Topical antimicrobials, including benzoyl peroxide and antibiotics, are effective in treating inflammatory disease.3,4 Benzoyl peroxide is a bactericidal agent that prevents the resistance of P. acnes to antibiotic therapy9 and has moderate comedolytic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is available in various topical preparations, ranging in strength from 2.5% to 10.0%. Any strength can be used initially, although it may be more prudent to start with a lower concentration; stronger preparations are more irritating and not necessarily more effective.10 Benzoyl peroxide kills P. acnes by releasing oxygen within the follicle. It can be fast-acting, with a response as early as five days.4 The main drawback is that it is a potent bleaching agent.2 Patients should be warned that fabrics that come in contact with benzoyl peroxide, including towels, bed sheets and clothing, may be bleached.
Just cutting out the damaging foods listed above will likely lead to clearer skin—especially if you were regularly consuming them before. But what if you’re already eating healthy? Are there certain foods that could give you the edge against acne? Research is in its earliest stages, but we do have some knowledge of particular foods that may help. Here are five of them:
A study conducted by the Department of Dermatology at the University of Freiburg in Germany reports that using frankincense and five other plant extracts for antimicrobial effects on bacteria and yeast relating to the skin proved effective. The study concluded that their antimicrobial effects were powerful enough to be used as a topical treatment of some skin disorders, including acne and eczema. (19)
Chamomille extract has been widely used for centuries in tea as a sedative and relaxing tea but it also has many skin benefits : it has antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties that really help with skin rashes, eczema and acne. That means chamomille can help speed skin repair for acne prone skins.
Dermatologists will often combine a topical retinoid with an oral antibiotic, such as doxycycline, tetracycline, minocycline or erythromycin, which kills the bacteria that cause inflammation around the blocked pores.
It’s best to taper medication usage by using it less and less. For example, if you’ve been using it twice a day, use it once a day for a while, then once every other day, then twice a week, and then stop. It often takes acne 4 to 6 weeks to return, just like it took it the same amount of time for it to get better, Reed says.
If you are sensitive to salicylic acid or find commercial products ineffective for your back acne (bacne), try a medicated skin powder. This will usually work well and won’t over-dry your skin. Speak to your pharmacist about brand options.
Smith RN, Mann NJ, Braue A, Makelainen H, Varigos GA. The effect of a high-protein, low glycemic-load diet versus a conventional, high glycemic-load diet on biochemical parameters associated with acne vulgaris: a randomized, investigator-masked, controlled trial. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007 Aug. 57(2):247-56. [Medline].
The underlying root of acne comes from within the body. The best way to make internal changes is through diet. For inflammatory acne, avoid hot and spicy foods. For oily, greasy skin, avoid fried and fatty foods. Use common sense when it comes to selecting foods that work for you. Aim for variety, with plentiful vegetables, some fruit and lean sources of protein.
The Pore Targeting Treatment gel and Complexion Perfecting Hydrator moisturizer slip on nicely, with the former powered by skin-loving glycerin and the latter by a whole slew of delicious ingredients, including licorice root extract, sodium hyaluronate, bisabolol, and allantoin. We are iffy on the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator face wash, though, and not only because the microbead granules can be harsh on active breakouts. “Acne products that are washes will tend not to work as well as leave-on or rub-in products,” explains Dr. Green. “Think about it. How well can a product work when rinsed off a few seconds after you put it on?”
Since 2009 the number of prescriptions dispensed per patient prescribed isotretinoin has decreased by approximately 15%.24 The reason for this is unclear, but may be due to larger doses per prescription, lower overall doses of isotretinoin or increased rates of medicine cessation.
Hormone fluctuations or imbalances. For example, when androgen hormones increase oil production rises. This often happens in teens and young adults suffering from acne, especially women experiencing PMS, irregular periods, pregnancy, early menopause, and other hormonal conditions such as poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Note that the tendency to develop acne scars often runs in the family so if you have blood relatives who have acne scars: chances you may have to cope with the same issues. Be proactive and don’t let dead skin cells or sebum build up, as you know this is the starting point of acne. Use a daily cleanser and exfoliate regularly.
Can honey and cinnamon help treat acne? Can a honey and cinnamon face mask help relieve the symptoms of acne? Learn about the possible benefits for the skin along with research into this remedy. Read now
Try spot treatments with a 2% salicylic acid product. Apply gentle, even pressure to the blemish on both sides with two cotton swabs. If anything is ready to come out, it will then. Don’t squeeze, and never use your fingers.
Adapalene is available as a 0.1% cream and gel. It should be applied thinly, once daily.8 Adapalene is usually better tolerated than tretinoin.7 The gel is suitable for most people, although those with dry skin may prefer the cream.
Yoon JY, et al., “Epigallocatechin-3-gallate improves acne in humans by modulating intracellular molecular targets and inhibiting P. acnes,” J Invest Dermatol. 2013 Feb;133(2):429-40, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23096708?dopt=Abstract.
4. Boost collagen and elastin with microneedling at home. To try microneedling, you’ll need something called a dermaroller, which punctures the skin with tiny, acupuncture-like needles. “Microneedling creates a bunch of small ‘injuries’ to the skin, which in turn can increase collagen and elastin production as they heal,” Lortscher says. “This improves scars and fine wrinkles, and reduces hyperpigmentation.” He strongly advises asking your doctor for a recommended product, since she or he will consider factors like sterility and regulation. (Do not get a product that isn’t FDA-approved.) It’s also easy to over-treat oneself with a dermaroller, so it’s imperative to get your doctor’s advice for your particular case. (It’s also why we won’t recommend any one device here.)
Apricot seeds may be a great option for how to get rid of pimples. A recent study published in Phytotherapy Research notes that the phytonutrients and antimicrobial qualities of apricot essential oil obtained from apricot seeds may help provide glowing skin. Apricot essential oil showed antimicrobial activity against a range of bacteria and yeasts that were tested, indicating its possible benefits to prevent and minimize acne. (18)
Drink More Water – Keeping your body hydrated by drinking enough water during the day will reflect on your skin. When your skin isn’t sufficiently hydrated, the body will produce more oil to compensate for it. This will lead to acne. Drink 8-10 glasses of water every day.
The other downside to Proactiv+ is that the bottles are small. Like, half the size of Paula’s Choice small. Combine that with its recommended two- or three-times daily application and you’re going to be going through a lot of kits, which ultimately means spending more money on your treatment. If Proactiv is the only thing that works for you, it may very well be worth that price, but re’d recommending starting with Paula’s choice to see if you can get the same results at a cheaper price.
And that irritation of the skin usually triggers a reaction to repair the skin by producing still more oil. The overly vigorous washing of your skin will kill some skin cells that will land on top of new pores, trapping the newly produced oil. The net result is even more acne than you started with. The old advice on washing your skin doesn’t make your skin any better, but it’s a great marketing tool for the makers of soap and wash cloths.
If you have large, deep, solid and painful lumps or cysts under your skin, you may have severe acne. The breakouts cover large areas of the face or body and last longer than in moderate acne, often not going away for months or years.
Doctors only prescribe isotretinoin to treat nodular acne that causes severe disfigurement, according to the Mayo Clinic. Women who take this drug must use a reliable contraceptive method during treatment, as isotretinoin causes severe birth defects in humans. This drug helps the sebaceous glands to mature, which reduces the amount of oil produced.