Acne can be a persistent and troubling health condition. It affects your self-esteem and your confidence, and can cause discomfort and pain. Acne is a serious condition when it begins to affect your everyday life, so it should be treated so you can get back to normal and feel better about yourself. The treatment for acne is dependent on the severity of the condition, and which treatment options you have tried in the past. It is important to remember that it can take months for acne to clear up so you should certainly stick with a treatment plan for as long as it is recommended. Here are some options for acne treatment that work.
- Topical Treatments
Benzoyl peroxide is an acne treatment which functions as an antiseptic to clear the bacteria from the top of the skin, which helps to reduce inflammation and prevent blackheads and whiteheads. You use it on your skin in cream or gel form, but be careful about sun exposure as it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Topical retinoids are treatments for the face that help to get rid of the build-up of dead skin on the top, which stops the build-up of these cells from clogging the hair follicles. These treatments also create greater sun sensitivity so you should use a sun protector when outside.
- Topical Antibiotics
Topical antibiotics help to kill skin bacteria before they can infect the follicles on the face and cause spots. Antibiotic treatment is not continued over a long period of time as the bacteria could become resistant to the treatment.
- Oral Antibiotics
Oral antibiotic tablets can be used to treat acne that has been hanging around for a long time or is more severe than normal. Oral antibiotics are often used in combination with a topical cream for treating acne.
- Hormonal Therapies
For women, it is possible to treat acne using the contraceptive pill. The combined oral contraceptive pill often helps to clear up acne in women, although it can take more than a year until the acne has completely cleared. Other hormonal treatments are also available which can be tried if acne is severe.
- Acne Self-Help Treatment
If you just have a small area of acne or a few spots and they are not significantly affecting your life, you can try some self-care at home to get rid of the pimples. Make sure you do not over-wash your skin (twice a day is fine), and use a mild cleanser with lukewarm water. Don't squeeze your spots, and make sure you remove all makeup at night. If your acne persists, it is best to see a dermatologist or your GP so you can help clear it up with other treatment options.