It’s that time of year again! School is back in session, and you’re already talking about the new things we want to learn. Maybe your mind is also preoccupied with thoughts of how to keep that pesky acne under control. Here are some tips for treating acne naturally so you can focus on what matters: learning stuff!
What is Acne?
Acne is a common skin condition when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. The oil can be produced by the body or come from outside sources, such as dirt or cosmetics. The follicles are connected to the surface of the skin by a canal called a pore.
Acne usually develops during puberty because of increased sex hormones called androgens. It can affect males and females alike but tends to be more severe in males because they have higher levels of androgens.
Symptoms of Acne
Acne can affect people of all ages, but teenagers and young adults are most likely to get it. Here are some common symptoms of acne:
- Pimples, blackheads and whiteheads.
- Redness and swelling.
- Painful lumps under the skin.
- Blotchy red skin.
No one likes acne. It’s not only annoying, but it can also be embarrassing. Fortunately, many treatments are available to treat mild to severe acne. It’s best to visit a dermatologist to help tell whether you have mild, moderate or severe acne. The doctor will also explain what treatment is best for your acne.
If your acne isn’t too bad, you may only need to use over-the-counter products. These include:
- Benzoyl peroxide. This helps kill the bacteria that cause spots and reduces inflammation. It has different strengths and is often combined with an antibiotic gel or lotion.
- Salicylic acid. This spot treatment works by drying out the skin, killing bacteria and helping prevent new spots from forming. You can buy it from pharmacies and supermarkets or get a prescription from your GP.
If your acne isn’t severe, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic cream or gel. Some of these are available over-the-counter, and others require a prescription from your doctor. The best treatment for moderate acne is usually a combination of topical retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and antibiotics. Your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic or birth control pill.
Oral antibiotics can be used as an alternative or in addition to topical therapy in cases of moderate to severe acne that doesn’t respond well to other treatments.
If you have severe acne, your dermatologist may prescribe oral and topical medications more effective than over-the-counter treatments.
Dermatologists also offer laser treatments, chemical peels and other types of treatment that aren’t available at general physicians’ offices.
Ultimately, you will have to tailor your treatment regimen to your skin needs. But the best place to start is with the products that are right for you. Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas on what they might be. Remember, while many acne treatments exist, not every product works the same on every person’s acne-prone skin. Take the tips above and try them out for yourself.
And if nothing works, contact us to book an appointment with Dr. David Baird today! We’ll do our best to help you get clear skin!