If you’ve ever had acne breakouts, you know that they can be incredibly painful! The itchiness and redness of blemishes can cause constant discomfort.
Many people experience multiple treatments to get rid of their acne for as long as it lasts. But this is not the best way to treat your acne.
There are three different ways in which topical medications can help calm or reduce the intensity of pimples. They may also help prevent new breakouts from occurring. Here are the top three topical medications that can help control acne for good.
You might think that retinoids only work on skin that is already damaged by acne. However, these products can actually fight off scars and improve the appearance of existing marks. That’s because they act like small-sized anti-inflammatory drugs. They’re also great at healing the skin around the scar. They do this by increasing cell growth. This helps to repair damaged tissue caused by acne.
There are two types of retinoids: alpha and beta. Alpha retinoids contain a chemical called 2-hydroxy acids. Their strength is less than beta-retinoids but more potent. Beta retinoids have an enzyme called PTH (proliferation of activated T-cells) which reduces inflammation. Many commercial retinoids include both types. When using a salicylic acid-based topical gel, you’ll want to apply 1% or 1:1.5% concentrations. These items can be found in most drug stores. There are even some generic versions available online on Amazon.
When to Use Retinoids
Retinoids won’t benefit everyone. Everyone with mild acne will benefit from them. What works for one person may not always work for you or someone else. However, when used together, retinoids can be highly effective. Start by working up a tolerance level (your body gets accustomed to treating a certain amount). Once you start seeing results, add the product back to your routine after you feel better.
Before starting treatment, it’s important to determine if the symptoms are due to genetics. Also, make sure you consult your dermatologist first.
Salicylic Acid Peels
Salicylic acid peels are one of the simplest forms of cosmetic surgery. It involves removing dead cells that cause acne. Because dead cells contribute to the development of acne, salicylic acid peels remove such cells.
Salicylic acid peels have been shown to lead to greater relief of acne than other commonly prescribed methods. In particular, those with severe cases of acne should opt for salicylic acid peels. A review of clinical trials found that peeling led to improvements in skin tone, texture, and thickness. These results were observed after 14 weeks of peeling.
Salicylic acid peels can be done by either professional dermatologists or local salons. Some salons offer special packages in addition to regular services; these tend to cost a lot more. Before beginning any type of procedure, it’s important to consult your doctor and dermatologist about what type of treatment is right for you.
OTC Steroid Cream
Oral or topical steroid creams are particularly popular during summer and fall for reasons that may not seem logical. During these times, many people use oral steroids because they don’t have too much downtime and don’t have to use sunscreen. Because of this, experts recommend taking an OTC steroid cream daily for at least six months to keep up with the dry weather. Other users believe that oral formulations are safer than topical ones due to fewer potentially harmful ingredients.
There has never been a clear consensus on how many topical agents are needed to combat acne. Nonetheless, doctors suggest that topical corticosteroids work well enough to treat moderate-to-severe conditions. Using oral formulation is safe, although the concentration of the active ingredient may vary. Most common active ingredients include benzoyl peroxide and/or clindamycin. Each has its own unique benefits. Benzoyl peroxide is useful in reducing inflammation while clindamycin helps to fight bacteria causing acne. It must be noted that benzoyl peroxide is considered to be a possible carcinogen. Its presence as a preservative may pose a problem when combined with other chemicals or ingredients. Always talk to your dermatologist prior to trying a prescription medication with topical steroids.
How To Prevent Your Own Skin From Becoming Irritated With Acne
If you’re looking for ways to prevent your own skin from getting irritated by acne, there are a few simple rules to follow. First, wash your face properly and avoid contact with abrasive objects. Second, try to limit the number of steps you take in between showers. Finally, be careful about what time of day you expose your skin to sunlight. Exposure to UV rays can trigger the production of stress hormones, leading you to break out of acne in the morning or later. Remember to shield your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Try wearing protective clothing before and after going outside. Wearing hats and sunglasses will help. Remember that humidity levels can affect the drying process of your skin. Keep moisturizer on hand. Apply it right after you shower and after putting your makeup on. The drier skin absorbs moisture easier when it’s exposed to water.