Acne Medicine Reviews - Acne is the umbrella term for plugged pores, pimples, cysts and nodes that occur mostly on the face, neck, and chest and less frequently on upper arms and shoulders. Acne ranges in severity from occasional, random whiteheads and blackheads (papule, pustule) to more severe forms (maculae, module, and cyst). It is considered normal for teenagers and young adults belonging to the age group 12-24, and its effects are usually temporal. Acne that persists or appears after this stage is called adult acne, usually severe and to be treated in all such cases.
Informed knowledge of various causes of acne is the first and primary step in curing it.
Cures for Acne
Harry Potter buffs may remember how Eloise Midgen tried to curse off her acne. And also how even curses proved ineffective with acne, and how her nose got displaced: the effects using treatments without prescription or consultation.
Let us first clarify a few myths and facts about acne, before jumping on to its cures. There are three truths when it comes to acne cures:
- There are no "instant" or "miracle" treatments for acne. Treatments take about six weeks to show initial results.
- Cures are subject specific: if one cure produces near-miracle effects for one person there is no guarantee that it should produce the same results for another. Cures depend on the skin type of the individual and the type and severity of his/her acne.
- Expert opinion and guidance may be required in the more severe cases of acne. Dermatologists evaluate various factors influencing treatment and suggest which one of the multitudinous cures available to undertake.
Following are some common cures and treatment methods for acne.
- Consumption of ample amounts of water: Easy, common, obvious.
- A regular face wash/bath: the Regular cleansing of the skin is necessary to avoid blockages of pores. Wash twice a day, morning and before bed, and a soap that contains a moisturizer helps.
- A paste of baking soda: Reduces the redness and itching due to acne.
- Oatmeal paste: Mix your oatmeal with warm water to form a paste and apply it to the affected area for about twenty minutes. Ideal if you regularly eat oatmeal!
- Facial masks: A paste made of a combination of grated apples (made into pulp) and a splash of honey (about four tablespoons) can be used as a facial mask, apply it for ten minutes.
These are used for more severe cases of acne, where the need to prevent tissue scarring is to be addressed. It is advisable to see a dermatologist as his help will be required.
- Chemical Peels: Light chemical peels, consisting of mixtures of glycolic acid and some other chemicals (suggested by the dermatologist) are used to loosen blackheads.
- Comedo Extraction: Comedo is another name for acne. This involves direct removal of blackheads and whiteheads and must be done by an expert. If done without adequate supervision can lead to staphylococci or streptococcus infection and increase chances of permanent scarring.
- Surgical Extraction: Used mostly for larger cysts, this involves draining the pus and surgically extracting them.
Laser Treatments: Laser therapies are used to destroy the bacteria causing acne, namely P. Acnes. This can also be used to treat scars by removing the irregularity of the scarred surface.
- Acupuncture: This may be suggested to the patient by the dermatologist, who will guide through the actual procedure. Though the success of this method is questionable, the fact that it does not have any negative side effects is an attractive benefit in itself.
OTC (Over-The-Counter) Treatments:
There are medicines and chemicals that can be bought and used without a prescription for acne. Thought they, may prove effective in mild cases, severe cases require expert attention.
Topical treatments, that can be applied directly to the affected areas include:
- Benzoyl Peroxide: Helps to clear up acne and reduces inflammation and itching caused by P. Acnes. Care should be taken while applying as the excess of it can cause the skin to become too dry. Being a bleaching agent it can affect the hair and clothing.
- Resorcinol: Controls small acne by breaking down whiteheads and blackheads.
- Salicylic Acid: Effective on non-inflammatory lesions, Might cause skin irritation. Does not reduce sebum or fight bacteria.
- Sulfur: Used in combination with the above chemicals found to be effective, though the reasons for its efficiency are still in the dark.
B5 vitamins are tablets as opposed to the above applicable chemicals. It has been proved an aid to fighting acne. Expert consultation recommended before such vitamin courses are started.
If the above methods fail to have any effect, then it's definitely the time to see the doc. The medicines commonly prescribed by doctors include:
- Topical Microbials: Antimicrobials such as clindamycin and erythromycin are commonly used to fight P. Acnes.
- Topical Retinoids: Vitamin derivatives used for inflammatory acne. Can cause irritation and increased sun sensitivity.
- Oral Antibiotics: Same effects as topical antimicrobials.
- Oral Contraceptives: Effective for women, work by suppressing the overactive sebaceous glands thus reducing clogging.
Products for acne control come in a variety of forms. They can be creams (best for dry and sensitive skin), gels (alcohol or water based for oily and dry skin respectively), solutions or foam (easily spread, easy reachability).
The above said topical antimicrobials and antibiotics are used in combination with a variety of anti-acne products, so read the contents list on the carton next time you buy a new tube of cream.
When using products, there are chances of temporary side effects: peeling of the skin, stinging sensation, skin discoloration and other such effects. Don't push the panic button in alarm, these effects go away with continued used of the medicines. Things need to get worse to get better: and this is not all philosophy!
The last word about products: ALWAYS follow the doctor's instructions and the how to use instructions on the medicine. They may have something important to say.
Who does not wish for a clear, radiant, bright face? When faced with acne, don't lose your head. Remember the above-said information and it'll be win-win from face-off! Advice and awareness can despot the despot of skin lesions: Acne.