If you’ve got acne scars, there’s reason to be optimistic, though: Not all scarring is truly permanent. With the right products and doctor-endorsed prescriptions, you can lessen the discoloration and appearance of these scars on your face. We asked dermatologist David Lortscher, CEO and founder of Curology skincare, to break it all down for us.
The medical term for pimples or acne is “acne vulgaris”. For years it has been postulated that hormones and medication can cause acne. According to Ref.1 there are several steps that work together in causing acne. The hair follicle and sebaceous gland work as one unit. Male hormones, called androgens play an important role in the development of acne, both in males and females. Testosterone in males is not only produced in testicles, but also in the skin itself. It gets converted by an enzyme, 5-alpha-reductase, into the much more active metabolite dihydrotestosterone. In individuals with hypersensitive receptors in the sebaceous gland this will cause blockage in the sebaceous gland duct and at the same time stimulate the sebaceous gland oil production leading to the formation of a keratotic plug. White heads and black heads are formed this way. Contributing factors are inflammatory substances that are caused by insulin release stimulated by sugar, wheat and starch intake. This stimulates IGF-1 receptors in the skin, which causes growth of the subcutaneous skin layers, which is pushing up from the layer below the skin, kinking the sebaceous gland duct and causing acne pustules (pimples) to form. A skin bacterium, called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), is getting trapped in the pimple causing a local skin infection, which in turn can cause acne cysts and furuncles, particularly in males where there is a family history of acne. High cortisol levels from stress can also be a contributing factor in causing acne. Today’s teenagers are exposed to a lot of stresses from exams, competitive sports and peer pressures.
When we sleep, healing happens, and at the same time, it’s a great time to apply a home remedy and let it get it to work on eliminating toxins that can cause acne. The Psychiatric Clinics of North America reports that stress is a factor affecting all organs. Though it’s easy to forget, the skin is an organ. In fact, it’s your largest organ! Getting plenty of rest can help reduce acne-associated stress. (9)
Fractional laser treatment is less invasive than ablative laser treatment, as it targets only a fraction of the skin at a time. Fractional lasers penetrate the top skin layers, where its light energy stimulates collagen production and resurfaces the top layer of the epidermis. Treatments typically last between 15 and 45 minutes and effects become visible in 1 to 3 weeks.
I just keep it on over night, and keep a bandaid on it and then in the morning the swelling is usually gone and it is just a head so you can pinch it from there and you can take off the bandaid. I have had gigantic pimples that I have tried it on and it really works!
Limit washing your face (and body if you have body acne) to two times per day or after heavy sweating. Over-washing and over-drying your skin will actually stimulate sebaceous glands (it is a skin self-protection mechanism) to produce more oil.
Topical treatments on their own may not be enough to give you clear skin, especially in those with complicated, inflammatory cystic acne. There are several acne medication options approved for use by the FDA, but which one is best for you is a question for your dermatologist and/or general practitioner. Baldwin says if you have insurance and you have acne, a prescription may be the best step because “it makes no sense to try to handle the condition yourself or to use over the counter products that are always less effective than prescriptions meds.” Here are a few of the acne medications you’ll want to ask about:
Etminan M, Bird ST, Delaney JA, Bressler B, Brophy JM. Isotretinoin and risk for inflammatory bowel disease: a nested case-control study and meta-analysis of published and unpublished data. JAMA Exposed Acne Treatment 2013 Feb. 149 (2):216-20. [Medline].
Chandan Paste: Another thing which has worked amazing on my skin is a chandan paste. In order to make this paste, roll the stick by adding water or milk over a flat stone till thick paste of sandalwood is obtained. The powerful antibacterial properties of sandalwood work effectively in fighting the bacteria and fungi and prevents the breakout of pimples and acne.
Another quick way to get rid of pimples is the use of lemon juice, which is rich in vitamin C. Lemon juice helps pimples dry up faster. Be sure to use fresh lemon juice and not bottled juice, which has preservatives. There are a couple of ways to apply this remedy.
Spironolactone is an androgen blocker. It can be used to treat hormonal acne in women (only) by reducing the production of androgens (male hormones) in a woman’s body, which can then reduce oil production in the skin. If you’re wondering how to get rid of acne overnight, keep in mind that aldactone can take up to three months to start taking effect.
Less irritating than its chemical cousin benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil has a long history of fighting mild to moderate acne outbreaks. The oil, which comes from the leaves of a tree native to Australia, has antiseptic properties that help reduce acne-causing bacteria on the skin and quell inflammation in skin cells. “We’ve seen it work against a wide range of organisms, including 27 of the 32 strains of acne-causing bacteria,” says Murray. (Tea tree oil has even been shown to help fight yeast infections.) Multiple studies, including a review in the International Journal of Dermatology, back the plant’s power. You can find tea tree oil in a wide variety of soaps, skin washes, and topical solutions. Look for a minimum concentration of 5% of the oil (up to 15% for more severe acne). Two popular products to consider: Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil (Buy now: $80, amazon.com) and Dessert Essence Facial Blemish Stick-Anti-Bacterial with Tea Tree (Buy now: $9, amazon.com).
Psoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes skin and joint inflammation. Symptoms include painful, stiff, and swollen joints, tendinitis, and organ inflammation. Treatment involves anti-inflammatory medications and exercise.
Isotretinoin affects all causative mechanisms of acne — it changes abnormal follicular keratinization, decreases sebum production by 70%, decreases P. acnes colonization and is anti-inflammatory.38 Indications for isotretinoin include scarring disease, severe nodulocystic acne and less than 50% improvement with oral antibiotics or hormonal therapies after four months.38 Isotretinoin therapy must be monitored carefully because adverse effects include potent teratogenicity, hypertriglyceridemia and pancreatitis, hepatoxicity, blood dyscrasias, hyperostosis, premature epiphyseal closure and night blindness. An association with severe skin reactions, such as erythema multiforme, Stevens–Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis, has been reported.39 Although a causal relationship has not been shown, patients must be warned about depression, suicidal thoughts and psychosis, and monitored closely.40
Many women have found birth control to be a great treatment for their acne flare-ups, and dermatologists often prescribe new birth control pills to women looking to alleviate acne lesions. There have been multiple clinical trials that have found certain birth control pills can decrease the frequency of acne breakouts, decrease the amount of pimples present on the skin, and lessen inflammation.
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a well known naturally remedy for pimples, and it is very effective. It has mild but potent antiseptic properties; it destroys fungus and bacteria while it sucks up excess oil. Baking soda also stimulates the growth of new skin cells. Thus, your skin becomes softer and more attractive. You can mix equal portions of baking soda with water to form a thick paste and put it on your skin. Leave the mask on your face for 30 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water.
A sunburn that reddens the skin or suntan that darkens the skin may seem to temporarily make blemishes less visible and make the skin feel drier.8 However, these effects are only temporary and there are known risks of excessive sun exposure.8 Remember to always protect your skin with sunscreen, because your skin is exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays every time you go outside.10
Adult acne is acne in the post adolescent phase and it’s not always the same as acne that affects teenagers. The skin is different – younger skin is oily and less sensitive, whereas adult skin is drier and more fragile. Acne in female adults tends to be found around the jawline, chin and neck. The pimples tend to be deeper, more painful and last longer.
What we do know is that the drug ultimately reduces inflammation and makes pores less hospitable to bacteria, Kirby said. It depends on the severity of the acne and how high patients and doctors decide to crank up the dosage, but the average length of treatment is four to six months. While a higher dosage, within safe limits, can reduce the amount of time on the drug, it can also make the side effects more intense.
Insofar as home remedies are concerned, green tea can be applied to kill bacteria, passionflower has anti-inflammatory properties, and aloe vera and/or tea tree oil can be applied to heal and condition the skin.
Acne is a common dermatological condition that affects most people at some stage in their life. Because acne is regarded as “normal” and over-the-counter products are readily available, most people will not seek treatment from their General Practitioner. However, for some, acne will become significant enough to require medical management. Pharmacological treatment for acne is based on the severity of the symptoms and the impact of the condition on the patient. Treatment ranges from topical medicines for mild acne to oral isotretinoin for severe acne.
Do an audit of your skin care and makeup products. This is important! Surprisingly often it can be one product that is causing most if not all of an acne problem! This is especially true for cystic type acne that seemed to appear suddenly. Any that are too rich, too oily, or simply not right for your skin must be stopped immediately.
I didn’t have lemons so i used lime instead on my pimples and it worked great. Thank you for all the wonderful ideas. The toothpaste worked great on drying my pimples but i do not recommend it for people with sensitive skin. O and the ice really took done the swelling on my pimples.
Our team of medical doctors, biology & chemistry PhDs, and acne experts work hand-in-hand with Dan (Acne.org founder) to provide the most complete information on all things acne. If you find any errors in this article, kindly use this Feedback Form and let us know.
. A multicentre, single-blind, randomized comparison of a fixed clindamycin phosphate/tretinoin gel formulation (Velac) applied once daily and a clindamycin lotion formulation (Dalacin T) applied twice daily in the topical treatment of acne vulgaris. Br J Dermatol 2000;143:498–505.
Comedones are clogged pores that fill with sebum (oil and cellular debris). Comedones can be either blackheads or whiteheads depending on how deep they are in the pores and how long they’ve been exposed to air. Comedones are the first step toward pimples.