Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. Acne is not limited to teenagers. Adults can develop acne in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond. There are many effective treatments but unfortunately there are many myths about acne that can make it difficult for a person to get the proper care. Treating acne early in its course helps to minimize the risk of scarring and discoloration and improves a person’s self esteem.
Acne can take several different forms including whiteheads, blackheads, pustules, and cystic nodules.
Acne is caused by clogged skin pores. When skin produces excess amounts of oil, such as during puberty, dead skin cells collect inside skin pores and remain trapped there. Compounding the problem is the overgrowth of bacteria within the pore, leading to the redness and swelling that characterizes pimples.
There are some simple steps you can take to help your acne. Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser, especially after playing sports or exercising. Apply soap gently and avoid scrubbing. Do not use cleansing products that contain alcohol, astringents, toners or exfoliants. These products often dry out the skin which creates more redness and makes acne look worse. Resist the temptation to pop or pick your pimples. Squeezing the skin creates more inflammation and scarring and can increase the time it takes your acne to heal.
Consult a dermatologist if your acne persists. Dermatologists can prescribe topical and oral medications for acne that are more effective than over the counter treatments. There are an overwhelming number of over the counter and prescription treatments available to treat acne.
A dermatologist can select the medications that are right for you and provide you with a treatment regimen that addresses your unique needs and skin type.
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