treatments That Actually Work
All of us wish to be 100% acne free, but this is hard to accomplish, and it can be even harder if you are in certain age groups, or have no cash to spend on proper skin care. So, we’ve put together a short list of acne treatments that should be useful to you as a reference and help with acne.
- Witch Hazel
This widely used acne treatment is an astringent that comes from the plant named witch hazel. It is commonly found in areas from Nova Scotia in Canada all the way across the states down to Florida. To make the solution you just need to steam the witch hazel twigs and it is ready!
The extract you just got from it serves as your acne treatment. Do not forget to to cool it though. Good thing about this solution is that it occurs completely naturally and even the process involved in making it is natural, so you can be assured it is far less harsh compared to other commercial astringents and products that should give you help with acne.
- Topical Acne Treatments
Anti-acne creams that are externally applied are also proven to be very effective. Word goes that these creams result in drying and flaking, but it is also believed to be one of the most effective treatments for severe acne cases. Benzoyl-peroxide cream is one commonly available and effective topical acne treatment, so if you tried other things to no avail, consider it.
- Mass Produced, Commercial Astringents
When it comes to seeking help with acne, there’s no doubt that over-the-counter astringents are often very effective. There is a large number of variants and manufacturers to choose from, often with additional important additives that promote acne free skin.
The downside to over the counter acne treatments is that they can be a bit too aggressive for your skin in particular, because of the chemicals that are used to create the anti-acne creams and solutions. Use these skin care products with extra care and be prepared to stop on first sign of trouble, as they can dry your skin too much.
- 100% Natural Treatments that Help with Acne
Your kitchen could be the best source of weapons against acne, and you may not be aware of that. If your kitchen happens to contain stuff like oranges and lemons, or fresh garlic and raw potatoes, it can help you fight acne now!
- If you have oranges and lemons, just squeezed them on soft cotton balls and apply that extract on acne affected areas of your skin, and then wash it off after about 20-25 minutes.
- This will be unpleasant, and may repel the opposite (and same) sex but fresh garlic is also a good natural acne treatment and is used much easier than oranges against acne. Just peel the garlic and rub it on your face. Be careful later when you wash it off, you don’t want to get it in your eyes.
- As for using raw potatoes to help you with acne, peel a potato, and gently, slowly rub its flatter surface on your face.
How do these things work? Well, the natural chemicals in these fruits and veggies can minimize the redness, and at the same time they will clean the skin and that is your quick help with acne.
- Can Oral Antibiotics Help with Acne?
For more severe cases of acne, antibiotics can be prescribed by dermatologists. These drugs are taken orally in regular time intervals, and they reduce the amount of harmful bacteria inside and around skin cells. The antibiotics also decrease the exasperating chemicals produced by the white blood cells.
Finally, orally taken antibiotics lower the concentration of the free fatty acids, plus they create an anti-inflammatory action. Consult your dermatologist for the right anti acne antibiotic and proper dosage in your case.
In acne treatment, Tetracycline is probably the most commonly prescribed antibiotic. This drug should be taken some time before meals, on an empty stomach. Tetracycline shouldn’t be used by pregnant women and young children. The starting dosage is usually around 500 milligrams, taken twice daily, and is continuously taken until prescribed by doctor, or until a fair reduction of acne is visible.
Erythromycin is also used a lot (not at the same time as Tetracycline), and it can be used by pregnant women too. However, it can cause stomach problems and nausea. Unlike tetracycline, which can only kill bacteria, Erythromycin also has anti-inflammatory properties, as an addition to bacteria-killing.
Also, this antibiotic should be taken after meals, on a full stomach. Please, do not just randomly start taking one of these drugs even if you have a severe case of acne. To get help with acne, consult a dermatologist, in the long run it will be cheaper, and definitely a lot safer.