A 2013 study on acne vulgaris in The Nurse Practitioner concurred that a multidimensional approach to acne is usually necessary because most people have a combination of symptoms. Based on the advice of dermatologists and aestheticians, we turned our focus to regimen sets, analyzing the ingredients of more than 40 kits before finding our top picks.
Topical (external) applications: Antibacterial cleansers come in the form of gels, creams, and lotions that are applied to the affected area. The active ingredients that kill surface bacteria include benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, and resorcinol. Some brands promoted on the Internet and cable TV (such as ProActiv) are much more costly than identical and sometimes more potent products one can buy in the drugstore.

Warning: Sulfur smells like rotten eggs. But it is an effective ingredient at drying up pus-filled pimples and whiteheads (you’ve gotta take the good with the bad). It works by sucking up the oil. Sulfur is typically mixed with other active ingredients to get the most efficacy and fragrances to mask the strong scent. You can often find it in masks and spot treatments.
There are two big guns used to take down acne, and they're both great at doing entirely different things. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that comes from willow bark and works primarily as an exfoliator, breaking down fatty acids like sebum so your pores don’t clog. (Glycolic acid works similarly but is less effective.) These acids are effective on comedones — whiteheads, blackheads, and other non-red bumps.
Treating acne requires patience and perseverance. Any of the treatments listed above may take two or three months to start working (even isotretinoin). Unless there are side effects such as excessive dryness or allergy, it is important to give each regimen or drug enough time to work before giving up on it and moving on to other methods. Using modern methods, doctors can help clear up the skin of just about everyone.

'There is a high risk of birth defects, so women must take careful steps to prevent pregnancy during treatment,' she explains. 'Dry, cracked lips are common, blood tests must be done to monitor cholesterol and liver function, alcohol intake should be restricted and prolonged sun exposure must be avoided as there is a higher risk of getting a sunburn. Close supervision by a dermatologist experienced in prescribing the drug is mandatory.'
The side effects depend on the type of treatment you use. Generally, for topical, over-the-counter creams, you can watch out for stinging, redness, irritation and peeling — these side effects usually don’t go any deeper than the skin. Others, like oral antibiotics or hormonal medications, could come with new sets of complications, so we suggest talking to your doctor before pursuing the treatment.
Spot treatments are designed to give problem pimples a mega-dose of concentrated benzoyl peroxide — in a couple of regimens, like the Proactiv Teen Kit, the spot treatment had nearly three times the benzoyl peroxide as its all-over treatment. The logic: If benzoyl peroxide can be irritating to the skin in high concentrations, limiting its intensity to just the pimple itself could save the rest of your healthy skin.
In most cases, acne products need to be used for at least 30 days before you can begin to ascertain its efficacy. Some skin and acne types may see noticeable results in a few days and end up totally clear in just a few weeks. Others may take several weeks to see the slightest change, or need to have their regimen adjusted as their skin adapts. Treating acne can often be a months-long process.

Unfortunately, there is such thing as too much of a good thing. You might think washing your face religiously will make it just about impossible for your pores to get clogged, and therefore keep your skin free from breakouts. However, "over-cleansing the skin can dry out the skin," said esthetician Lindsey Blondin. This will cause your skin to produce even more acne-causing oil to make up for the dryness.
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
Lastly, one of the best preventative steps is to drink water everything all day. When you play properly hydrated, your body is able to process all the toxins that go in it a lot more efficiently. It is no surprise that one of the main ways your body gets rid of toxins is through the pores in your skin. If you don't regularly flush out your system, then you are paving the way to allowing a backup of gunk to clog your pores. Once your pores are clogged, you are one step closer to getting an acne breakout. Of course, you can help to avoid all this by staying properly hydrated.
You’ve probably heard of the benefits of retinoid creams for anti-aging, but vitamin A is also efficient at clearing up acne. “[Retinoids] cause skin cells to turn over at a faster rate, decrease oil production, and help skin exfoliate,” board-certified dermatologist Rita Linkner, M.D., tells SELF. Another benefit: Acne is inflammation, and retinoids are anti-inflammatory.
Anyone who's ever had a pimple (so basically, everyone) knows what a struggle it is to get rid of them. Your best bet is to stop acne before it even starts by eating right and making sure you keep your face clean. If you do happen to have a breakout, don't stress! Visit your dermatologist and let them help you figure out a skincare routine that's perfect for you. And most importantly, be patient! "Don't panic if the cream that your dermatologist gave you doesn't dissolve the zit in one or two days," says dermatologist Margaret Ravits, M.D. Your face will clear up in time… and don't forget the moisturizer!
Eating healthy is vital to keep your organs functioning properly, and don't forget — your skin is an organ. "Our skin is a bellwether of our internal health, and so what we eat can either help or hurt our skin," explains Maria Marlowe, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and the creator of EatBeauty, a 12-week program and meal plan for reversing acne. Marlowe says for the clearest skin, you generally want to stay away from sugary, processed foods. "Research shows that eating a high-glycemic diet, one that spikes your blood sugar, particularly one filled with sugar and refined foods, can trigger redness and acne breakouts," she advises. So the next time you get a donut craving, consider opting for a smoothie instead. "Anti-inflammatory foods, such as dark leafy greens, blueberries, and broccoli can help bring down that inflammation and keep our skin clear and glowing," says Marlowe.

Good Skin Care Routine: Avoid scented and heavy moisturizers. Make sure to exfoliate your skin before applying the moisturizer. It is very important to remove make up before going to bed as reduces the risk of clogging the pores. For a healthy growth of new skin cells, you can use effective scrubs which are not abrasive. Some of the important things a scrub should contain are glycolyic acid and fruit enzymes. Sunscreens and vitamin C helps in lightening and preventing acne scars.
Another easy way to prevent acne-causing bacteria from invading your pores is to make sure your phone (yes, your phone!) is clean, says dermatologist Margaret Ravits, M.D. "Your device travels with you all day — from home to the car or subway, to work, to the gym, to the restaurant for a night out. Even to the bathroom!" explains Dr. Ravits. "It can get grimy and then you press it against your face for hours each week and transfer that grime, sweat, and bacteria onto your skin. An easy way to prevent breakouts? Wipe down your cell phone or mobile device regularly," Dr. Ravits suggests.
For individuals suffering from the cystic form of acne, a controlled clinical trial has found that Guggul supplements (also known as guggulsterone) outperformed 500 milligrams of tetracycline by a small margin. (16) In the study, 25 milligrams of guggulsterone taken twice daily for three months resulted in the reduction of acne, but more importantly, 50 percent fewer participants had acne relapses. Researchers noted that patients with oily skin responded remarkably better to guggul than others in the study.
The three-piece set doesn’t come with a sun protection treatment, but Paula’s Choice has one in the line, the Clear Ultra-Light Daily Fluid SPF 30+. “Sun protection is really important, especially with acneic skin,” says Townsend. “In many cases, stronger acne products can make the skin photosensitive to the sun.” This isn’t your normal gloppy white sunscreen. Its fluid formula slips over tender skin, doesn’t need a ton of rubbing in, and also leaves a mattifying finish.
Oral medications: Doctors may start antibiotic treatment with tetracycline (Sumycin) or one of the related "cyclines," such as doxycycline (Vibramycin, Oracea, Adoxa, Atridox, and others) and minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin). Other oral antibiotics that are useful for treating acne are cefadroxil (Duricef), amoxicillin (Amoxil, DisperMox, Trimox), and the sulfa drugs.
What's Going On: Do you tend to get these at the same time every month — say, just before you get your period? Because these are the work of fluctuating hormones, says Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist and the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Hormones can put oil production into overdrive, and having an excess of it means that it’s more likely to settle in your pores and cause zits.

No one factor causes acne. Acne occurs when sebaceous (oil) glands attached to the hair follicles are stimulated at the time of puberty or due to other hormonal changes. Sebum (oil) is a natural substance that lubricates and protects the skin. Associated with increased oil production is a change in the manner in which the skin cells mature, predisposing them to plug the follicular pore. The plug can appear as a whitehead if it is covered by a thin layer of skin, or if exposed to the air, the darker exposed portion of the plug is called a "blackhead." The plugged hair follicle gradually enlarges, producing a bump. As the follicle enlarges, the wall may rupture, allowing irritating substances and normal skin bacteria access into the deeper layers of the skin, ultimately producing inflammation. Inflammation near the skin's surface produces a pustule; deeper inflammation results in a papule (pimple); if the inflammation is deeper still, it forms a cyst.
Exfoliating cleansers and masks: A variety of mild scrubs, exfoliants, and masks can be used. These products may contain salicylic acid in a concentration that makes it a very mild peeling agent. These products remove the outer layer of the skin and thus open pores. Products containing glycolic or alpha hydroxy acids are also gentle skin exfoliants.

Strawberries are natural scrubbers, which have a high quantity of salicylic acids. These acids help in opening the blocked pores and remove the impurities. All you need to do is to crush 2-3 strawberries and add a few drops of honey in it. Mix it well and apply it directly on the face. Leave it for twenty minutes. Wash off your face with water. Do this process for two times a week.
Honey is known as the anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent and is one of the best home remedies for acne. It kills the infecting bacteria and prevents acne. For effective results, use it with cinnamon. Take some cinnamon powder and add honey to it to make a paste. Apply it on the face as a mask, covering the infected area. Leave it over night. Next morning, wash it off with water. It will help in getting rid of pimples from its roots.
Is oatmeal a good home remedy for acne? Well, yes! Oatmeal is an effective acne treatment at home. It helps in cleaning the skin pores and absorbing extra oil. Cook some oatmeal and take it out in a bowl. Add a teaspoon of honey and juice of half lemon to it. Stir the mixture well and apply gently on the face. Leave it for half an hour. After it gets dried, wash it off with lukewarm water.
The three-piece set doesn’t come with a sun protection treatment, but Paula’s Choice has one in the line, the Clear Ultra-Light Daily Fluid SPF 30+. “Sun protection is really important, especially with acneic skin,” says Townsend. “In many cases, stronger acne products can make the skin photosensitive to the sun.” This isn’t your normal gloppy white sunscreen. Its fluid formula slips over tender skin, doesn’t need a ton of rubbing in, and also leaves a mattifying finish.
Most studies of acne drugs have involved people 12 years of age or older. Increasingly, younger children are getting acne as well. In one study of 365 girls ages 9 to 10, 78 percent of them had acne lesions. If your child has acne, consider consulting a pediatric dermatologist. Ask about drugs to avoid in children, appropriate doses, drug interactions, side effects, and how treatment may affect a child's growth and development.
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