Most would consider this a scar, but it’s actually not because it’s a normal part of the healing process. Once your pimple or acne heals, it’s going to appear darker. Without treatment, these spots will probably take one or 2 years to disappear. It could take longer, depending on how dark your spots are, but that’s where effective treatment comes in – to quicken the process of lightening the spots. (Check the microdermabrasion method or topicals that we explore below)
Consider a low-glycaemic, low-protein and low-dairy diet (note that the evidence that this helps is weak). Avoid protein or amino acid supplements, particularly if they contain leucine. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Avoid using strong soaps or products that strip all oil and moisture from your skin. Your skin’s natural reaction is to try to compensate by producing more oil, which will worsen your acne in the long run!
While acne usually affects teenagers and 20somethings the most, anyone of any age can get acne, even babies. Our instinctual response — picking at it, rubbing it and canceling our social engagements — doesn’t help in the least, but fortunately, there are some treatments available that can.
Protect your skin from the sun. For some people, the sun worsens acne. And some acne medications make you more susceptible to the sun’s rays. Check with your doctor to see if your medication is one of these. If it is, stay out of the sun as much as possible. Regularly use a nonoily (noncomedogenic) moisturizer that includes a sunscreen.
Oral antibiotics are recommended for no longer than three months as antibiotic courses exceeding this duration are associated with the development of antibiotic resistance and show no clear benefit over shorter courses. Furthermore, if long-term oral antibiotics beyond three months are thought to be necessary, it is recommended that benzoyl peroxide and/or a retinoid be used at the same time to limit the risk of P. acnes developing antibiotic resistance. Dapsone is not a first-line topical antibiotic due to higher cost and lack of clear superiority over other antibiotics. Topical dapsone is not recommended for use with benzoyl peroxide due to yellow-orange skin discoloration with this combination.
Most of our other recommendations will cost you more than the average acne treatment. If you’re looking for something that can treat your breakouts without breaking your budget, try the Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System. This three-piece set scores points for including sunscreen, which will help protect your skin while it’s sensitive from treatment.
Doxycycline, a derivative of tetracycline, slows the growth of acne-causing bacteria in the body. This antibiotic increases sensitivity to sunlight, so avoid exposure to artificial ultraviolet rays or natural sunlight during your treatment. Doxycycline also reduces the effectiveness of birth control pills, according to Drugs.com, so use an alternate birth control method during treatment.
Antibiotics are an acne treatment used to kill acne-causing bacteria. They may be applied directly on the skin (topical) or taken by mouth (oral). Topical antibiotics kill bacteria in the upper portion of your pores, while oral antibiotics can reach to the lower depths of the pores. Antibiotics used for acne treatment include, clindamycin, or tetracyclines like doxycycline or minocycline. These antibiotics are the most effective for treating acne because they both kill bacteria and act as anti-inflammatory agents to calm down the skin.
If you have body acne, taking a shower as soon as possible after working out is also key. It turns out that standing around in tight, sweaty workout clothes puts you at greatest risk for body acne and rashes. “The whole idea is that the bacteria that live on the skin can get trapped in the hair follicles and cause inflammation,” says dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Hale. “The more you work out in the heat the more likely this is.” make sure to shower (or, at the very least, change out of your sweaty clothes) right after working out.
Tretinoin (Retin-A). This is applied to the skin as a cream, gel or liquid. It helps to clear the skin of plugged follicles by increasing the turnover of skin cells. It also increases the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. So tretinoin should be used with a sunscreen.
^ Jump up to: a b c d Sagransky, M; Yentzer, BA; Feldman, SR (October 2009). “Benzoyl peroxide: A review of its current use in the treatment of acne vulgaris”. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy (Review). 10 (15): 2555–62. doi:10.1517/14656560903277228. PMID 19761357.
Benzoyl peroxide (BPO) is a first-line treatment for mild and moderate acne due to its effectiveness and mild side-effects (mainly skin irritation). In the skin follicle, benzoyl peroxide kills P. acnes by oxidizing its proteins through the formation of oxygen free radicals and benzoic acid. These free radicals are thought to interfere with the bacterium’s metabolism and ability to make proteins. Additionally, benzoyl peroxide is mildly effective at breaking down comedones and inhibiting inflammation. Benzoyl peroxide may be paired with a topical antibiotic or retinoid such as benzoyl peroxide/clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide/adapalene, respectively.
FDA-approval, by the way, does not mean a product is a wonder drug that immediately clears up acne in all cases. The US FDA has studied benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid and declared them to be GRASE, or generally recognized as safe and effective. The FDA took over 20 years to examine scientific studies, medical case reports, and expert testimony to decide only in June of 2011 that:
These two products used together go a long way toward reversing the steps that cause acne. The first step in the process that causes acne is accumulation of dead skin. Salicylic acid breaks up clumps of dead skin. The second step in the process that causes acne is accumulation of oil and bacteria in a pore. The salicylic acid helps oil escape the pore and benzoyl peroxide kills acne bacteria in 48 hours or less. Benzoyl peroxide also helps clear off old skin cells around pores.
With acne, the inflammation will develop to the extent that the follicle is ruptured and a pustule with fluid is formed. As a result, pimples and acne cause inflammation that can result to severe damage to the skin.
Wear sunscreen everyday and do not tan. Ultraviolet Radiation is the number one cause of premature aging. It also leads to skin cancer in high enough doses. Treat the sun like the death ray that it is. Exposing your skin to harmful UVA and UVB rays damages skin and prolongs post inflammatory erythema(PIE)–red acne marks, as the sunlight stimulates pigment-producing cells.
Tea tree oil is most commonly used essential oil for acne, especially those on the forehead, cheeks, chin, or even above the lip. It is a versatile and potent antimicrobial agent with high levels of antioxidants, making it the perfect essential oil for acne treatment (13). This remedy can also be used to treat cystic pimples. It also reduces the acne spots.
Use a toner after cleansing. After you wash your face, exfoliate, or apply a face mask, apply a toner to the entirety of your face. Toners work to tighten pores making it less likely that dirt and oil will become trapped in them. Buy acne toners at a local drugstore, or use witch hazel or apple cider vinegar dabbed on with a cotton ball. Don’t rinse toners after application – allow them to stay on your skin.
In adolescents, acne flare-ups probably are related to a natural increase in androgen hormones during the teen years. These androgens stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce excess sebum. Hereditary factors also contribute to the problem.