What Can I Do To Get Rid of My Acne?

Does this question sound familiar? If it does, the odds are good that you feel like you've tried everything to get rid of the pimples, red skin and pock marks that are the ugly remains of this skin malady. From scrubs to creams to little strips of adhesive that promise to rip the blackheads right out of your pores, acne products abound. You can buy them over the counter or go to the dermatologist. You can find them on the Internet or get tips from “makeup artists to the stars.” The problem is you can't seem to find one that works. There are a lot of myths about acne – its causes and its cures – and in order to get rid of the problem, it might help to understand it better.


What is Acne?

We've all seen acne; in fact, more than 60 million people in the United States are affected by acne at some level. If you are reading this you, like most of us, have experienced it, but what is it? Acne is not caused by chocolate or potato chips; it isn't solely due to hygiene, and it doesn't happen to everyone – at least not to the degree that you are probably experiencing it.


Acne is a condition that involves the hair follicles and the sebaceous glands that are connected to both the hair follicles and the pores of the skin. The sebaceous glands produce sebum, an oil that is produced to keep your skin soft, smooth, and waterproof. This oil combines with the dead skin cells that the body naturally sloughs off. These skin cells can block the pores and combine with dirt and bacteria, which causes the sebum to be blocked from distribution. The blocked sebum then causes the pores to swell and create a pimple. Just as acne is a problem for teens, adult acne is a problem for men and women, especially during times of hormonal imbalance, like pregnancy or perimenopause.


What Can I Do About My Acne?

So, now that you know what causes your acne, what can you do about it? Sometimes acne can be controlled simply by using over-the-counter skin care acne products, but many people dealing with acne are not helped by over these and need a professional product or a dermatologist to help end their acne suffering.


If you are suffering from acne that has not been successfully treated, you may need to seek out acne treatments that are stronger than the average over-the-counter products. There are many different types of acne treatments available. They contain a variety of ingredients and it is important to understand what they are and how they can affect your skin.


Benzoyl peroxide is often used in over-the-counter acne treatments. It is a mild antiseptic that has been used to treat acne for years. While benzoyl peroxide can help treat your acne, it can also be very hard on your skin, drying it out and making it particularly sensitive to the sun. Benzoyl peroxide contains a bleaching agent, so be careful not to get in on your clothing or other items that can be ruined by bleaching.


Salicylic acid is another popular over-the-counter treatment for acne. Salicylic acid can also be irritating and drying to the skin, so it’s important to use it carefully. Use it only on actual areas of skin that are broken out, not all over the skin.


Topical or oral antibiotics are also used to treat acne and can provide some relief. It is very important to remain under a doctor's care when using antibiotics, especially oral antibiotics. The body can build a resistance to antibiotics if they are overused. Staying under a doctor's care can help prevent this overuse.

Added to Skin Care, Beauty on Thu 01/28/2010