Acne skin treatments come in two forms; there are topical treatments which are applied directly to the skin and internal option or better known as oral medicines which taken by mouth. Whereas mild acne usually responds to self-care methods and over the counter topical treatments, moderate to severe cases may need prescription medicines.
It’s a great idea to understand and how severe your acne is. This will guide you to choose the most suitable treatment for you.
Minimal: Acne cleansers and over the counter (OTC) treatment options
Mild: Acne cleansers, OTC treatments, Topical benzoyl peroxid, Topical antibiotics
Moderate: Topical retinoids, Topical benzoyl peroxide, Topical antibiotics, Oral antibiotics, Hormone pills
Severe: Oral retinoids ((Isotretinion or Accutane)
Self Caring and Over-The-Counter (OTC) Treatments
You can obtain Over-The-Counter products from your pharmacist; you will not need a doctor’s prescription. The following are all applicable for mild acne cases.
Self Care: Make sure the acne prone areas are kept clean but keep away from aggressive cleansing with strong soaps. Never pick pimples or spots as this can intensify your acne and increase chances of acne scarring.
Skin cleansers: are available over the counter and are usually useful in the treatment method of mild acne (e.g. Oxy and Clearasil Max).
Benzoyl peroxide: (Benoxyl, Benzac) helps shed surplus skin, unblock the hair follicles and reduce skin oiliness. Its antibacterial capabilities can help to reduce the level of bacteria on the skin. Benzoyl peroxide is a bleaching agent and can stain clothes. Wash your hands after applying.
Natural Treatments: there are a wide range of natural acne skin treatments that can help control acne.
If these do not work you may want to see your doctor who can give you a prescription for a stronger medicine.
Topical Prescription Treatments
Most appropriate for moderate to severe acne. Topical treatments are applied directly to the skins surface, usually on the affected area. Here are prescription acne treatments medicines obtainable only from your doctor or skin specialist, in other words, you will need a prescription. Your doctor will determine the right acne treatment for your individual condition,
Topical Retinoids: Chemically related to vitamin A, retinoids ‘unplug’ follicles and help unclump cells. These are also offered only on prescription and are not be used during pregnancy.
Topical Antibiotics – Clindamycin and erythromycin: antibiotic liquids for infected pus-filled spots. These are not for blackheads or whiteheads. They are applied to the skin to decrease bacteria and sebum.
Oral Prescription Medicines
Ideal for moderate to severe acne. These are prescription medicines decided and prescribed by your doctor.
Oral Antibiotics: Oral antibiotics are prescribed by a doctor for moderate to severe acne. Treatments with oral antibiotics continue for a longer period of time, usually for months, and in many cases in combination with other appropriate topical application products
Isotretinoin: This drug is preserved for the most severe forms of acne and is usually effective where most other treatments fail to treat. Like topical retinoids, isotretinoin is a chemical cousin of Vitamin A and it does decrease the formation of sebum.
That means that you will have a fewer amount of skin bacteria and much less inflammation of the skin follicles. Isotretinoin normally is not used at the same time as topical skin acne treatments preparations.
Hormone contraceptive pills: for females: these help adjust hormones that are guilty for acne and greasy skin.
Wholefood diet: A diet high in refined sugars and starches tends to increase quantities of insulin in your body. This may in turn increase the levels of male hormones that cause acne. Cutting back on refined carbohydrates may aid in fending off acne but there is not enough evidence to support a consistent link between diet and acne.
Antioxidants: Antioxidants neutralise harmful free radicals that are believed to promote acne and inflammation. Fresh fruit and vegetables are naturally rich in antioxidants which prevent free radicals from damaging your cells. Carrot juice contains beta-carotene – a powerful antioxidant and precursor to Vitamin A, so make a habit of drinking it where possible.
Alternatively there are many good antioxidant supplements are available from your chemist or health food shops/stores.
Zinc: 60 to 90 mg a day of this mineral improves acne elimination for some people. Several double-blind trials show that zinc supplements can reduce the severity of acne.
Tea Tree Oil: Applied to the skin Tea Tree Oil has been growing in popularity as an alternative to over the counter and prescription acne skin treatments. Tea Tree Oil has potent anti-fungal and anti-bacterial qualities.
Many people with acne problems find that their skin is very sensitive to Tea Tree Oil, so start with a mild dose and test it on a small area of skin first. For topical treatment of acne, the oil is used at a dilution of 5-15%
Olive Leave Extract: Olive Leaf Extract is said to have powerful antibacterial properties.
Liquorice Root Extract: Liquorice root extract contains natural anti-inflammatory agents that could soothe skin affected by acne.
Green Tea and Green Tea Extract: Green tea is rich in bioflavonoids and antioxidants (particularly EGCG) that are effective in fighting free radicals.
Burdock: Burdock has been used historically to treat a range of skin problems. It is believed to have a cleansing action however there is minimal scientific evidence to support this. Burdock root tincture may be taken in the amount of 2 to 4 ml per day. It comes in herbal teas as well.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture may be beneficial in the cure of acne. Numerous studies have confirmed that acupuncture can assist with acne treatments however the general consensus is that more study is required.
Hypnosis: Anecdotal evidence implies that hypnotherapy could help in preventing scarring from acne.
Acne Treatment Time Scale
A lot of acne treatments could take quite some time to give good results; and could be anywhere between 2 to 6 months. You must continue to use the treatment throughout this time period.
If your acne does not improve discuss with your doctor or pharmacist. You should also inform them of any side effects that you experiencing from the acne treatment you are using. Some acne treatments generally tend to dry out the skin during the introductory stages but the skin normally adjusts to environments it’s exposed to.
Make use of the advise we have outlined for acne skin treatments, and you will get desired results.