Mild cleansers: Washing once or twice a day with a mild cleansing bar or liquid (for example, Dove, Neutrogena, Basis, Purpose, and Cetaphil are all inexpensive and popular) will keep the skin clean and minimize sensitivity and irritation.
Oh, hello old friend. Salicylic acid is the go-to fix for pimply preteens. And cruising through the aisles at the drugstore, you’ll find it as the active ingredient on the majority of products labeled “acne wash” or “spot treatment.” Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid that works by dissolving excess oil and gently exfoliating away dead skin cells. Salicylic also has anti-inflammatory properties to help with inflamed cystic breakouts that can occur when blockages deep in the hair follicles rupture beneath the skin. It’s best to apply this ingredient as a toner, moisturizer, or leave-on spot treatment instead of a face wash to give it time to do its work. And keep in mind, salicylic acid can dry out the skin if over-applied, so maybe choose only one product with the ingredient to use every day.
Doctors advise treating pimples immediately to prevent them from spreading. Acne, if left untreated, can leave scars on the skin, which become very difficult to remove. Pimples can develop due to various reasons. Here are a few:
The sebum gets accumulated behind blocked pores. This sebum that builds up behind the blocked pores contains bacteria. A slow growing bacterium, Propionibacterium acne, thrives naturally in the skin. When the conditions are suitable, this bacterium spreads and cause painful pimples. It feeds on sebum and produces a substance that leads to an immune response and also causes skin inflammation (3).
While isotretinoin is available in 5, 10, 20 and 30 mg capsules, only the 10 and 20 mg capsules are fully subsidised. Doses calculated by body weight may need to be rounded to suit the subsidised options.
Pore strips: Pharmacies now carry, under a variety of brand names, strips which one applies to the nose, forehead, chin, etc., to “pull out” oil from pores. These are, in effect, a do-it-yourself facial. They are inexpensive, safe, and work reasonably well if used properly.
Persistent or severe cases of acne are difficult to control, and in the majority of cases requires oral medications. Severe acne (sometimes called cystic acne or nodular acne) creates large, deep, inflamed breakouts. Topical medications can’t get deep enough to effectively treat these types of blemishes.
The good point is that it is permanent, unlike the other dermal fillers, but it requires a more specialised technique that must be perfomed with care by a skilled professional. A mistake is harder to correct.
Scrubbing your face raw with grainy cleansers and exfoliating products can do more harm than good. When done too often, it can make redness, inflammation, and irritation worse. “Exfoliating a pimple can pull away healthy skin cells and create an open wound and higher risk for scarring,” says Jessica Weiser, MD, from New York Dermatology Group. “Exfoliation should be done with caution, and not more than 2-3 times a week maximum.”
The earliest pathologic change is the formation of a plug (a microcomedone), which is driven primarily by excessive growth, reproduction, and accumulation of skin cells in the hair follicle. In normal skin, the skin cells that have died come up to the surface and exit the pore of the hair follicle. However, increased production of oily sebum in those with acne causes the dead skin cells to stick together. The accumulation of dead skin cell debris and oily sebum blocks the pore of the hair follicle, thus forming the microcomedone. This is further exacerbated by the biofilm created by P. acnes within the hair follicle. If the microcomedone is superficial within the hair follicle, the skin pigment melanin is exposed to air, resulting in its oxidation and dark appearance (known as a blackhead or open comedo). In contrast, if the microcomedone occurs deep within the hair follicle, this causes the formation of a whitehead (known as a closed comedo).
I see countless families in turmoil thanks to fighting over acne drugs. It usually looks like this: a teenager with chronic pimples and deep, cystic acne is “dying” to go on a strong medication such as isotretinoin. The parents flat-out refuse due to the dangerous side effects. The teen, already insecure and depressed because of the acne, is now also irate with the parents. Luckily, there’s an alternative.
Garlic is fantastic for fighting acne due to its high levels of antioxidants, as well as its’ anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. There are two ways you use garlic to clear up acne. The first is a preventative measure, which is simply by adding more garlic to your diet. This helps your general health as well as purifies your blood, which can help to stop future break outs. For more immediate results, take a peeled clove of garlic and rub it on the troubled area several times a day. If your skin is sensitive, try crushing the garlic and mixing it with some water.
The path to clear skin is often one of trial and error; you might need to try several acne remedies before you find the right treatment for the types of acne affecting your skin. Before trying acne medication, you may prefer to give different natural acne treatment options a chance. While there is no research supporting the effective use of natural acne treatments, here are two popular options that you may want to try.
Oral contraceptives are a very effective treatment for acne in many women, but you have to give them time to work, says Bethanee Schlosser, MD, assistant professor and director of the women’s skin health program in the department of dermatology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “I ask patients to give the pills at least three months of use before judging their impact. That’s when the studies found a notable difference between placebos and oral contraceptives. Many patients went on to get further benefit at about 6 months out. This is not an overnight process.”
As noted, acne is usually characterized by blackheads, whiteheads, inflamed spots on the skin, and often pustules on the face, the back, or the chest. These symptoms alone do not signify the presence of nodular acne. If nodules are present however, the condition would then be diagnosed as that of nodular acne. If cysts are also present, the condition would be diagnosed as either nodulocystic or cystic acne.
Recent studies conducted by dermatologists in 2012 show that green tea has a positive impact on acne, when applied externally. Green tea has an antioxidant known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). It was observed that EGCG reduced inflammation, sebum production and bacterial growth on pimple-prone skin. Place 2 teaspoons of organic tea leaves in 1/2 cup of fresh boiling water. Steep for 5 minutes; strain the leaves and let the mixture cool. Then use a cotton pad to apply it on your face. You may also put it inside a spray bottle and spray it on. Leave it on overnight.