Home and Over the Counter Acne Treatments

Many people suffer from a widely known skin condition called acne. Acne is generally thought of as simply having pimples, but acne itself is a disease that affects nearly 60 million people in the United States alone. 85 percent of those are teenagers. There are a few treatments that dermatologists and doctors recommend to prevent and control mild to moderate acne breakouts. Some of these are listed below.

1. Moderate washing

Make sure to wash your face no more than twice a day with a gentle alcohol- and perfume-free cleanser. It is also advisable to use soap-free cleansers, as soaps contain harsh ingredients and drying chemicals.

2. Avoid touching

Try not to touch your face. Seriously! There are many forms of bacteria, such as staphylococcus bacteria, that exist on your hands. These can cause acne to flair up. It is very hard to keep from touching your face, and many people do it without thinking, such as when reading or working at a desk. It’s very important to avoid rubbing, touching, or scratching the face. Make this a conscious habit.

3. No picking

One of the most important things to avoid is picking, pricking, or squeezing acne pimples. This can cause scarring and force the infection deeper into the skin, causing it to spread and become worse.

4. Over-the-counter Medication

If you suffer from mild to moderate acne, some over the counter treatments such as topical lotions, ointments, and gels containing benzoyl peroxide can help to kill the bacteria. Other ingredients that are great at clearing acne are salicylic acid and azelaic acid. These can help to reduce oil production and the shedding of excess skin, which blocks the hair follicle and causes acne. These ingredients will help clear up both blackheads and whiteheads.

5. Antibiotics  

You can use topical antibiotic lotions and recommended solutions.

6. Natural products  

One natural product that can be used to treat acne, which is anti bacterial in nature, is tea tree oil. Tee tree oil can be applied directly to pimples. It has a drying effect that helps to keep acne at bay. It also cuts down on general oiliness of the skin.

7. Sulfur

To clear blemishes that already exist, one can use sulfur to unblock pores.

8. Alpha or Beta Hydroxyl

Acne is caused by dead skin cells that block pores, so it is a good investment to use an alpha or beta hydroxy acid (AHA or BHA). These acids will exfoliate the skin and are useful for mild acne. Glycolic acid is the best known, but another acid that is even more effective has a combination of the anti bacterial and the keratolytic properties of Glycolic acid, called Mandelic acid. This AHA is less irritating for the skin than many other treatments, and works well for those with sensitive skin. It can also be used in conjunction with other acne therapies for moderate acne.

These are some of the best known treatments for mild to moderate acne, and many sufferers will notice a difference within three to six months if the treatment is followed on a continuous basis. If you suffer from more severe acne, you should visit a dermatologist.

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