How To Get Rid Of The Redness From Acne Scars
Acne scars can result from picking or popping blemishes or as a result of severe acne.
While home remedies and topical medications are effective in treating acne, this is not so for acne scars. For optimal results, it is best to consult with a professional about your options.
Are There Any Special Concerns For Women Of Childbearing Age With Acne
Many topical and oral acne treatments are contraindicated during pregnancy. If youre a woman in your childbearing years, its important to discuss acne treatments with your healthcare provider and alert them if you become pregnant. Isotretinoin is known to cause severe birth defects and therefore, two methods of birth control are required while on this medication.
Hormone therapy is helpful for some women with acne, especially for those that flare-up with menstruation or those with signs and symptoms of excess androgen . Hormone therapy consists of low-dose estrogen and progesterone or a medication called spironolactone that blocks the effect of male hormones at the level of the hair follicles and oil glands.
Treating Mild And Moderate Acne
Over-the-counter topical medications may be all that is necessary. Many of these products contain resorcinol, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and sulfur. These ingredients are responsible for:
- Breaking down blackheads and whiteheads
- Killing bacteria, slowing oil production and a peeling agent to clear pores
- Fighting inflammation
- If you have dry or irritated skin, creams work better.
- If you have oily skin, they may prefer a gel-based acne product.
- Treatment is best done at night and requires patience make sure to read instructions on the product package completely.
- If the cream or gel treatment is not showing improvement, your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics
- It is important to take what the doctor prescribes for as long as it is prescribed.
- A combination of treatments may be required to see what works and what doesnt work for each individual. Attention and patience is needed.
- It may take six to 12 weeks to see results.
- Try an over-the-counter topical treatment first and if you dont see any improvement, contact your doctor.
- You may need to use topical creams or gels for a long time and use antibiotics during acne flare-ups.
- If you are on antibiotics, take what the doctor prescribes for as long as it is prescribed.
- Some antibiotics have side effects or stain teeth, so check with your doctor or nurse practitioner about how to take the antibiotics and what the side effects are.
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Apply Green Tea To The Skin
A lot of people drink green tea for its health benefits, but it can also be helpful when applied directly to the skin.
Green tea contains flavonoids and tannins, which are known to help fight inflammation and the bacteria that may cause pimples .
Its also high in the antioxidant epigallocatechin-3-gallate , which has been shown to fight inflammation, reduce sebum production, and inhibit the growth of P. acnes in people with acne-prone skin .
Multiple studies have shown that people with acne experience significantly less sebum production and pimples when they apply a 23% green tea extract to their skin .
There are a handful of skin care products on the market that contain green tea, but its very simple and cost-effective to make your own mixture at home.
You can get a quality green tea online.
Foods That Cause Zits
Do a Google search for “how to get rid of zits fast” and you’ll see plenty of websites telling you to eat better for clear skin. But are there really foods that cause pimples, or is that an old wives’ tale?
Dermatologist Hilary Baldwin, MD, of the Acne Treatment and Research Centre in Morristown, New Jersey, says the answer isn’t really simple at all. “The simple answer is, we don’t know. So far studies have suggested that high-glycemic index diets , as well as diets high in skim-milk dairy products and whey protein supplements might be associated with worsening of existing acne but are less likely to cause acne,” Baldwin says.
So eating too many sweets could be a potential cause of pimples. You may not want to cut back on your favorite treats, but if you’ve tried different methods of acne treatment and are still wondering how to get rid of pimples, considering a change in your diet is definitely worth a shot.
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Prescription Treatments For Acne
Antibiotics.Antibiotics may be used on top of the skin or taken orally . Antibiotics work by clearing the skin of acne-causing bacteria and reducing inflammation. There are several topical products available in creams, gels, solutions, pads, foams, and lotions. Topical antibiotics are limited in their ability to penetrate the skin and clear more deep-seated acne, whereas systemic antibiotics circulate throughout the body and into sebaceous glands. However, systemic antibiotics often cause more side effects than topicals, but they can be used for more severe kinds of acne. Usually, topical antibiotics aren’t recommended alone as an acne treatment, as they can increase the risk for antibiotic resistance in skin bacteria. However, using benzoyl peroxide with a topical antibiotic may reduce the chances of developing antibiotic resistance.
Topical clindamycin and erythromycin are antibiotics that are also anti-inflammatory drugs and are effective against a number of bacteria. They should always be combined with benzoyl peroxide or a topical retinoid and applied directly to the skin. Oral erythromycin is also available, but you may become resistant to its effects, limiting its usefulness.
Dapsone. Dapsone is a topical gel that is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
How To Use Essential Oils For Acne
Other essential oils including cinnamon, rose, lavender, clove, and rosemary have been found to inhibit acne-causing bacteria. Applying these oils to the skin may help reduce pimples.
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How To Get Rid Of Blackheads
Blackheads are a mild form of acne that appear as unsightly, open pores that look darker than the skin surrounding them. They get their dark appearance from a skin pigment called melanin, which oxidizes and turns black when it’s exposed to the air. Blackheads aren’t caused by dirt, but by sebum and dead skin cells blocking the pore. If the pore remains open, it becomes a blackhead if it’s completely blocked and closed, it turns into a whitehead.
Baldwin says squeezing is the best way to get rid of blackheads, but it should be left to a professional if possible. “A good cosmetologist can do an awesome facial,” she says. “Pore strips can also help. But both of these are made much easier by starting on a retinoid first. Prescription retinoids soften the pore contents and make the whole process more successful and less painful. With time they will also eradicate the blackheads.” The best way to get rid of blackheads for good is with a skin care regimen and the best acne products for clearing the pores. Do not try to pop blackheads or dislodge the blockage with your nails, as your hands may introduce new bacteria to the pores. Instead, see how to get rid of zits fast and prevent blackheads with these acne treatments:
How To Treat Cystic Acne
Sorry, but at some pointideally right away! Now! Yesterday!youre likely going to need work with a dermatologist to fully prevent and/or treat your cystic zits, especially if youre dealing with more than 1-2 bumps a month . That being said, its helpful to know what cystic acne treatments are potentially in store for you, starting with:
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Don’t Overlook Amazing New Technology In The Drugstore Aisle
If saving babysitting money for a year still won’t make a dent in the funds you need to get a fancy laser treatment that will blast away acne scars, don’t be discouraged. Thanks to the geniuses behind drugstore brands like La Roche-Posay, there’s a new class of products that feature smart technology and better-than-ever ingredients to help treat dark marks and acne scarring at an affordable price. La-Roche Posays Pigmentclar line is unique in the way it combines exfoliating lipohydroxy acid , phe-resorcinol, and ferulic acid, which are both strong brightening ingredients, all together to form a topical product thats seriously effective,” says dermatologist Dr. Mona Gohara.
How To Get Rid Of Back Acne
Back acne is a potentially embarrassing and sometimes painful condition where clogged hair follicles on the back cause pimples and blackheads. Back acne can be caused by the same factors as other types of acne: diet, hormones, certain medications, genetics or any combination thereof. But when you’re considering how to get rid of back acne, also remember that most people have their back covered the majority of the day. The clothing we wear matters, and the way in which we wash the skin on our back is key for clear skin, the whole body over. Learn more about common back acne causes, the best acne products for your body, and how to prevent acne on the back from returning in this section.
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Experiment With Acne Medications
You’ve probably seen the Proactiv clear skin system advertised on television at some point over the last several years, but does it work? Proactiv is one of the better acne remedies out there for mild cases of inflammatory and noninflammatory acne, hormonal acne and adult acne. The starter kit comes with a gentle benzoyl peroxide exfoliating cleanser, a glycolic acid pore cleanser, and a benzoyl peroxide repairing treatment.
Proactiv 3-step acne treatment system, from $33 for a 30-day starter kit,
Another option is Clean & Clear’s Continuous Control Acne Cleanser, a 10 percent benzoyl peroxide facial cleanser, is one of the best face washes designed for everyday cleansing if you have acne. Add an oil-free facial sunscreen as well.
Clean & Clear Continuous Control acne facial cleanser, from $9, Target.com
You can also try e.l.f. brand Acne Fighting Foundation, which contains ingredients to both fight acne and soothe irritated skin, including salicylic acid, witch hazel, camphor, tea tree extract and aloe. This is one of the best acne products on the market for not only “covering up” acne, but continuing to treat it, as well.
e.l.f Cosmetics Acne Fighting foundation, from $6,
Our final suggestion is Effaclar Duo includes micronized benzoyl peroxide that gets at acne deep within the skin. The non-drying, oil-free product is good for moderate acne.
La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo duel action acne treatment cream, from $20,
Tips To Get Rid Of Body Acne
Its safe to say, no one likes acne, but its kind of a rite of passage. As we go through our teenage and young adult years , a zit is to be expected dotting their way across our faces. But for some people, they also have to deal with acne breakouts below their chinon their back and chest.
While we tend to focus on the face, acne can present challenges on your back and chest as well, said Trevor Thompson, MD, a dermatologist with Banner Health Center in Peoria, AZ. More often, we encounter truncal, or body acne, in our younger years and it is slightly more common in males than females.
While it can be extremely bothersome and embarrassing, the good news is that much like face acne, there are ways to get your body acne under control. We spoke with Dr. Thompson to better understand the causes for body acne and ways to combat it.
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Home Remedies For Acne
Similar to the above natural acne remedies, these acne treatments can be inexpensive and worth giving a try. Best of all, these use products you probably already have in your household, like apple cider vinegar and toothpaste. Use home remedies for pimples with caution if you have cystic acne, open sores or inflammatory acne, which are best treated with medical supervision.
Wash The Face Twice Daily
Many people prefer to use a mild cleanser and warm water. Applying an oil-free moisturizer after washing can keep the skin from becoming too dry. Overwashing the face may cause the skin to become dry, which can aggravate pimples.
However, over-washing of the face can dry the skin out, causing oil overproduction. This can result in more acne.
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Acne Scar Removal With Laser Skin Treatments
Skin care clinics and dermatologists across the country offer laser skin treatments for acne scar removal, but is it worth it? The best way to determine which laser acne scar treatment is right for you is to get different professional opinions about which type is best for your skin, and compare pricing, expected recovery time and reviews. Here’s how a few laser treatments work for acne scar removal:
Can Tea Tree Oil Help Cystic Acne
If you have mild acne, there is data out there that shows that tea tree oil can be helpful. With cystic acne, when someone is looking to treat it naturally, I always mention that just because something is natural doesnt mean that its necessarily good for you. With tea tree oil, some people are allergic to limonene, a compound thats found in it. This allergy can cause contact dermatitis in addition to their acne. So again, if someone has true cystic acne, they need to see a dermatologist or their healthcare provider first.
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Cystic Acne Could Be A Sign Of Other Health Conditions
Another reason Dr. Braue recommends seeing a dermatologist or even your healthcare provider first cystic acne could be a sign that something else is going on.
Its important to get checked out by a dermatologist, or at the very least, your primary care physician who can appropriately refer you to a dermatologist. Sometimes, people who have significant inflammation may have another underlying condition. For example, its not uncommon to see younger women or teens who have polycystic ovary syndrome and cystic acne. If youre attempting to treat cystic acne with over-the-counter solutions, youre not going to take into consideration that there could be an issue with your menstrual cycle or an issue that could lead to a metabolic disorder.
How Do Dermatologists Treat Acne
To start, a dermatologist will want to get an idea of your skins history and what youre looking for in terms of treating your skin, including any procedures or ingredients you might not be comfortable with. We want to find out whats best for you so well ask you about skin typeif its oily, if its combinationwe ask about the products that you use at home, says Dr. Adotama. I specifically like to talk with clients to see what they feel comfortable with. Some clients dont want to take pills, some clients want natural-only products. Im willing to work with my patients to make them feel comfortable with their treatment options.
Once your doc knows a little bit about your skin type and your lifestyle, they will get to work identifying which of the types of acne youre dealing with in order to map out your course of treatment. According to Dr. Adotama, we treat differently depending on what we see, so, if the acne is mainly blackheads and whiteheads or non-inflammatory acne, we might go topical. But if the acne is really inflamed and cystic, then we often use oral medications so the type of acne we see will dictate how we approach that medication management.
Topical Acne Treatment vs. Oral Acne Treatment
Oral acne treatment: These medications, which work internally to combat acne, are best for cystic acne treatment . They can come in different forms such as antibiotics , birth control pills , and isotretinoin .
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When Does Acne Stop
Its common for acne to start between the ages of 10 and 13 and to last for 5 to 10 years or throughout your adult life . Acne normally goes away with age but may require treatment for at least 5-10 years. Ask your doctor about prescription acne treatment. It beats anythnig they have over-the-counter.
Although these are statistical averages, its impossible to guess how long acne will last for each individual person. Many teens and young adults find that their acne improves as they get older and others have acne into their adult years.
Does Acne Require A Medical Diagnosis
Typically, your general practitioner can diagnose you by just looking at your skin. What treatment they suggest will depend on the severity of your acne. Most cases don’t require a diagnosis but it helps to see a doctor to better understand your skin type and ways of managing common skin conditions.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article intend to inform and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Pandia Health, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.
- The Lifespan of a Pimple: How Its Born, How It Lives, and How It Dies written by Amanda Montell Updated Feb 23, 2021 reviewed by Dr. Morgan Rabach Dermatologist
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