Zinc is a mineral your body needs in small amounts that not everyone gets enough of, especially vegetarians. That’s because zinc is most abundant in red meat, organ meats and seafood, although whole grain foods and nuts are decent sources. Some research shows that acne sufferers have lower zinc levels than those without the disease and that taking zinc supplements may help. Unfortunately, zinc supplements can interfere with the absorption of other minerals like copper, so it’s important to take zinc under a doctor’s care. The other way to get the benefits is to eat more foods rich in zinc.
Crockett SD, Gulati A, Sandler RS, Kappelman MD. A causal association between isotretinoin and inflammatory bowel disease has yet to be established. Am J Gastroenterol. 2009 Oct. 104 (10):2387-93. [Medline].
If you have current pimples or current acne, keep in mind that scars usually stem more from picking than from the acne itself. The best way to get rid of acne scars is to avoid creating new ones, so avoid popping every zit you come across, resist the urge to pop them as it will result to scarring and darker spots.
You’ve seen the words “non-comedogenic” on product packaging, and know that it means that it won’t clog your pores. But the products you put on your face that don’t say that—typically ones with heavy oils—can clog pores and create pimples. And never sleep in your makeup; the pressure of your face in your pillow in addition to makeup can earn you a pimple overnight.
Exfoliating, which removes the layer of dead skin cells, is also important for healthy skin. After washing your face with a mild cleanser, exfoliate with face facial scrub one to two times a week. This can help reduce dead skin cells and debris which can clog pores and cause more acne.
In women, acne can be improved with the use of any combined birth control pill. These decrease the production of androgen hormones by the ovaries, resulting in lower skin production of sebum, and consequently reduce acne severity. Combinations containing third- or fourth-generation progestins such as desogestrel, drospirenone, or norgestimate are preferred for women with acne due to their stronger antiandrogenic effects. A 2014 review found that oral antibiotics appear to be somewhat more effective than birth control pills at decreasing the number of inflammatory acne lesions at three months. However, the two therapies are approximately equal in efficacy at six months for decreasing the number of inflammatory, non-inflammatory, and total acne lesions. The authors of the analysis suggested that birth control pills may be a preferred first-line acne treatment, over oral antibiotics, in certain women due to similar efficacy at six months and a lack of associated antibiotic resistance.
Alternatively, mix 1 tablespoon of freshly extracted aloe vera gel and 2 or 3 drops of tea tree essential oil. Apply it on the affected areas. Rinse it off with cold water after 10 to 15 minutes. Use it once daily.
If your acne doesn’t clear or if you develop deep cysts, head to a dermatologist. Spironolactone, a mild prescription diuretic that has an anti-androgen effect (it’s also used to treat menopausal hair loss) is particularly effective in treating cysts and inflamed bumps. Retinoids like Retin-A, which treat acne, sun damage and wrinkles, are also a good option. Depending on your medical history, your derm may even prescribe antibiotics or birth control pills to clear your complexion.
The FDA rules are just commonsense. No matter what product you put on your skin, you need to stop if it causes irritation. After all, your skin repairs irritation by making still more sebum in its pores. It is always best to test a dot of any new skin care product on the skin of your forearm, leaving it there for at least eight hours, to make sure it won’t cause sudden sensitivity on your face. But what’s the benefit of these generally accepted as safe and effective acne-fighting ingredients?
If you suffer from harsh, inflammatory breakouts, a doctor will likely prescribe topical antibiotics. This is a pimple medicine designed to help reduce P. acnes bacteria that causes inflamed, infected acne lesions. Some studies have purported that use of these antibiotics has made bacteria more resistant to treatment, and it may be that these treatments are less effective than they were in the past.
The most commonly available topical retinoids are tretinoin, adapalene tazarotene. A meta-analysis of five multicentre randomized investigator-blind trials involving 900 patients showed adapalene 0.1% gel to be as effective as, but less irritating than, tretinoin 0.025% gel.8 Different concentrations of retinoids affect tolerability. One commonly used approach is to start with the lowest concentration and increase as tolerated.
Irritable bowel diseases (IBDs) have also been controversially linked to isotretinoin use. A number of case reports have linked isotretinoin with the onset of IBD, with a wide variety of severity of acne, dose of isotretinoin, and duration of treatment prior to the development of IBD.  Subsequent case-control and cohort studies had conflicting results, with some suggesting no association between isotretinoin and IBD and others suggesting an association between isotretinoin and ulcerative colitis but not Crohn disease [57, 58, 59, 60] Finally, a 2016 large meta-analysis, indexing more than 9 million cases to reduce effects of selection bias and confounding factors, showed isotretinoin is not associated with an increased risk of Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis.  A US Food and Drug Administration(FDA)–mandated registry is now in place for all individuals prescribing, dispensing, or taking isotretinoin. For more information on this registry, see iPLEDGE. This registry aims to further decrease the risk of pregnancy and other unwanted and potentially dangerous adverse effects during a course of isotretinoin therapy.
Get a facial. These are available at most spas, and involve the use of several different cleansers, masks, and extraction tools to reduce acne on your face. If you don’t feel comfortable with having an esthetician work on your face, visit your dermatologist for a more medically-oriented facial.
That’s good news because the British Medical Journal reports that acne affects more than 80 percent of teenagers and continues in adult life in 3 percent of men and 12 percent of women. In fact, it seems to be increasing, which could be due to autoimmune disease, leaky gut syndrome or allergies, for example. Hormonal factors may play a role in breakouts as well. (1)
Tetracyclines – doxycycline (Doxine®, Doxy®), limecycline (Tetralysal®), minocycline (Mino-tabs®, Minomycin®). These are not suitable for children younger than 10 years old because they may stain teeth yellow