Before you begin looking for acne treatment, it is so important to understand how acne forms. The more you understand about acne, the easier it becomes to choose the best treatment options. Once you fully understand the formation of acne, then it is important to look at common over the counter treatments to find out how each one works to help treat acne effectively.
Here is a closer look at how acne works, the different ways to treat it and more information you can use when working to eliminate breakouts.
How Does Acne Form?
Understanding the way acne forms is an important step in dealing with this problem. In fact, you have to understand the way that breakouts form before you can understand how treatment products work to reduce breakouts.
- 1. Healthy Follicles : Everyone has hair follicles, and each follicle has an oil gland. As your skin regenerates, it is normal for dead skin cells to fall off. New skin cells replace the dead cells, pushing away the old, dead skin cells.
- 2. Duct Clogged by Dead Cells – Sebum Starts to Accumulate: When acne begins to develop, it often starts because a few dead skin cells actually build up and stick together instead of falling off. This often leads to an increase in oil production, which makes those dead cells stick together even more. As this occurs, inflammation begins in the sides of that hair follicle. With more inflammation comes more dead skin cells, more cells sticking together and the production of even more oil from that tiny oil gland. It continues to get worse in a vicious circle until the dead skin cells and oil start clogging the hair follicle.
- 3. Follicles Ruptures, Pustules with Fluid Formed – Acne: As debris starts to clog the hair follicle, inflammation moves into the debris. This creates pus, and bacteria start to enter the mix. P. acnes, a type of bacteria that can be normally found on skin, is the common type of bacteria that ends up in the mix because it loves oil.
- 4. Bacterial Infection, Inflammation Triggered – Pimple: Everything gets worse and the hair shaft becomes full of all the oil, bacteria and dead skin cells. This causes it to become swollen and more inflamed. Sometimes it will rupture, which allows the nastiness to affect the surrounding skin. In some cases, this can even lead to acne scarring.
How to Treat Acne?
Here’s the following options you can do to treat your acne:
Remove Dead Skin Cells to Treat Acne
Now that you understand how acne forms, it is time to look at the different ways that acne can be treated. Dead skin cells often stick together because they have different charges, which makes them stick together like small magnets. After they begin sticking close together, then an enzyme actually creates connections, which holds those dead cells together.
Retinoids help to make sure skin cells slough off normally while ensuring that those skin cells are less likely to stick together. Although you will continue to shed dead skin cells, with a retinoid treatment, those dead cells are less likely to stick together and plug the follicle, which means you are less likely to end up with a breakout.
Treating Acne by Eliminating Bacteria
Another excellent way to treat acne is to remove those dead skin cells so they do not start sticking together, eventually clogging the pore. This helps to treat acne at the beginning of its cycle. If you remember, at some point, bacteria starts to enter the clump of dead skin cells and oil. One of the best ways to treat the product is to eliminate the bacteria, which will help reduce the inflammation and pus, helping to stop acne in its tracks.
A couple of different methods can be used to help eliminate bacteria. Benzoyl peroxide is one common way to reduce bacteria counts, since it helps to kill bacteria when applied topically to the skin. This is why benzoyl peroxide is commonly found in many acne treatments.
Antibiotics also help to kill bacteria, specifically Erythromycin and Clindamycin. Of course, a doctor must prescribe these antibiotics.
Treat Acne by Reducing Inflammation
Decreasing inflammation can also treat acne. When you decrease the inflammation, you eliminate the redness and swelling that comes with a breakout. Although you will still have that plug of dead cells and sebum, the breakout will not be as visible.
One of the best ways to treat acne by reducing inflammation is to use salicylic acid. It helps to reduce inflammation. Topical antibiotics can also help to reduce inflammation as well, providing an effective treatment for acne.
Decrease Sebum Production to Reduce Acne
Decreasing sebum product can also reduce acne problems. Retinoids can help to reduce oil production, as can birth control pills. While it is important to find ways to decrease oil production, remember that you need to avoid doing things that will increase the production of sebum, such as drying out skin with over washing. Over washing of the skin will increase oil production quite a bit, so definitely stick to 2x a day at most.
Clean Pores to Treat Acne
Last, acne can be treated by cleaning out the pores, eliminating the nastiness that causes pimples. However, it is important to note that you should never pop a pimple to try to get the junk out. This often causes the bacteria and inflammation to rupture back into skin tissues, which only spreads the problem.
Salicylic acid is an excellent way to clean pores, since it can easily get through the oil and work on cleansing out the pore. Alpha and beta hydroxyl acids offer an excellent treatment that helps to clean pores as well. Facial masks, such as mud masks or gelatin masks may also prove helpful. You can read the instructions on how to do the gelatin mask here.
Patience is Prescribed When Treating Acne
When you are dealing with acne, you want to eliminate those breakouts as fast as possible. However, you will notice that most of these treatments take a little time to work. In many cases, you will need to use the treatment for several weeks before you see results.
As you work to treat acne, remember that you need to be patient. If you do not notice results in a day or two, do not stop using the treatment. Give the treatment couples weeks to work on skin, working to treat current blemishes and prevent future ones from occurring.
For faster results, you can talk to your dermatologist about other options. However, with a little patience on your part, the treatments mentioned will help to reduce acne and give you the beautiful skin you really want.
What Happens if the Treatments Don’t Work?
Make sure you give acne treatments a few weeks to treat. However, if you notice that you are seeing no results after 6-8 weeks, then you may need to consider the idea that you may be dealing with something other than acne. In some cases, you may have a skin condition that looks a bit like acne, but it could be another problem.
When you do not see any results from over the counter acne treatments, then you may need to see a dermatologist. You may have another problem going on and a dermatologist can help figure out what skin problem you are dealing with, then giving you a treatment that offers you the results you want.
With this helpful information, understanding acne becomes easier, making it easy for you to understand which treatments will work best. Of course, while the over the counter treatments offer excellent results for many people, some individuals with severe acne may need prescription treatments to see results.