Acne Relief

There are a number of acne relief treatments available for sufferers of acne. Acne is a skin condition which can result in blackheads, whiteheads, yellow or red spots, greasy skin and scars. It is very common and affects about 80% of people. It can affect people of any skin color. Acne typically affects the skin on the face, neck, back, arms and chest. The severity of acne can vary.

The aims of acne relief treatment are to prevent new spots from forming, to treat those already present on the skin and to prevent scarring. There is no ‘cure’ as such.

If you are an acne sufferer, you need to keep the affected area clean. You should wash it twice a day with an unperfumed cleanser. Avoid strong soaps because the skin needs oil to maintain its natural condition.

There are several over the counter medications you could try. These often contain antibacterial agents such as benzoyl peroxide. Examples include Clearasil Max or Oxy. Benzoyl peroxide can dry out the skin which encourages shedding of dead skin cells. This makes it more difficult for the pores to get blocked and for infection to develop. If you overuse benzoyl peroxide to begin with, you might experience peeling and redness so you should cut down on the use of it until your skin gets used to the product.

If your acne is severe or if you see no improvements after 8 weeks of using an over the counter product, you should consult your doctor. He might prescribe a topical treatment. These include azelaic acid which is more gentle on your skin than benzoyl peroxide. Topical retinoids contain vitamin A, which encourages shedding of the skin. There are also topical antibiotic lotions such as Dalacin T but you might need to use this for 6 months before seeing any results.

If you have inflammatory acne, oral antibiotics might help. The strains of bacteria are resistant to some antibiotics so this might take up to 6 months to work or not work at all. Some types of oral contraceptives help women with acne. Isotretonoin is an oral retinoid which dries up oily secretions. It can cause side effects including depression and liver disorders. This drug is also unsuitable for pregnant women.

A healthy diet is beneficial to acne sufferers. Vitamin A produces many of the effects of isotretonoin but without the side effects. Vitamin E retards cellular aging and is useful in skin repair. Zinc helps you to absorb Vitamin A and regulates levels of Vitamin E in your blood. It helps to kill acne bacteria and boosts the immune system. Selenium boosts skin elasticity and the action of other antioxidants. Magnesium can balance hormones and help to control acne. Multi vitamin and mineral supplements are a good idea, to ensure you are getting enough.

Alternative acne relief treatments include tea tree oil, acupuncture and nutritional changes. If you have acne, the sooner you commence treatment the less chance you have of getting scars afterwards. Bear in mind what works for one acne sufferer might not work for another.

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