Luckily, there’s a dermatologist who’s garnered quite the acne-obsessed cult following: Sandra Lee, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Southern California—aka Dr. Pimple Popper. Her YouTube channel is crazy popular, recently logging its billionth view. In her videos, not only does she educate people on what acne is, but she features footage of all sorts of skin issues erupting, including blackheads, pustules, cysts, and more. (There’s a “graphic and shocking” warning that precedes her videos—fair warning!)
Hormonal agents provide effective second-line treatment in women with acne regardless of underlying hormonal abnormalities.30 It is not necessary to demonstrate androgen excess to achieve a benefit from antiandrogen therapy. Clinical observation suggests that deep-seated nodules on the lower face and neck are especially responsive to hormonal therapy.6
American Academy of Dermatology: “Acne Treatment Revolutionized by 25 Years of Treatment,” “Acne,” “Food Does Not Cause Acne,” “Treating Acne in Skin of Color,” “Prescription Medications for Treating Acne.”
In 2007, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that glycemic load can greatly affects acne. 43 males with acne, aged 15 to 25, were separated into two groups. For twelve weeks, one group ate a diet that was 25 percent protein and 45 percent low-glycemic carbohydrates. The other group ate carbs without any control of glycemic index, resulting in a higher glycemic diet. At the end of the study, the acne had decreased in the low-glycemic group by almost twice the rate of the high-glycemic group! (17)
Cow’s milk: The 2010 study found an association between cow’s milk and acne. Scientists aren’t yet sure why this may be, but there are several theories. Cow’s milk spikes blood sugar, which can increase inflammation (leading to pimples). It also increases insulin levels, which encourage the production of skin oils (sebum). A lot of the commercial milk we buy comes from pregnant cows, and thus contains other hormones that can trigger the production of sebum. Milk also has growth hormones that can encourage the overgrowth of skin cells, potentially blocking pores. In 2005, researchers studied data from the famous Nurses Health Study II, and found that participants who drank more milk as teens had much higher rates of severe acne than those who had little or no milk as teens.
Unfortunately, it can be a challenge to effectively control acne, especially as an adult. Why? Because breakouts get harder to treat as you age — the causes are more complex and adult skin comes with distinct challenges. The key is to isolate the cause and type of acne, then find a targeted solution.
Jump up ^ Ong, MW; Bashir, SJ (June 2012). “Fractional laser resurfacing for acne scars: a review”. British Journal of Dermatology (Review). 166 (6): 1160–9. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.10870.x. PMID 22296284.
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.
Many skin conditions can mimic acne vulgaris and are collectively known as acneiform eruptions. Such conditions include angiofibromas, epidermal cysts, flat warts, folliculitis, keratosis pilaris, milia, perioral dermatitis, and rosacea, among others. Age is one factor which may help distinguish between these disorders. Skin disorders such as perioral dermatitis and keratosis pilaris can appear similar to acne but tend to occur more frequently in childhood, whereas rosacea tends to occur more frequently in older adults. Facial redness triggered by heat or the consumption of alcohol or spicy food is suggestive of rosacea. The presence of comedones helps health professionals differentiate acne from skin disorders that are similar in appearance. Chloracne, due to exposure to certain chemicals, may look very similar to acne vulgaris.
Patients who are treated with isotretinoin will need to be enrolled in the iPLEDGE (http://www.ipledgeprogram.com) program as will the physician prescriber and the pharmacy provider. This requires monthly visits and laboratory work. Females of childbearing potential must be on some form of birth control and have negative pregnancy tests during the course of therapy because isotretinoin can damage exposed fetuses. There are a variety of other potential side effects produced by the drug. Isotretinoin, however, when used in appropriate patients, is a unique drug in that it offers a safe and effective “cure” for a noninfectious disease.
As an alternative to Benzoyl Peroxide, your doctor may prescribe a topical retinoid. A topical product is a cream or gel that you apply to your affected skin. A retinoid is a retinol, or Vitamin A, derivative.
“My work in China in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector, and my personal experience while growing up in Europe, inspired me to develop Herborium®, a novel Botanical Therapeutics® company, based on a new, innovative healthcare concept that combines science and nature. Our approach has already been proven up to 98% effective in our acne treatment, AcnEase®.”
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.
Invest in a back scrubber. It can be as cheap as the one at the dollar store. Scrubbing your back with a good back scrubber will let you get all the dirt off your back and you’ll see your acne lessen and acne scars fade.
I tried all of these things and they just made my fussy sensitive skin worse. Retin-A dried my skin out to the point that it was flaking off and what was underneath was raw or even worse- open sores. Even with all of that drama, I still had horrible acne!
An ice pick scar is formed when an inflamed blemish reaches the surface of the skin. When the blemish heals, the follicle empties, forming a column-like scar that runs from the surface to the inner layer of the skin.
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.
Patients are also required to participate in the iPledge online program. The program aims to prevent pregnancy by having patients confirm they understand the risks of the medication, promise to keep monthly appointments with their doctor, and agree not to share the medicine or donate blood while taking the drug. Each month, women must also answer a series of comprehension questions about birth control, and their prescribers must confirm results of a negative pregnancy test.
Some acne spot treatments contain high doses of the acne medication Benzoyl Peroxide, which can irritate skin. It can also cause redness and dryness, which can make acne worse. Our formula contains just 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide, yet is clinically proven to be so effective that skin starts getting clearer on day 1 – all without over-drying, stinging or burning skin.
Reed says she advises patients to look for “noncomedogenic” or “for acne-prone skin” products. Noncomedogenic products don’t contain ingredients that tend to clog pores in people with acne-prone skin.
Vitamin A derivatives (such as retinol) dry sebum and remove the upper layers of skin. They commonly cause skin side effects such as stinging, burning, redness or peeling. Rhassoul clay is a wonderful alternative. It reduces oil production without drying the skin out, leaving the skin soft and smooth. I prescribe many of my patients a mask made with rhassoul clay and a blend of Chinese herbs.
If acne isn’t responding to glycolic or salicylic treatments, Dr. Birchall recommends adding retinol to your nightly routine. Unlike gentler exfoliation methods, this topical form of vitamin A helps prevents pores from getting clogged. With strong scientific evidence it, retinol or retinoids are among the best treatments for persistent acne. Plus, retinoids pack the added benefit of anti-aging properties by slowing the breakdown of collagen. Here’s what derms do to wake up with younger-looking skin.
7. Webster GF, Guenther L, Poulin YP, et al. A multicenter, double-blind, randomized comparison study of the efficacy and tolerability of once daily tazarotene 0.1% gel and adapalene 0.1% gel for the treatment of facial acne vulgaris. Cutis 2002;69 (Suppl):4–11 [PubMed]
For severe cases of acne, I always prescribe internal herbal remedies together with botanical topical products. For acne that’s mild to moderate, simple botanical ingredients can create a successful protocol to completely clear the skin.