So, you have acne. Guess what? So do a lot of people just like you. It is a skin problem that has been around for quite some time. Luckily, treatment methods have been around for just as long. These methods have been used by millions of teenagers and adults alike with varying degrees of success. Along with traditional methods, new methods and products are introduced regularly. Unlike traditional methods that usually treat acne after it appears on your skin, the new methods are shown to eliminate acne all together and prevent acne from returning.
Here at Clear Skin Study, our goal is to provide your with the information you need to combat your acne. It is important to know what type of acne you have and why you are getting it in order to treat it. We provide tips for reducing acne and links to products and acne elimination systems to help get rid of the acne you currently suffer from.
But first, lets go over some of the basics. This is a good place to start.
Acne – The Basics
Acne is a skin condition that causes persistent pimples or zits. These include whiteheads, blackheads, and red, inflamed patches of skin. Acne occurs when pores of the skin become clogged. Each pore opens to a follicle, which contains a hair and an oil gland. The oil that is secreted from the oil gland serves to remove old skin cells and keep skin soft.
Acne occurs when too much oil is secreted and clogs the pore. This blockage is called a comedone or plug. If the top of the plug is white, it’s called a whitehead. If the top of the plug is black, it’s called a blackhead. If the plug breaks open, the area becomes swollen and red bumps appear. Acne that occurs deep in the skin causes hard, painful cysts called cystic acne.
Acne most commonly appears on the face. However, those with more severe cases of acne can see outbreaks on their chest, back, arms, legs, and even on their buttocks. Symptoms of acne outbreaks are whiteheads, the crusting of skin bumps, the appearance of papules (small red bumps), redness around skin eruptions, and pustules (small, inflamed, pus-filled, blister-like lesions).
Acne is most common in teenagers, but people of all ages can get acne, even babies! Acne tends to be hereditary, but many things can aggravate acne or cause acne to flare up, including hormonal changes, oily hair products or makeup, certain medications, or high levels of humidity (sweating).
In the past, there have been quite a few theories about what does and does not cause acne. It was commonly thought that things such as chocolate, nuts, and greasy foods caused acne, but those theories have been debunked. This still leaves acne sufferers with an important question: “How can I get rid of acne?”.
How to Get Rid of Acne – Things to Remember
Acne sufferers have spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to get rid of acne. Through the years, different treatments have been introduced. Commercials inundate viewers with promises of clean and clear skin, whether from over the counter drugs, by-order only drugs, or prescription medications. Although no one has found a way to completely remove acne permanently, people have discovered several remedies for acne flare-ups. You may even find a solution for getting rid of acne flare-ups completely. Here are some tips to reduce the occurrence of acne outbreaks, and possibly eliminate the recurrence of them:
1. Don’t touch your face. We use our hands to interact with the world around us. We also touch our faces many times a day. When you touch your face, you transfer the natural oils from your fingers and hands onto your face. In addition, any grease, grime, dirt, and germs that your hands have picked up also end up on your face. All of these things can clog your pores, which can cause an acne outbreak.
2. Wash your face twice a day. Use a soft cloth and a gentle soap or cleanser to wash away the dirt, grime, cigarette smoke, and air pollution from your face. You don’t have to go overboard; just wash your face once in the morning and once at the end of the day to keep your face clean.
3. Get exercise. Sweating helps to clear out your pores. Getting exercise on a regular basis will also help balance your hormones.
4. Loosen up. Acne can form on areas where clothing is tight or rubbing, causing friction. Make sure that you wear clothes that aren’t too tight, and if you wear gear, make sure that the straps aren’t too tight for too long. If wearing tight clothes is unavoidable, remove them as soon as possible.
5. Shower after that workout. Sweating is a great way to clear those pores, but if you don’t shower that sweat off, it, and all those dead skins cells with it, can settle right back into your pores.
6. Get some Benzoyl Peroxide. Whether you try prescription strength or something over the counter, many acne sufferers find relief in using benzoyl peroxide.
7. Get some Salicylic Acid. Salicylic acid doesn’t treat acne, but it does help to remove the outermost layer of your skin, which is comprised of dead skin cells. By using salicylic acid, you help to keep your pores open and clear.
8. Check out your Cosmetics. If you notice that you have more breakouts when wearing a particular brand of cosmetics, you might want to switch to a brand that is “oil-free” or “noncomedogenic”. No matter what type of makeup you use, make sure you cleanse your face each night. Not much is harder on your skin than a layer of makeup that remains on your face overnight.
9. Ask your doctor for antibiotics. If the previous tips haven’t helped you to get rid of acne, ask your doctor if an antibiotic prescription could help. Antibiotics help get rid of P. acnes bacterium. Be careful, though, because antibiotics can lead to dryness of the skin and scaling. Also, antibiotics make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so take care to put sunblock on if going outside.
10. Consider Birth Control. If you’re a woman, you should talk with your doctor to see if taking a birth control pill could help your skin to clear up. There are several types of birth control that are approved for acne treatment.
11. Manage your stress. When you have stress, your body produces sebum, the oil that is secreted in your pores. When you don’t manage your stress well, your body produces extra sebum, which could cause an acne flare up.
12. Give Isotretinoin a try. This is a prescription medication for acne. For some who try it, acne symptoms completely disappear. For others, acne occurrence is greatly diminished. For most people, it takes 4 to 5 months for Isotretinoin to begin to clear up acne.
13. Low-Intensity Light. For some, acne relief is in the form of light. Lower-intensity lights, such as blue, red, green-yellow or a combination of those is applied through a “light stick” at a doctor’s office. These treatments are effective as long as the they continue to be performed.
Try some of these strategies. There are some that you may not be willing to try and that is okay. Go with the ones that you are comfortable with and you will most likely have some success. If you still have questions on how to get rid of acne, read through more of our articles, you should find what you are looking for.