The most typical skin condition in the US is acne. It affects between 40 million and 50 million Americans. On your face, it frequently looks like a pimple eruption. However, your chest, neck, back, or shoulders may also get affected.
It’s easy to conceal a rash on your arm or breast with clothing, but it’s difficult to conceal lumps and blemishes on your face. They may also be painful. Your mood may be affected, and you might feel self-conscious.
What causes Acne
When a pore becomes blocked with oil and dead skin cells, acne develops. People of all ages may be affected. Hormone fluctuations, specifically the male hormone testosterone, are the primary cause of acne. (Some testosterone is present in women.) When a teen reaches puberty, their hormones start to rise, which frequently results in acne.
Although they are more prevalent in adolescence, hormonal changes that produce acne can also affect adults. Acne breakouts in women can be brought on by hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause.
Anticonvulsants and steroid medicines, for example, both have the potential to cause acne as a side effect. Acne may also be a genetic predisposition in some individuals. According to one study, 50% of adults with acne had an acne-prone parent, sibling, or child.
Does What You Eat Affect Your Acne?
About a generation ago, consuming too many sweet or oily foods was believed to be the cause of acne. Doctors now have a far better understanding of why breakouts occur and how to treat them.
According to Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, MD, PhD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine, there is some data that suggests some diets may affect acne. Consuming a lot of dairy products may increase your risk of developing acne because milk, cheese, and yogurt all contain hormones, according to studies like one that was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Later research, however, refuted the theory.
More research on the connection between diet and acne has revealed that foods with a high glycemic index, like white bread, waffles, and other carbohydrates, aggravate acne.
How Is Acne Treated?
There are remedies that can be beneficial. Finding what functions best for you is the trick. It relies on a variety of variables, including your age, gender, the severity and duration of your acne, and others.
Self-treatment for acne
Because it’s relatively gentle on the skin, benzoyl peroxide is often the first product people use. No matter what medication you use, you will often start with a lesser strength. This aids in your acclimatization. If it’s time to attempt a stronger dose or change medications, your doctor can advise you.
Be tolerant. Any drug can take weeks to start working. Before your acne gets better, it can look worse. If your acne medications cause redness, burning, or dry skin, don’t be shocked. Call your doctor if it is a major issue.
Before you find the medication that works best for you, you might need to try a few different ones.
While a pimple may ultimately go away, if you frequently experience outbreaks, the skin condition that causes them usually won’t resolve on its own. Additionally, if you don’t address it, you can get scars.
A dermatologist can offer assistance. They might recommend a product that has elements that can be helpful, such as a cream, lotion, gel, or soap. Many are available for purchase without a prescription:
- Aldactone (Spironolactone) blocks excess hormones.
- Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria and removes extra oil.
- Clascoterone (Winlevi) is topical treatment that blocks hormones that cause acne
- Resorcinol is an exfoliant to help unclog blackheads and whiteheads.
- Salicylic acid keeps pores from getting clogged.
- Sulfur removes dead skin cells.
For more serious acne, your doctor may prescribe:
- Antibiotics to kill bacteria
- Birth control pills for women with acne due to hormones
- Isotretinoin to help you make less oil
You could require both oral medication and a cream or lotion. If your skin clears up, keep utilizing your treatments. Continue until the doctor instructs you to stop. This may prevent acne from reappearing.
What further acne treatments are there?
Your doctor may advise the following in addition to oral medication, creams, and lotions:
- Laser or other therapies that use light to treat blemishes
- Chemical peels to remove dead skin cells
- Surgical removal of large cysts that can’t be treated with medicine
- Cyst injections with anti-inflammatory cortisone
These procedures can be carried out as an outpatient at the hospital or in the doctor’s office.
Some people treat their acne with natural remedies like alpha hydroxy acids or tea tree oil, which exfoliate dead skin and unclog pores but work more slowly than benzoyl peroxide. The effectiveness and long-term safety of many of these treatments are little understood. Lotions and creams for acne contain a lot of organic elements. Ask your doctor if they are appropriate for you.
Will Your Acne Ever Go Away?
Most of the time, acne will go away on its own when adolescence ends, but some people continue to experience acne as adults. However, almost all cases of acne can be properly treated. Finding the best course of treatment for you is the key.