Acne afflicts most people at one time or another during their lives. Some of the more unfortunate among us never get rid of acne even though puberty has long since ended. Prescription medications are of limited efficacy and it's difficult to sort through the hundreds of acne remedies on the market. Here is a quick overview of all the acne remedies to choose from that will help clear acne.
Things You'll Need
- Over the counter acne products
- Prescription acne products
- Glycolic Acid products
Get a prescription for an antibiotic. Antibiotics are probably the fastest way to clear acne, but they require a prescription. Doxycycline and Tetracycline are the most often prescribed acne medication. Assuming you can get a prescription fairly quickly, expect to see an improvement in your skin in just a few days. Eat yogurt packed with probiotics or take a probiotic supplement while taking antibiotics to prevent a C. Diff infection, which can result with antibiotic use.
Use an acne solution that contains either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Because benzoyl peroxide can irritate skin, select a cleaners with 2.5% benzoyl peroxide to start with and work up to higher concentrations over time. Switch to a salicylic acid formulation if skin is irritated by the benzoyl peroxide. Proactive, as an example, uses benzoyl peroxide as its active ingredient. Both salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide prevent breakouts and reduce inflammation. They must be used consistently, without fail, for optimal results. Examples of acne products containing either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid include Clearsil, Neutrogena, and Oxy 10.
Select an acne remedy treatment cream. If possible, request a prescription antibiotic cream from a physician. The most commonly prescribed antibiotic ointments are either an erythromicin gel or clindymiacin gel. Erythromicin can sometimes burn the skin so if you have sensitive skin ask to start with the more gentle clindamyacin first. Over the counter acne treatments use either salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or sulfur as the active ingredient. Benzoyl Peroxide is the most effective acne remedy, often even more effective than prescription acne medications. Prescription and over-the-counter acne remedies can be used together, but ask your doctor on how to do so as it is sometimes recommended to use one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.
Take a zinc supplement. Zinc is a great acne solution as it has the same effect, albeit weaker, on skin as an antibiotic and most people are deficient in zinc. Take 30 to 50 milligrams daily. Results should be seen in just a few weeks, especially if you are deficient. Do not take zinc at the same time as an antibiotic as it can interfere with antibiotic absorption. An added bonus of zinc supplementation is that it boosts the immune system.
Use acne skin care products like a glycolic acid based facial one to two times weekly. Glycolic acid is one of the best acne treatments for preventing and treating the aftermath of an outbreak. Glycolic acid lifts off acne discoloration and cleans skin to further reduce the incidence of breakouts. It also serves as an acne scar treatment for superficial acne scars.There are several glycolic acid products on the market, but not too many available at local drug stores so look to buy this online. Glycolic acid facials require the use of the glycolic acid product followed by a neutralizer--be sure whichever product you buy that it includes a neutralizer. In the spa, glycolic acid facials start at a weaker strength and then build up to a higher acid concentration. Your home glycolic acid facial should do the same. Start with a 5 to 10% acid solution and work up to 30 to 40% over time. Follow directions exactly as stated on the package and be aware that the side effects of glycolic acid can include redness and peeling skin. The peeling skin is a good sign because it indicates old, dull, acne prone skin is coming off. For redness and irritation, the next time you use a glycolic acid product, don't leave it on as long and that should reduce inflammation
Try a salicylic acid peel which can be found online or you can make your own aspirin acne face mask (see Resources for links). A salicylic acid acne peel is much stronger than what's found in products at the drugstore. Applied 1 to 2 times a week, higher concentrations of salicylic acid can effectively clear up cystic acne and prevent future outbreaks. This is definitely worth a try as the improvement in acne can be dramatic.
Consult with a doctor regarding treatment with Accutane as a last resort. Accutane can be an effective acne medicine, but it is a potent medication and has serious side effects. In addition, it is only effective about half the time so Accutane is not a cure all. Unfortunately, the only way to attack acne is to mix and match various acne products and acne medication.
Avoid sugar as it feeds outbreaks. Eat a diet high in vegetables and lean protein with small amounts of fruit as an acne treatment. Expect to see a difference in your skin within 1 to 4 weeks.
Tips & Warnings
- Benzoyl Peroxide has been shown in medical studies to be more effective than prescription remedies. The problem is, it irritates skin and requires consistent use. If you have sensitive skin, as mentioned, start with a 2.5% solution and use maybe 1 to 2 times a week. If you develop a tolerance to it, then begin using daily and work up to a 5% then 10% solution.
- An alternative to benzoyl peroxide is a tea tree oil solution. It is as effective, but less irritating. See Resource to a link for more information.
- Photo Credit kot2626