There are many acne treatments available on the market, ranging from at-home care and over-the-counter treatments to prescription medications and physical procedures like light and laser treatment and chemical peels. The best solution for acne depends on many factors including the severity of the acne and how their skin reacts to each of the treatments. Everyone has a unique chemical makeup and skin composition, so a treatment that will work for me may do nothing for you. Here is an overview of several legitimate acne solutions.
Best Solution for Acne that is Mild
If the acne is mild, it can usually be treated at home. A combination of correct skin care and over-the-counter topical solutions will clear up most mild cases in a month or two. Home care should consist of washing your face and other affected areas twice daily. Use a mild soap and warm water. Be gentle and don’t scrub your face, because this can cause irritation which will worsen the acne. This step is important because it clears away excessive oil and dead skin cells. After cleaning the skin, wait for 10 to fifteen minutes before applying a topical treatment. These can be over-the-counter or dermatologist prescribed. The two ingredients to look for in ointments are salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. If the acne problem persists longer than four to eight weeks, make an appointment with a dermatologist to find a more effective solution.
Best Acne Solutions for Moderate and Severe Cases
For more moderate cases, oral contraceptives or oral antibiotics might be prescribed. While oral contraceptives are effective because they suppress the over-activity in the sebaceous glands, they can only be prescribed to nonsmoking women under the age of 35 who don’t have a blood-clotting disorder or a problem with migraines. Even with its limitations, it is still a popular solution for women who can take it.
For men and women who cannot or do not want to use oral contraceptives, there are oral antibiotics. These antibiotics are for short-term use and are usually prescribed for half a year or less. High doses are taken in the beginning, and reduced as the acne lessens. Erythromycin and tetracycline and derivatives are commonly prescribed. They work by reducing the population of the bacteria P. acnes , which is one of acne’s contributing factors. Unfortunately, the bacteria becomes resistant over time, which reduces the effectiveness of these medications. When that occurs, a different antibiotic needs to be prescribed.
For some people, physical procedures may be the way to go. These will be performed by your dermatologist. One of these procedures is light and laser treatments. This is often used for people unable to take medication or who have acne on the back where it is hard to apply a topical medication. On the downside, this is more expensive than most of the other options. Chemical peels can also be used as an acne solution. For safety reasons, it’s important that it is applied by a dermatologist and not done at home. Finally, there is surgical extraction and drainage. This is also known as acne surgery. A trained dermatologist drains the cysts which reduces the chance of scarring and lessens the pain. This is used when medication doesn’t get rid of acne.
Natural Acne Solutions
While moderate to severe cases of acne will respond best to medication, some mild cases can be treated completely at home. One thing that may help is tea tree oil. This product, which can be found online or in health food stores, has terpinen-4-ol, which can kill bacteria. While it hasn’t been found as effective as benzoyl peroxide, it does have fewer side effects. If you experience dryness, burning, or itching from a topical solution containing benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil might be a suitable alternative. Since tea tree oil can cause irritation if applied straight to the skin, it needs to be diluted before use. Five parts tea tree oil to 95 parts water is the recommended solution. If you buy a natural topical acne product that contains tea tree oil, it will already be in the right strength an can be used directly. Some over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide gels have tea tree oil as an ingredient.
With so many acne solutions to choose from, it can be difficult to find the treatment that works best for you. Remember that, while acne is treatable, it does take time to disappear completely. Work closely with your dermatologist to discover the best course for you.