While acne is most common in the teen and early adult years, it can occur at almost any age.
Knowing how to treat your acne breakouts helps you to quickly clear your skin from embarrassing blemishes.
There are several treatments, both medical and natural, that you can explore.
Over-the-Counter Treatments for Acne
Many people are able to successfully treat their acne using over-the-counter products.
The first thing you should consider is a cleanser that fights against acne and helps to soak up excess oil, such as a clay cleanser, or a cleanser that contains an ingredient like salicylic acid. Use the cleanser twice daily and apply a moisturiser with salicylic acid after cleansing.
Exfoliating and anti-acne masks are also an important part of battling breakouts. You can exfoliate and use a mask about twice per week if your skin is oily and once a week for other skin types.
Oral topical medications are popular because you simply apply them one to two times daily and they go to work. The most common over-the-counter topical ingredients include salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. You can also find over-the-counter products that contain retinoids.
All of these products help to balance sebum levels, treat acne breakouts and prevent an accumulation of the bacteria that can cause acne breakouts to occur.
Medical Treatments for Acne
When over-the-counter remedies are not effective, some people benefit from prescription topical remedies or antibiotics. The prescription topical remedies typically have a higher dosage of active ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide, to better reduce the bacteria levels and dry out the breakouts.
Antibiotics may be topical or oral, depending on a person’s needs. These work to kill the bacteria that can cause acne.
Other medical treatments for acne may include:
- Prescription retinoid products: These work to prevent clogged hair follicles and pores so that acne is not able to develop.
- Oral contraceptives: These can balance the hormones and help to treat hormonal acne.
- Isotretinoin: This is a medication reserved for the most severe and resistant types of acne.
- Anti-androgen agents: These work to treat acne associated with a hormonal imbalance.
- Light therapy: This works to kill the bacteria that can cause acne.
- Steroids: In cases where someone has severe cystic or nodular acne lesions, injecting steroids into them can help to treat them faster than topical or oral remedies.
- Chemical peels: These often contain ingredients like salicylic acid to help kill bacteria and remove the dead skin cells that can clog pores.
Natural Treatments for Acne
There are some natural treatments you can consider when you are trying to treat acne breakouts. These include:
- Tea tree oil: This helps to fight acne because it has powerful astringent properties. Be careful if you use it and have dry skin since it can cause further dryness.
- Azelaic acid: This natural acid is ideal for those who are pregnant and cannot use stronger remedies.
- Green tea extract: This contains powerful antioxidant that can fight acne and improve overall skin health.
- Aloe vera: This is a very old remedy for acne that goes back centuries. It soothes the skin while treating current breakouts.
- Alpha hydroxy acid: this naturally exfoliates the skin and cleans out clogged pores.
Make sure that you are mindful of your skin health overall so that you can prevent future outbreaks. For example, it is critical that you wash your face before bed every day since sleeping in dirt, oil, sweat and makeup increases the risk of clogged pores and acne.
You should also follow a healthy diet, reduce your stress and get plenty of sleep to reduce acne, help treat current breakouts and enjoy healthier skin overall.