Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Does Retinol Help With Cystic Acne

Cystic Acne: Getting Clear Without Accutane

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When Accutane debuted in 1982, it was hailed as a miracle drug. It provided complete remission of severe cystic acne for 85% of patients within five months. But years of controversy followed as the drug was linked to serious risks, including depression, psychosis, suicide, miscarriage, and birth defects. Those risks, coupled with unpleasant side effects like excessive peeling and extreme dryness of the nasal cavities and lips, made Accutane a drug of last resort.

So, are there effective alternatives to Accutane that don’t come with a laundry list of caveats? Read on for the best way to clear cystic acne without isotretinoin . First, a little context to help better understand your options.

Dont Try To Pop It Seriously

Cystic zits literally cannot be popped, since the problem is so deep within your skin. Trying to manipulate or squeeze the cyst will only push the inflammation out further, leading to more severe scarring and a possible infection, says Shari Marchbein, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. Even if it has the tiniest of whiteheads on top, dont trust itthat sh*t is deep, and youll never get it out. You will always make it worse.

When You Feel It Coming On Ice It Like A Sprained Ankle To Reduce Swelling

Whether the cystic acne is on your forehead or on your nose, the type of pimples we’re talking about here are rooted deep beneath the skin, so you will usually be able to feel it starting to form. When you do, don’t panic. Instead, grab an ice cube and apply it to the area for several seconds.

“Applying an ice cube directly to your pimple will constrict the small blood vessels that are feeding the cyst and will immediately decrease the redness and size,” Nazarian says.

Zeichner echoes the advice: “Ice-cold temperatures help constrict blood vessels, so wrap an ice cube in a paper towel and hold it against the bump to reduce pimple redness and bring down the swelling a bit,” he says. He recommends icing three times an hour in 10-minute intervals . You want to do this after you wash your face since washing after icing would warm the skin right back up.

This trick is especially helpful if you aren’t able to follow the next steps right away and you need something that will calm the oncoming redness and swelling before you cover it up with concealer and get on with your day.

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Is Retinol Good For Acne

Retinol is wildly advertised by retinol creams and retinol serums as a miracle worker but is it really all that amazing?

Lets take a look at how retinol works first. Retinol is basically Vitamin A and works by accelerating the growth and discarding of dead skin cells. This makes the cells less likely to fall into pores as well which leads to less blocked pores.

This process of accelerating the death of skin cells on the surface in turns speeds up the growth of healthy skin cells underneath the surface. This also makes it extremely effective at preventing and removing wrinkles.

Retinol also prevents the breakdown of collagen which gives skin its elastic texture. The presence of healthy amounts of collagen in the skin essentially gives the skin its suppleness and glow.

An experiment recorded within this book reports marvelous results of using vitamin A and retinol with 85% of the recipients displaying very significant improvements. The recipients were all victims of long standing inflammatory acne and other skin problems.

Notably as well, the same experiment showed better results in women with none of the women showing less than significant improvement and a large majority showing more than 75% improvement.

This cannot be understated that such results are very strong indicators of retinol being very potent against acne as well as other skin problems.

Is Hyaluronic Acid Good For Oily Skin

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Yes, it is. Hyaluronic acid is a non-comedogenic skincare ingredient. So, it will not clog your pores. This acid attracts water molecules to your skin and binds to them, retaining them in the layers of your skin and keeping your skin hydrated.

When your skin is hydrated, in essence, it is not dry. Therefore, it does not produce any more oil to keep it moisturized. If oil levels are regulated, oily skin is at a place of rest.

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How Does Tretinoin Treat Hormonal Acne

Retinoids like tretinoin work by speeding up your bodys skin cell turnover cycle. When you use tretinoin over the course of several months, your body produces new skin cells at a faster pace than it normally would, all while quickly exfoliating away old, dead skin cells.

This means youre less likely to develop blocked pores as a result of dead skin cells while using tretinoin.

So, is a 100% effective treatment for hormonal acne? Not quite. While tretinoin can remove one-half of the hormonal acne equation and significantly reduce acne outbreaks, its not proven to have any effects on your bodys sebum production.

If you have oily skin, you might need to use an additional treatment alongside tretinoin to get your bodys sebum production under control.

Depending on your acne, your healthcare provider may recommend combining tretinoin with birth control to lower androgen levels and slow sebum production on a hormonal level.

Or your healthcare provider might recommend combining tretinoin with antibiotics to target the bacteria that keep acne inflamed and lower your chances of developing infection or spreading your acne.

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What does your lifestyle have to do with using retinol? According to the pros, there are a few reasons why you might need to make some adjustments and level up your commitment to your current skin care routine if and when you start using retinol. Heres why:

  • Retinol plays nicely with gentle, non-irritating skin care ingredients, such as glycerin, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and ceramides.
  • The pros advised that you avoid layering retinol with other potent ingredients, including L-ascorbic acid , AHAs and Beta Hydroxy Acids .

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Whatever You Do Don’t Try To Pop It

We know you’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: As satisfying as you think it might feel, do not try to pop your pimples especially if they are cystic. “The hardest thing for me to communicate with my patients is that often, around age 20, women experience a major change in their acne,” New York City board-certified dermatologist Scott Dunbar has told Allure.“No longer are the zits the juicy whiteheads that explode with a satisfying pop. By the mid-20s and 30s, acne is made of deep pockets of white blood cells, and these can’t be popped.”

Maryland-based board-certified dermatologist Ife Rodney says they not only can’t be popped, but that an attempt to can cause damage. “Unlike pustules little pus-filled pimples and blackheads, under-the-skin pimples usually do not contain a core of dead skin or pus,” she tells Allure. “When you try to squeeze a cystic pimple, the result is trauma and more inflammation, leading to scarring and skin discoloration.”

How A Dermatologist Might Treat Cystic Acne

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Since were all different, there isnt a one size fits all solution for cystic acne. When you talk to a dermatologist, you can work together to develop a treatment plan that works for you.

Dr. Braue says that isotretinoin is still widely used to manage cystic acne and recent studies suggest that there isnt a direct link between it and an increase in depression. If you opt to go this route, he usually recommends just cleansing the skin with something very mild and not an acne wash.

Other treatment options might include antibiotics, tretinoin , or tazarotene .

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Tretinoin For Hormonal Acne

While almost all acne is technically hormonal, the term hormonal acne usually refers to acne that occurs as a result of fluctuations in your bodys production of androgenic hormones.

Androgens like testosterone stimulate your bodys production of sebum — a natural oil thats vital for keeping your skin hydrated and healthy.

When your body secretes too much sebum, excess sebum can collect inside your hair follicles, creating blocked pores that can develop into acne.

Sebum isnt the only component of hormonal acne. Another factor that can contribute to hormonal outbreaks is the presence of dead skin cells on your skin, which can become stuck inside open pores.

When dead skin cells combine with sebum inside a pore, the result is a blockage. Blocked pores can be partially open or completely closed .

They can even become infected and inflamed, leading to the development of painful, uncomfortable acne lesions.

While hormonal acne affects both men and women, its slightly more common in women. It usually becomes visible in the days immediately before and during your period, as this is when your bodys testosterone levels are at their highest.

Can You Get Prescription

Prescription-strength retinoids come in a few different formstheres tretinoin, isotretinoin, and adapalene, among others. For those with more mild acne or with sensitive skin, adapalene is an effective option, while those with more cystic, inflammatory acne that leads to scarring may benefit from an oral form of vitamin A called isotretinoin, says Garshick. Differin is currently the only prescription-strength adapalene you can buy over the counter. The formula is noncomedogenic, fragrance-free, and contains 0.1% percent adapalene to help heal current acne while preventing future breakouts, Robinson says. You can also get tretinoin without a doctor visit viaCurology, where providers may prescribe it virtually based on photos.

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Retinol For Acne: Does It Work

You probably already know that retinol is the gold standard in delaying the onset of wrinkles, fine lines, sun damage and other undesirable signs of aging. But did you know that this derivative of Vitamin A has a whole host of other skin benefits, some of which can be employed in dealing with acne? In fact, using retinol for acne is comparable to calling in the big guns when other acne-fighting ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or even tea tree oil have failed to deliver meaningful results. But as much as we can appreciate the incredible role that this bad boy plays in addressing wrinkles and crow’s feet, does retinol work for everyone as far as keeping acne out of bounds go? Well, let’s see.

For starters, it is essential to recognize that prescription-strength retinoids have been leading the charge in the treatment of inflammatory acne for quite some time now. Retinol is the gentler and more affable version of this legendary vitamin A derivative, and its ability to smoothen out fine lines and boost collagen production is virtually unmatched. But some of the lingering questions that most people ask are, does retinol help with acne? or does retinol help with acne scars?

Do Retinoids Work For Every Type Of Acne

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Anyone who experiences breakouts knows there are many different types of acne. The good news is that retinoids work on all of them. Born with oily skin, big pores, and a predisposition for breakouts? Retinoids can work. Its keratolytic, meaning it dissolves away dead skin layers, says Hammerman. By doing that, you are allowing new skin layers to come through smoother and softer. If youre plagued by blackheads and whiteheads, retinoids essentially bust out the keratin clogging those pores. As for inflamed red bumps and pustules, the retinol exfoliates the dead skin, allowing for other acne topicals to penetrate your skin more effectively, she says.

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Otc Vs Prescription Retinol

Although OTC retinol products are effective for treating acne, they will have less of an impact than prescription retinoids and will also take longer to achieve the desired results.

This is because retinol is not as potent, which is why it works best for mild-to-moderate acne. However, this also means that it is gentler on the skin.

In addition to retinol, people can also buy other OTC retinoid products. These can include weaker retinoids such as retinyl palmitate or stronger retinoids at weaker concentrations.

For example, people can purchase products containing 0.1% adapalene, while the prescription-strength product contains 0.3% adapalene.

In addition to treating acne, retinol has other potential skin care benefits. These include:

  • anti-aging, reducing fine lines and wrinkles
  • reducing pigmentation
  • improving skin texture and tone

A 2016 study suggests that the topical application of retinol can provide similar anti-aging effects as stronger retinoids such as retinoic acid. It does so by encouraging the formation of collagen, which can improve the appearance of skin.

In addition to the above skin conditions, doctors may also recommend retinol to treat keratosis pilaris. This is a common skin condition wherein dead skin cells do not flake off and instead plugs hair follicles, resulting in small bumps.

Retinol Treatment For Blackheads Pimples And Other Types Of Acne

Retinol is one of the few skin ingredients that can stimulate, trigger and control skin cell turnover rate. It’s probably the reason it’s a main player in almost all anti-aging serums. It’s this ability to boost the proliferation of skin cells that dermatologists attempt to harness in retinol acne treatment. At the end of the day, acne is just the result of having clogged pores and blocked hair follicles. So, if you can find a way of keeping these pores open – by stimulating the rate at which dead cells are replaced by new ones – then you are halfway towards keeping blackheads and whiteheads away.

Speaking of which, using retinol for cystic acne has been gaining a lot of traction recently. As mentioned earlier, integrating a suitable retinol based cream such as Maryann Retinol Cream is an excellent way of preventing dead cells from clogging up your precious skin pores. But it is the dexterity of retinol to allow other medicated gels and creams to work better that makes retin A hormonal acne treatment popular. In short, whatever other topical cream that you are trying to use to treat those big and angry-looking cystic pimples will work better if you throw a retin A for blackheads cream in the mix.

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Meg: Try It Over Moisturizer

How gnarly was it? I started using using the prescription retinoid Atralin at 0.05 percent when I was 12 for acne. I remember it making my skin a little dry and slightly flaky, but it only lasted a few week. Plus, my skin was clear, so that is all I cared about.

My dermatologist then upped my dosage to a generic form of tretinoin at 0.1 percent when my skin broke out freshman year of college. The high concentration and my overuse led to chemical burns on my chin after a week. My skin healed after about a week of proper use, icing of the area, and a simple moisturizer.

This past year, I discontinued my use of prescription retinoids all together and switched to The Ordinarys Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion, and I havent had any irritation. To be safe, I initially put it over my moisturizer when I first switched. Ive been using it for two months and only seen positive results.

Her advice: Keep your skin care simple if using it, listen to your dermatologist, and try the trick of using it over your moisturizer when you first start.

Can Food Or Other Things Cause Cystic Acne

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According to Dr. Braue, the foods that are often associated with acne havent been scientifically linked to cystic acne.

Sugar, chocolate and fast food always get a bad rap, but I havent seen any great scientific data that links them to cystic acne. So, I cant say that if you eat fast food three times a week or eat too much chocolate, your acne is going to be much worse. There isnt enough proof that these foods are direct causes.

However, if you notice that your acne flares up when you eat certain foods, your healthcare provider or dermatologist might encourage you to avoid them.

The one thing that Dr. Braue has noticed is a connection between acne and skim milk.

From the available data that we have, there seems to be a link between the severity of acne and the ingestion of skim milk. I do always ask patients if theyre drinking a lot of skim milk or if theyre taking whey protein. If they are, I counsel them on finding an alternative.

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Only Use It Where You Need It

Most retinoid directions will tell you to apply a pea-size amount all over your face, but you can also just area treat to avoid a full face of dryness. So if you tend to get hormonal acne on your chin and jawline, only use your retinol there. Seeing whiteheads on just your forehead? Stick to retinol in that area. Just dont think of it as a traditional spot treatment for breakouts, says Dr. Love. Retinols magic is preventative, so it wont help erase any existing zits.

Is Isotretinoin The Same As Tretinoin

Both isotretinoin and tretinoin are forms of vitamin A. Tretinoin is the pure form of retinoic acid. It was co-developed by Vivant formulator Dr. James Fulton to treat severe acne but proved to be highly effective for reducing wrinkles and hyperpigmentation as well. The side effects from tretinoin redness, irritation, dryness, peelingare more intense than OTC retinoids but mild compared to isotretinoin .

Isotretinoin is an oral drug, while tretinoin is a topical drug that comes in a cream or gel form. Both require a prescription.

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