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Treating Acne

Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages and ethnicities. Acne is a condition that causes the skin to become inflamed from clogged pores. This results in pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads. The body’s pores become clogged from the naturally secreted oils of the body. When the body produces too much of the oils, it mixes with dead skin cells and dirt, which results in a clogged pores.

Symptoms of Acne

Acne produces many symptoms on the body. This skin condition can occur anywhere on a person’s body. The most common symptom of acne involves inflamed, pus-filled lesions underneath the skin. The lesions often result in pain and scarring. Pimples are a symptom of acne. Pimples are inflamed, pus-filled lesions that have a red base. Open follicles in the skin that have a dark color, known as blackheads, are a symptom of acne. Small round bumps, known as whiteheads, are a sign of acne as well.

Types of Acne

There are four types of acne conditions that affect the skin. The most common type of acne condition is Acne Vulgaris. This form of acne usually affects people during puberty. Another form of this skin condition is Chemical Acne. Chemical Acne occurs when the skin is exposed to certain oils and chemicals. Chloracne is a form of acne caused by the exposure to chlorinated hydrocarbon chemicals. The final form of acne is tropical acne. This type of acne normally affects young Caucasians that are suddenly introduced into hot and humid environment.

Over the Counter Acne Treatments

Many over the counter acne treatments can help relieve the symptoms of acne. Products containing benzoyl peroxide, sulfer, salicylic acid, and resorcinol can help treat acne. These products are available in multiple forms including creams, gels, and lotions. It may take up to two weeks for these products to work. When using over the counter acne treatments, there is a risk of further skin irritation.

  • Family Doctor: Information on available over the counter acne treatments.
  • Health Guidance: Information on the risks associated with over the counter acne treatments.

Prescription Medications for Acne

When over the counter medications do not successfully treat acne, doctors will often prescribe mediations. Common medications that are prescribed for treatment include, Retinoid, such as Differin or Tozorac. These medications contain vitamin A, which is used to unclog pores and reduce inflammation. These prescribed medications can cause peeling of the skin, redness, and photosensitivity.

Accutane is prescribed to treat acne when other treatments have not worked. Accutane is classified as a retinoid. This prescription medication can take up to two months to shown an effect. Accutane is not recommended for long term use and the acne can reappear after used for a few months.

A doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat acne. The antibiotics work to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation of the pores. Antibiotics are often prescribed to treat mild cases of acne. Commonly prescribed antibiotics include doxycycline and minocycline. Young children and pregnant women can not take these medications.

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin: Information on medications prescribed to treat acne conditions.

Homeopathic Treatments for Acne

Homeopathic treatments can be used to treat acne. Tea Tree Oil is often used to treat acne by reducing bacteria and skin inflammation. People with mild cases of acne often find this treatment to be effective. The side effects of this remedy are dry skin, itching, burning, and stinging.

Belladonna is a homeopathic remedy that is often used to treat acne caused by heat and humidity. This type of acne usually improves when treated with cold applications. Inflamed pores benefit from this treatment.

Other Skin Conditions

Other skin conditions can often be mistaken for acne. One skin condition is warts. There are many different types of warts that may resemble acne. Acne and (warts) are two separate skin conditions that produce completely different symptoms. Treatment for the types of warts is extremely different than the treatment for acne. Often, in order to treat warts, a medical procedure is used for wart removal. Wart removal can be an uncomfortable experience.

To properly treat acne, it should not be mistaken for other skin conditions. All forms of acne can often be treated at home using over the counter medications. When over the counter medications do not fully treat the condition, medications can be prescribed by a doctor. Natural treatments offered through homeopathic medicine can also be beneficial when treating acne.

  • NIAMS: Common questions and information about acne conditions.

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