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  • 3/1/2011

Ways to Get Rid of Acne


By Gregory Hamel

Acne is a common skin condition that usually begins during puberty and can continue into adolescence and adulthood. The severity of acne varies from one person to the next, so choose an acne treatment method that is appropriate for your skin type.


Skin Care

 An important aspect of controlling and preventing acne is taking proper care of your skin. Acne forms primarily due to skin oils and proteins clogging follicles that allow bacteria to gather and irritate the skin, causing blemishes. Keep skin free of oils by washing your face regularly; use clean towels to dry your face as oils from previous use can be applied back onto skin. Regular washing can lead to dry skin, so use oil-free moisturizers to keep skin supple without clogging pores further.


Topical Medications

 Proper skin care can eliminate most, if not all, blemishes in mild acne cases. Moderate acne may require additional measures such as topical medications, like Oxy, Clearasil and Neutrogena, that are usually creams or gels containing the acne-fighting ingredients benzoyl peroxide, sulfur or salicylic acid. These products fight acne-causing bacteria as well as remove oils and dead skin that clog pores. One problem with these ingredients, particularly benzoyl peroxide, is that they irritate facial ski. Limit irritation by using products with lower concentrations of active ingredients and applying them less frequently.



 For severe cases of acne and cystic acne---which causes large cyst-like blemishes---more powerful prescription treatments may be necessary. Dermatologists prescribe oral antibiotics that fight acne bacteria; combining the use of oral medications and topical products is an effective way to combat acne on multiple fronts. Severe cases of acne that don't respond to antibiotics may require the more powerful medication isotretinoin that is highly effective at fighting severe acne; it also has potentially serious side effects, however, such as increased probability of birth defects.


Hormonal Treatment

 As acne is also due to hormonal changes during puberty, altering your hormonal balance can get rid of it. A common hormonal treatment for acne is birth control pills. Although birth control pills are primarily used for contraception, the hormonal changes that prevent a female from ovulating also have an acne-limiting effect. The use birth control as an acne treatment does have a drawback: if you stop taking birth control, acne can reappear.

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