Treating Acne

Acne is a very common skin problem that is characterized by pimples or small skin eruptions on the face, neck, chest and shoulders. Anybody can get acne; however, it is commonly seen in teenagers, adolescents or young adults. It is not a serious condition, but it can lead to ugly scars if not treated properly.

The exact cause of acne is idiopathic. However, there are certain potential factors, such as hormonal changes during puberty and pregnancy. It is believed that poor eating habit is one of the causes of acne. Fatty foods are often blamed, but there is no strong evidence to claim that foods are the only cause of acne. Other probable causes are stress and poor skin condition.

Treating Acne

The aim is to clear acne spots and prevent scar formation. There are several types of treatments for acne, but choosing a right one is possible only after consulting a skin specialist or dermatologist. The treatment usually depends on the type and severity of the acne. Treatments induce topical applications and/or oral tablets.

Topical preparations for treating acne include –

  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Retinoids
  • Topical antibiotics
  • Azelaic acid

Oral therapies for acne include –

  • Antibiotics
  • Isotretinoin
  • Hormonal replacement therapy

Normally, it takes around four weeks to notice improvement, regardless of the treatment chosen. In severe cases, the treatment may extend up to four months. It is essential to complete the course of therapy in order to get rid of acne completely, failing to do so will increase the risk of recurrence. Consult your doctor if you do not experience any improvement even after using the medicine for prescribed length of duration.

Acne is preventable. Cleanse your face at least twice daily with a mild soap and lukewarm water. Do not use very hot or very cold water. Tone your skin with a high quality toner that helps maintain pH balance. Stay away from harsh chemicals, abrasive soaps and astringents. Use a quality moisturiser to get rid of dryness. Use sunscreen with SPF of at least 30 before stepping out. Check with your doctor if you notice painful or nodular acne.

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