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.
Salicylic acid also has anti-inflammatory properties to help with inflamed cystic breakouts that can occur when blockages deep in the hair follicles rupture beneath the skin. Although it's totally fine to use salicylic acid in a face wash, you may find that you have better results when using it as a toner, moisturizer, or leave-on spot treatment because these give it more time to do its work. And keep in mind, salicylic acid can dry out the skin if over-applied, so it may be wise to choose only one product with the ingredient to use every day.
Antibiotics. These work by killing excess skin bacteria and reducing redness. For the first few months of treatment, you may use both a retinoid and an antibiotic, with the antibiotic applied in the morning and the retinoid in the evening. The antibiotics are often combined with benzoyl peroxide to reduce the likelihood of developing antibiotic resistance. Examples include clindamycin with benzoyl peroxide (Benzaclin, Duac, Acanya) and erythromycin with benzoyl peroxide (Benzamycin). Topical antibiotics alone aren't recommended.
Alternative and integrative medicine approaches used in the treatment of acne include fish oil, brewer's yeast, probiotics, oral zinc and topical tea tree oil. More research is needed to establish the potential effectiveness and long-term safety of these and other integrative approaches, such as biofeedback and traditional Chinese medicine. Talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of specific treatments before you try them.
Fayne L. Frey, M.D., a New York dermatologist who's been in practice for over 20 years, says "although there is no consensus on how often a person with healthy skin should wash their face, research clearly shows that folks with acne benefit from twice daily face cleansing." And if you regularly wear makeup, Lindsey Blondin, lead esthetician of George the Salon in Chicago, recommends doing two cleanses consecutively. The first cleanse "is to break up makeup, dirt, and oil on your face," while the second run through will "cleanse the skin itself."
How to Handle It: Think of these as bigger, pissed-off whiteheads. Your best bet, says Zeichner, is to stock up on benzoyl peroxide, which kills the bacteria. A spot treatment like Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix ($22) should do the trick. Also, try not to pop them — as tempting as that may be. Since they're inflamed, they're more likely to scar if you go the DIY route.
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.
If you notice that you’re breaking out right around your period every month, your acne might be linked to hormones. “A sensitivity to the hormones called androgens manifests in the form of cystic acne,” Dr. Linkner says. Androgens, namely testosterone, cause the skin to produce more sebum. More sebum equals more acne. Birth control, which has estrogen and progestin, helps keep hormones balanced and skin clear. Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Estrostep, and YAZ are all FDA-approved as acne treatments.
It’s especially good for cystic acne in women and body acne in men. “Oral vitamin A basically shuts down your sebaceous glands. If you suppress [them] for a long enough period, you can cure someone of their acne, and about 50 percent do hit that cure rate,” Dr. Linkner says. A course of isotretinoin can take about six to nine months. Sometimes patients need to repeat the course at a higher dosage in order to truly eliminate acne.
Everyone's shower routine is a little different, but typically consist of the same three things: body, face, and hair. But one thing you might never have thought of is that the same products that make our hair silky smooth "contain ingredients that can cause congestion on our face," says licensed esthetician Jill Jodar. "If you cleanse in the shower, be sure to do it last, and don't neglect the hairline, neck, and around the ears," suggests Jodar. That way, you're getting rid of the leftover shampoo and conditioner, as well as the dirt and grime on your face.
And if you thought blackheads and whiteheads were annoying, the deep painful pimples that often pop up in adult acne are much more aggravating—and harder to get rid of. So, we talked to dermatologists to find out which acne treatments are the most effective on all types of pimples. Keep reading to learn what causes acne in the first place, plus the best acne treatments worth spending your hard-earned dollars on.
If your problem with acne is that it’s making your skin swell up like crazy, aloe vera gel could do the trick. This is especially great to use for people who have sensitive skin, since its antibacterial properties reduce swelling and make for a soothing treatment. You can purchase aloe vera gel at the drugstore and use it as a spot treatment for any pimples that have appeared, and leave it on overnight.
Your skin needs to retain a lower, acidic-ranged pH to kill off germs and maintain its moisture barrier, which helps prevent acne. Regularly abusing baking soda can unnaturally raise your skin’s pH level, making it easier for bacteria to grow– kind of counterproductive, right? Plus, baking soda can cause micro-abrasions, teeny tiny cuts in your skin. This is like rolling out the welcome mat for acne and infections.
Our skin is a reflection of our overall health, which is why glowing, beautiful skin often results from proper care, hydration and eating a nutrient-dense diet. On the other hand, skin ridden with whiteheads, blackheads and other types of pimples can indicate oxidative damage, poor nutrition and hormonal imbalances — making it all the more important to find home remedies for acne.
If you have to option to get into a sauna, this can be quite beneficial as well. A sauna will allow your pores to open up and the heat will encourage sweating to help detoxify Your body. If you are going to go to the sauna, then you want to make sure that you bring a bottle of water with you. Because you will be losing fluid as you sweat in the sauna, it is imperative that you replenish this lost fluid.
Keep in mind that even if some products market themselves toward severe acne breakouts, all the kits we looked at are definitely designed for mild to moderate acne. Not sure if you fit on that scale? You’re not alone! When you’re in the middle of a breakout, all acne seems severe, so it can be difficult to self-diagnose your symptoms. We talked to dermatologists and cosmetic chemists to better understand the differences between the various types of acne (see below).
If you find that acne appears around your hairline, commercial hair products may be to blame. Shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, gels and mousses contain acne-causing ingredients, including petroleum, parabens, silicone, sulfates, panthenol and other chemicals. Try my Homemade Honey Citrus Shampoo that is void of harmful chemicals and leaves hair soft and manageable. Follow with a touch of coconut oil or my Homemade Conditioner made from apple cider vinegar and essential oils.
Drugs: Some medications may cause or worsen acne, such as those containing iodides, bromides, or oral or injected steroids (either the medically prescribed prednisone [Deltasone, Orasone, Prednicen-M, Liquid Pred] or the steroids that bodybuilders or athletes sometimes take). Other drugs that can cause or aggravate acne are anticonvulsant medications and lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid). Most cases of acne, however, are not drug related.
Dermatologists aren’t sure why azelaic acid is so effective at clearing up inflammation, but it’s often used as an option for sensitive skin or pregnant patients. The ingredient is good at treating malasma, acne, and rosacea, Dr. Linkner says. Your dermatologist can prescribe products with high concentrations of azelaic acid, and you can also find over-the-counter options with lower concentrations of this active ingredient.
Hormonal changes before starting a period or any other problem can be one of the reason for cystic acne. Don’t try to touch, prick or squeeze the pimple as it can spread the acne. Don’t use extremely hot water to wash the pimples as it can worsen the problem. If toothpaste or tea tree oil is working for you then continue using it. If not, then try different remedy from the article as per your convenience. And the most important thing is to make dietary changes. Include fresh fruits and vegetables to your daily food. Avoid junk, oily and fatty foods.
Oh, hello old friend. Salicylic acid is the go-to fix for pimply preteens. And cruising through the aisles at the drugstore, you’ll find it as the active ingredient on the majority of products labeled “acne wash” or “spot treatment.” Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that works by dissolving excess oil and gently exfoliating away dead skin cells.