Monday, November 19, 2007

How Do Acne Treatments Work?

Acne treatments work differently, so it is important for patients to know what these cures can do so that they can find what is appropriate for their level of condition and for their type of skin. Below is an overview of how common acne cures work.

Antibacterial acne treatments

The most common of this type of cure are topical creams or lotions with benzoyl peroxide. There are also those that contain sulfur or salicylic acid that can be applied to the affected areas. Topical antibacterials work by getting rid of bacteria and by peeling off or removing dead skin cells. Since these topical treatments act like skin bleach, they do not allow bacteria to build a resistance against them over time like other acne cures usually do. These treatments, though, can cause mild irritation or pigmentation when used excessively. They are good for mild to moderate conditions.

Contraceptives and hormonal treatments

Contraceptives, or anti-testosterone medications, are effective for women who suffer from acne. They work by reducing the levels of androgenic hormones in women which are believed to cause acne breakouts. Cortisone, another form of hormonal treatment, can be injected directly to the pimple to reduce inflammation. This form of treatment should be discussed with a dermatologist first before being used since it can cause certain negative reactions, particularly the loss of natural skin color.

Laser procedures

Laser treatments act on acne by burning away the sebaceous gland that produces the oil-causing pimple. It also destroys the bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes, which causes zits. Lasers are basically effective in curing acne, but skin damage and dryness are potential risks associated with this form of treatment, thus, the use of laser in treating acne should be discussed first with a skin expert. Added to the potential risks is the cost of the treatment which is definitely higher than mere topical or oral cures.

Regular pampering

Having regular facials or steaming can also help cure acne. If the condition is only starting, prevention is still your best option. Pampering your skin or getting it treated regularly will help in preventing pimples from starting. The idea behind facials and steaming procedures is to open the pores of the skin and make dirt and bacteria easier to remove. The procedures are also not just for treating acne but also for making sure that your skin stays clear, smooth and healthy.

Acne treatments vary in how they work. The type of remedy would depend on the level of condition, the type of skin and the treatment's affordability. In any case, a discussion with a skin expert is the first step that we should take to make sure that we don't regret the choice that we will make.

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