Acne is a typical skin condition that mainly affects teenagers undergoing hormonal changes. The symptoms of acne may include a few occasional pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, or severe nodules and cysts. Acne treatment depends on the gravity of the condition.
What Causes Acne?
Acne is mainly a hormonal condition driven by male or androgenic hormones, which usually become active during the teenage years. It is caused by sensitivity to such hormones combined with bacteria on the skin and fatty acids within oil glands. Acne is found on the face, chest, shoulders, neck, and back. Acne sores include whiteheads, blackheads, small bumps, and nodules, and cysts.
How Is Acne Treated?
Acne can be effectively treated with antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoid, depending upon the condition of acne. Most people would need at least one or two treatments, depending on the severity of their acne.
Benzoyl peroxide ointments or creams are available as over-the-counter products or by prescription. These ointments target surface bacteria, which are the cause of acne. Dryness of the skin is a usual side effect of using these treatments.
Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives and help treat blackheads and whiteheads, the first lesions of acne, as well as inflammatory papules and pustules. The most common side effects are skin dryness, irritation, and an increased risk of sunburn with all retinoids.
Antibiotics are either applied topically to the skin, such as clindamycin, erythromycin or taken orally as tetracycline and its derivatives. They help control surface bacteria and decrease redness in the skin. Antibiotics work more effectively when combined with benzoyl peroxide or retinoids. The oral retinoid such as isotretinoin is earmarked for people with severe acne.
Hormone therapy can be beneficial for some women with acne, especially for those with conditions such as irregular periods, thinning hair, or the presence of excessive male hormones. The hormone therapy comprises low-dose estrogen and progesterone or anti-androgen medications.
How Can Acne Be Prevented?
To ward off acne and reduce its damage to your skin, follow these valuable tips.
- Select a cleanser specially formulated for acne. These products contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, which help to clear acne sores.
- Clean your face gently, as hurting the acne rashes may aggravate the acne or cause facial scarring. While washing your face, use your hands or cotton pads, as any other rough scrubbing material may cause acne sores to rupture further.
- Use a light moisturizer, which does not irritate the acne.
- Heavy makeup or other cosmetic products used by women may block pores, causing an outbreak of acne.
Call San Pedro at (310) 832-6487 or schedule an online appointment to know more about Acne.