Banish Acne for Good: What Really Works
Gone are the days when you could roll out of bed, slip into a track suit and stumble into your first morning class. You have to dress the part of the young capable executive! With that comes shopping for a good interview outfit and paying more attention to your appearance; if you are plagued by acne, perhaps it’s time to take care of it once and for all. You will not only look better but feel more confident during those all-important first impressions.
To understand which acne cures have the potential to work we have to take a closer look at the medical side of things.
How Does Acne Form?
Acne occurs when the sebaceous glands, the tiny glands near the surface of the skin, produce an excess of sebum; the oily substance used by the body to lubricate the skin. The excess sebum combines with dead skin cells and in turn clogs the neighbouring miniscule hair follicles, resulting in a whitehead or blackhead.
If bacteria (however harmless) on the surface of the skin contaminates the plugged follicles it can exacerbate the spot and become a nodule, pustule or even a cyst.
Causes of Acne
Acne can be triggered by hormonal changes; in teens it can come with the onset of puberty and increased levels of testosterone.
In some women it is triggered by fluctuations in hormone levels occurring in the menstrual cycle, and in pregnancy and polycystic ovary syndrome (POS). In fact, according to the NHS over 80% of all cases of adult acne occur in women.
Acne often runs in families. If one or both of your parents had severe acne, it is likely that you will develop it as well.
Aside from hormones and genetics, acne can be aggravated by certain medicines such as steroid creams and tablets and some epilepsy treatments. Smoking can exacerbate acne, as can any pore-clogging topical preparations; like greasy cosmetics. Wearing things like headbands, which put pressure on the skin, can trigger acne.
How to Get Rid of Acne
Doctors usually recommend a stepped approach to treatment, starting off with milder creams, and depending on the response, moving on to stronger creams, combined treatments and tablets. Some acne medicines unblock pores, whilst other contain anti-inflammatories or antibiotics.
Mild acne can be treated with topical benzoyl peroxide preparations from a chemist or pharmacy. If used according to instructions for 8 weeks and results are not as desired, you can try a topical antibiotic or topical retinoid.
Start with an antibiotic preparation such as Zineryt or Dalacin T, or a topical retinoid like Differin or Isotrex. You can use one of these single component treatments for 8 weeks and observe results. If one does not work, try the other for another 8 weeks.
If neither works you will want to move on to a dual component treatment containing both an antibiotic and retinoid component, like Duac or Epiduo. Again, you will want to try one for 8 weeks and if results are not satisfactory, switch to the other.
The last step in this plan is to begin taking an antibiotic tablet like Lymecycline, however if your doctor recommends it you may start taking antibiotic tablets at the beginning of your acne treatment or at an earlier stage in the process.
Your doctor will advise you as to which treatments can be used in conjunction with antibiotics for acne. In general, Lymecycline tablets can be taken on their own, or in combination with Differin, Isotrex and Epiduo. Antibiotic tablets are usually not prescribed at the same time as Zineryt, Dalacin T and Duac, because these topical preparations already contain antibiotics. It is important to switch or combine acne medications only under the guidance of a medical professional.
Banishing acne for good comes with a range of benefits, not the least of which is saying goodbye to painful spots and redness. You will also feel more ready to confront the pressures of meeting people for the first time and becoming integrated into the workplace.
Use this knowledge to start getting rid of acne for good and consult your GP for further information.