Acne is a skin disorder that results in pimples or "zits." Whiteheads, blackheads, red, inflamed papules, nodules, and cysts can form. These are most commonly found on the face, neck, upper trunk, and upper arm.
Acne develops when tiny pores on the skin's surface become clogged. They are more commonly blocked by a combination of the skin's natural oils and dead cells shed from the inside of the pore.
Acne breakouts can be brought on by:
- Changes in hormones
- Use of oily skin or hair care products
- Certain medications
- Perhaps a diet
Acne medications can cause the skin to dry out or peel. Use a water-based moisturizer or skin cream that is "non-comedogenic" or clearly states that it is safe to use on the face and will not cause acne. Remember that even if a product claims to be non-comedogenic, it may still cause acne in you. As a result, avoid any product you discover that makes your acne worse.
A small amount of sun exposure may help with acne. However, excessive sun exposure or tanning booth use raises the risk of skin cancer. Some acne medications can make your skin more sun sensitive. If you are taking these medications, wear sunscreen and a hat regularly.
If your daily routine does not clear up blemishes, try applying over-the-counter acne medications to your skin. Benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, adapalene, resorcinol, or salicylic acid may be present in these products. They kill bacteria and dry skin oils and cause the top layer of your skin to peel. They may cause skin redness or peel.
If these acne medications irritate your skin, take the following steps:
- Use smaller amounts at first. A pea-sized drop will cover the entire face.
- Use the medicines every other or third day until your skin becomes accustomed to them.
- After washing your face, wait for 10 to 15 minutes before applying these medications.
The bottom line
Patience is essential in this situation. Use an acne treatment for at least one month before attempting a new one. Expect to wait up to three months before noticing a significant difference.
Are you not seeing any progress? Consider trying a new product or consulting with a dermatologist for personalized advice. Whatever path you choose, follow the instructions exactly for the best results.