Effective acne treatments come in many forms to cure existing pimples as well as prevent new ones from forming. While acne is more common during adolescence, even young adults and those in their late 20s can have outbreaks.
Acne treatments work by reducing the oil glands’ production of sebum or oil from the sebaceous gland. This excess oil clogs the pores, causing blockages that lead to pimples forming. There are also oral and topical prescription medications to help reduce the formation of new pimples or prevent them from worsening.
Prescription medication is a popular choice among adult acne patients. It is usually taken orally and works by reducing the number of oil-producing glands in the body. Oral acne treatment medications include such over-the-counter medications as benzoyl peroxide (such as Neutrogena on-The-Spot) and tetracycline (such as Accutane). Topical treatments include salicylic acid (Aubagio), which is used to reduce acne breakouts; resorcinol (such as Clearasil Adult Care), which acts against the bacteria that cause acne; and sulfur (such as Stridex, which is a brand name of sulfur containing soaps).
There are also oral drugs, such as erythromycin (which is prescribed for infections), tetracycline, and erythromycin phosphate, which act against bacteria within the hair follicle.
While medications provide quick results, they can be harsh on the skin. Many people also prefer herbal remedies and holistic treatments, which usually take longer to show benefits but do not contain harsh chemicals. Natural acne remedies include aloe vera, tea tree oil, vitamin A, vitamin C, dandelion root, and chamomile.
Sometimes it helps to combine two or more of these natural remedies because each one has a different way of getting to the skin. For example, combining the tea tree oil with the dandelion root can work faster than just using the tea alone.
For more natural acne treatment, many people choose topical creams or ointments that can be purchased over-the-counter. These are often applied directly to the skin, which can be handy if you don’t want to use your fingers or a brush to apply the cream. However, these products are best left on the skin until the acne starts to clear up, because the cream can dry out the skin and cause irritation. If the cream doesn’t stop the acne from spreading or if the symptoms persist after a week of treatment, then it’s best to see a dermatologist.
If the prescription acne skin care products don’t give you the results you want or need, or if your symptoms don’t improve even after using them twice daily, you may want to consult your dermatologist. He or she will prescribe stronger acne treatment medications.
These can be called topical antibiotics, which work against the bacteria that causes acne, or antibiotics that can be taken orally once or twice daily. Antibiotics have been shown to shorten the amount of time that an infection is present and to help clear up severe acne quickly.
Whatever your acne condition, keep in mind that there are several different kinds of acne treatment options. Each person will have his or her own personal preference and some acne breakouts are better treated by one type of treatment than another.
Also, keep in mind that if you switch acne medications or treatment options, you should wait a few weeks to a few months before applying the new medication or treatment to avoid any possible harmful side effects. And most importantly, never pop or squeeze pimples or blackheads as this can aggravate and spread them.