Treating your acne can be an overwhelming task what with all of the medications available these days. The best way to find treatment for your acne is to first learn about your skin. There are 3 main skin types. Knowing what type of skin you have is the first step to effectively controlling your acne. If your skin is oily a gel product is best; if it is dry, you should choose a cream based product. People with sensitive skin should choose products with lower concentrations of active ingredients.
It may be best to visit a dermatologist when choosing acne treatments. With so many different factors affecting what causes acne and there are so many treatments to choose from you may feel more comfortable getting the help of a professional when making your decision.
If you would rather control acne your own way, understand that it is very important to read all labels and always, always use as directed. As with all medications, educate yourself on any side-effects or warnings.
Acne treatments are available in several different ways including:
- Prescription Medications
- Creams and Gels
- Facial Masks
- Topical Treatments
- Over-the-Counter Treatments
- Home Remedies
Oral antibiotics (tablets), taken daily for around 3 months, can be prescribed for inflammatory acne. These pills act to kill off the bacteria infecting the skin. However, it may take four to six months for the benefits to be seen. For women, a standard combined oral contraceptive pill (containing an estrogen and a progestogen) can improve acne symptoms. Antibiotics do not prevent pores from becoming blocked so treatment to prevent blackheads, such as benzoyl peroxide, is often also prescribed at the same time.
Creams and Gels
Lotions that contain benzoyl peroxide dry out the skin and encourage it to shed the surface layer of dead skin. Benzoyl peroxide also has an antibacterial action. Together, these effects make it harder for pores to become blocked and for infection to develop. When used as directed, these products can make a big difference to the overall appearance of your skin.
Facial masks can be a great addition to your basic skin care regimen by offering extra deep cleaning and exfoliation to troubled skin. Masks send a concentrated dose of proven acne fighters to your skin and deliver them deep down. A good facial mask can act to keep even the most troubled skin clean and clear, reducing the frequency and severity of breakouts.
There are several benefits of using clay masks. As a facial clay mask dries it tightens the skin, shrinks the pores and naturally pulls excess oils and impurities such as whiteheads and blackheads from your skin.
Topical antibiotics work by killing the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria. This helps reduce the small infections in the pores, and also indirectly keeps the pores open.
Over the counter Treatments
Over-the-counter remedies are available anywhere from your local pharmacy to the grocery store and are intended to treat mild to moderate acne. These treatments include the creams and gels mentioned previously.
It’s important to keep spot-prone areas clean, so wash the affected area twice a day with an un-perfumed cleanser. Never, ever pick a zit! This could lead to scarring as well as spread the infection. No home treatments for acne will work immediately. It can take weeks, if not months, for significant effects to be noticeable. Never sleep in makeup and wash your face in the morning when you wake up and at night before you go to bed.