Acne Treatment And Home Remedies
It hardly seems fair! Are their any good acne treatments! Pimples and wrinkles on the same face seem like a cruel and non-funny joke by good old Mother Nature. The old girl must have a mean streak though, because, sadly, pimples and wrinkles do happen on the same face more often than anybody realizes. About 25% of men and about 50% of women will have acne at some time in their 20s, 30s, or 40s.
Researchers believe that adult acne is basically caused by the same thing that causes teenage acne — hormonal changes. Often an adult that has an acne outbreak can visit their doctor and get a prescription for hormones that will clear the acne outbreak right up.
Diet doesn't cause adult acne anymore than it causes teenage acne. However, just like teenage acne, the LACK of certain nutrients in the diet can contribute to the adult acne problem.
Acne Skin Care Products
Sometimes adults will have an acne outbreak after a radical and prolonged change in diet and so they contribute the outbreak to something they ate. That isn't what happened, though. The outbreak could have been caused by something that they DIDN'T eat, but it was not caused by something that they DID eat.
Stress is also considered one of the main contributors to outbreaks of adult acne. You can't avoid stress altogether and live on planet earth. That isn't possible. But you can learn to manage your stress and thereby help to control your acne outbreaks. There are all kinds of relaxation techniques that one can learn to practice; deep breathing exercises, yoga, etc.
The one thing that adults who suffer from acne outbreaks should remember is do NOT purchase products that are designed to treat teenage acne. These products are designed to dry the skin and, as an adult, you don't want to use products that will dry your skin because that will cause increased wrinkling. The best thing to do is see your doctor. He can help.
How Doctors Treat Acne
Teenagers and young adults who are suffering with acne don't particularly care what a treatment for acne is called. All they want to know is if it will work! That's understandable. Acne feels a lot like the plague to young people. They feel ugly and the most important thing to them is for the acne to be gone!
The bad news is that so far acne cannot be cured, but there is some good news. Treatments for acne have come a long way in the last few years. Acne is no longer something that teenagers and young adults just have to suffer through and hope that they "grow out of it." Doctors now have a whole host of weapons at their disposal to treat acne.
All of the medications available for treating acne aren't just topical salves and creams either. There are oral medications like erythromycin, tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, clindamycin, ampicillin, cephalosporins, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole that have proven to be very effective.
Usually these oral medications are used in conjunction with a topical treatment like benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, resorcinol, salicylic acid, and antibiotics like clindamycin (Cleocin T), erythromycin, tetracycline, tretinoin (Retin-A, Avita), adapalene (Differin), azelaic acid (Azelex), and tazarotene (Tazorac).
There are also new laser treatments. One type of laser treatment is called "blue light therapy." Blue light therapy is relatively new and is still being tested but it has been approved for the treatment of acne.
Pulsed light and heat energy therapy is another version of laser therapy that is being used to treat acne. The FDA has approved the use of pulsed light therapy to treat acne. The only side effect is redness at the site of treatment.
Diode laser treatment is a lesser-known and less frequently used form of laser treatment for acne. Diode laser treatments can be painful unlike other forms of laser treatments for acne.
Removing Acne Scars
There is nothing pleasant about acne while it is happening. Acne causes mental and emotional distress particularly among teenagers. But most teenagers outgrow acne. By the time they are in their early 20s, the acne is gone along with the mental and emotional pain of having acne. It is all in the past. Unfortunately, acne scars often remain to keep reminding the former acne sufferer of the pain, and the scars continue to put a blight on his or her appearance. Instead of clear, smooth, youthful skin, every time they look in a mirror they see the reflection of acne past.
There is hope. Acne scars can be removed. Basically there are two procedures that are used to remove those ugly scars left over from teenage or young adult acne.
Of the two choices, laser resurfacing is the least expensive. Hospitalization isn't required. Laser resurfacing can be done in the dermatologist's office so it is far less expensive. The dermatologist uses a laser to remove the top layer of skin and also to tighten the middle layer of skin. He or she will use only a local anesthetic to help reduce the pain of the procedure. It usually takes several days for the skin to heal after a laser resurfacing procedure is done, and often multiple treatments are required to achieve the desired results.
The other procedure that is often used to remove acne scars is called "dermabrasion." In dermabrasion, a rotating wire brush is used to remove the top layer of skin. After a layer of skin is removed, the body produces new skin and it is smoother than the layer that was removed. It usually takes between 10 days and three weeks for skin to heal after a dermabrasion treatment and, like laser resurfacing, multiple treatments are usually required.
Treating Acne with Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide has been used as an acne treatment for many years. It is still effective. There are newer treatments, but none have proven to be any more effective than or as safe as benzoyl peroxide.
Benzoyl peroxide is used to treat acne in teenagers and young adults. The treatment itself is completely painless. In the aftermath of a benzoyl peroxide treatment, the patient can expect some minor discomfort. The treated skin gets very dry, red, and itchy. It peels off much like skin that has been exposed to sunlight overly long.
When benzoyl peroxide is applied to the skin, there is a chemical reaction between the benzoyl peroxide and the oxygen in the air that creates benzoic acid. The benzoic acid removes the top layer of skin. After a benzoyl peroxide treatment, the skin is much more susceptible to sunburn, and dermatologists recommend that their patients avoid direct sunlight altogether.
OXY, NeoBenz Micro, Basiron, Brevoxyl, Stioxyl, and Panoxyl are some of the names that benzoyl peroxide is sold under.
Benzoyl peroxide treatments are applied by the patient in his own home. The treatment most often recommended is to apply benzoyl peroxide twice a day, morning and evening. The face must be thoroughly cleaned and patted dry before the benzoyl peroxide is applied. A 15-minute wait period between cleaning the skin and applying the benzoyl peroxide is recommended, and it is also recommended that the patient apply a moisturizer that has an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30. Patients definitely want to avoid direct sunlight because a sunburn would be much more serious after using benzoyl peroxide.