Top 5 Best Treatments for Acne
Modern medicine considers acne a feature of growing up. Most doctors will prescribe benzoyl peroxide or an antibiotic for pimples, blackheads, or whiteheads. If you have very deep skin infections causing cysts or nodules, you may be placed on Accutane or Retin-A. More aggressive forms of acne that result in pimples growing together all over the top half of the body will usually be referred to dermatologists for surgical reconstruction or laser procedures. However, because acne is caused by a combination of factors, what works for one person may not work for another. Read on for a list of the top five treatments that work best for acne in most people.
- Over-the-counter products.
Many people suffering from acne can successfully manage their condition with inexpensive over-the-counter acne products. However, not all acne products are created equal, and jumping in and trying random products may worsen the situation. Pore cleaners containing benzyl peroxide or salicylic acid are highly effective for many people, and might be an effective treatment method if breakouts have not resulted in scarring. They are even more powerful if rotate two or three products that work every two to three months. This is because the acne outsmarts the medicine and you can develop a resistance to treatment. The result is the breakout cycle repeating itself. Rotating products can often resolve the problem.
- Use cleansers to keep your skin clean, not fight acne.
Although you can’t wash, scrub, or rub your blemishes away, everyone should use a daily skin cleanser, even those not fighting acne. The goal of cleansing is to prevent the buildup of dead skin in pores or forming clumps that trap acne oil and bacteria underneath them. However, it’s best not to cleanse more than twice a day. If your skin feels tingly, scratchy, itchy, or dry after you cleanse, you are washing too frequently.
A simple, healthy diet is essential for overall health and can also be the best acne treatment. Eating a lot of junk food by itself doesn’t seem to cause acne, but the absence of a balanced diet and an abundance of refined carbs can cause issues. Moderation, discipline, and patience are the keys to creating the best meal plan for beautiful, healthy, and acne-free skin. People who follow a low-glycemic index diet with reduced refined carbohydrates have 22 percent fewer acne lesions than those who consistently consume high-GI foods. Additionally, some doctors suspect that the iodine found in table salt and seafood may exacerbate acne breakouts. Aim for an overall salt consumption under 1,500 mg. a day and shoot for low-sodium versions of packaged foods.
- Focus on stress management.
Stress doesn’t create acne, but it can worsen existing issues. It isn’t clear how anxiety produces skin blemishes, but stress hormones such as cortisol can overstimulate the oil glands and increase inflammation levels in the body. Controlling stress with meditation, exercise, or any method that helps keep you calm may also clear your skin. When a person with acne experiences a lot of stress, more oil is produced. This results in clogging hair follicles that lead to acne. Sometimes, acne and anxiety can interact in a harmful cycle. When some people are upset or anxious, they are more inclined to exacerbate their blemishes, and some people pick at their skin when they’re stressed.
- Apply topical antibacterial and retinoids.
Various creams, lotions, and gels are all useful for treating acne and work in a variety of different ways. Dermatologists often recommend a bacteria-killing benzoyl peroxide topical combined with a prescription antimicrobial such as erythromycin or clindamycin. Newer drugs, such as Ziana and Epiduo combine antibacterial medication with retinoids and may be more effective than individual products. Retinoids also stimulate the production of collagen, making it particularly beneficial for adult acne sufferers.
Checking in with Your Doctor
While all acne has similar roots, not all cases are equally severe. Acne cases differ, and so do the treatments. Likewise, many people respond differently to the same kinds of treatments. If you have you tried natural acne treatments and over-the-counter acne products without success, it might be time to have a discussion with your primary care doctor to determine the best acne treatment based on your unique skin type and needs.