What is the best treatment for acne? That’s a question I hear often asked, and the answer is not very simple. It depends on what you’re looking for and how severe your acne is. There are many types of acne, so it’s difficult to determine the right acne treatment for you simply by describing your situation.
Acne can be treated in a variety of ways including prescription medications, over-the-counter treatments, natural remedies, and even laser treatments.
Each of these methods can have varying degrees of success depending on your particular case. Prescription medications are usually prescribed for cases that are considered to be severe because there may be scarring or cysts. However, this is the most effective treatment if used properly and can help reduce the severity and redness of the spots and other areas of irritation.
Over-the-counter treatments include medications such as Benzoyl Peroxide, Tretinoin, Retin-A, and Antibiotics like Tetracycline, Erythromycin, and Minocycline.
The most common is antibiotic treatment, and over the years more antibiotic strains are coming out that are less harmful to the body. Benzoyl Peroxide is most effective at treating both moderate and severe acne conditions, however is very drying and should only be used sparingly. For redness and inflammation of acne, using Antibiotics is usually effective.
Retinoids are becoming a popular choice for acne patients. Retinoids come in two different forms; topically and orally. Topical retinoids work by drying up the redness and irritation by preventing re-inflammatory cells from forming. Oral retinoids work by increasing collagen production, which helps to smooth out the skin over time. Both are very effective and can help you control your acne symptoms.
Antioxidants are also very useful for the treatment of acne. The biggest contributing factor to acne being caused by oxidation is the presence of free radicals in our skin. Antioxidants help combat the production of free radicals and stop them from damaging our skin.
The best way to take advantage of antioxidants is by using a cleanser that contains natural antioxidants such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Zinc. A gentle cleanser containing these ingredients along with a topical retinoid such as benzoyl peroxide can give you dramatic results in reducing the redness and inflammation of acne.
Foods may have acne-causing compounds attached to them. Many foods may contain chemical additives and preservatives that are not good for your health. They also have the potential to alter hormone levels, making skin inflammation worse.
Foods such as processed sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oils, confectionery additives, and junk foods may contain chemicals that can cause acne. Foods that contain healthy fats may help keep acne at bay. Omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish, olives, and salmon are very beneficial to your health and help maintain a balance in your hormones.
Certain medications may increase your risk of having acne breakouts. Certain antibiotics and over-the-counter medicines can make your skin more sensitive to bacteria.
Taking oral antibiotics, which are sometimes prescribed for cystic acne, can increase the number of bacteria in the mouth and around the gums. Bacteria are an enemy of clear skin, as they trap dirt and oil-causing bacteria. Oral antibiotics have been known to also kill certain types of bacteria that live on your cheeks and tongue. Therefore, if you are prescribed oral antibiotics to treat acne, you should ensure you see your doctor first to ensure you do not have an allergic reaction to the medication.
Although there are many treatments available, it is best to consult a dermatologist who will recommend the best treatment for your particular situation. He or she will be able to assess the severity of your case and help you decide which treatment will be most effective.
Although many prescription treatments may help reduce acne redness and inflammation, they are not usually recommended for long-term use.
Non-prescription topical acne medications and herbal treatments are usually quite effective. They can help you reduce the redness and inflammation caused by acne and the unwanted side effects that may accompany them, such as dryness and irritation.