tips to help prevent acne

March 26th, 2013
beating acne now asked:

Acne can be very frustrating, the scars left by acne can be superficial, but if left untreated the scars can be deep. There is no age exception when it comes to acne, whether you are a teenager or an adult, if you have acne you should start treating it early, because the longer you wait for the worse it will become.

1. Drink water to moisturize your skin. When your skin is dry, a hormone called androgen will produce tons of sebum, also known as oil, and the oil produce by androgen will lead to clog pores, and that means more pimples.

2. Shrink your acne with ice cubes. Cover two or three ice cubes with washcloth, and hold it against your acne-affected skin for about 8 or 10 minutes, this will minimize the swelling and prevent breakouts.

3. Eyedrops. Use eyedrops to reduce the redness of your acne-affected skin. Two or three drops will do.

4. Zinc and vitamin c. Eating food that is rich in zinc and vitamin c like meat, beans and fruits strengthen and protect your skin from damage caused by acne. These foods will also help the skin to heal more quickly.

5. Minimize caffeine intake. Caffeine tastes good, but it can dehydrate your skin, and if your skin is dry, you will have more pimples. Furthermore, caffeine is a stimulant; it stimulates everything in your body including the androgen that is responsible for producing sebum.

6. Exfoliate your skin. If our pores to become clogged with the dead skin cells, the oil and the bacteria get trapped inside our pores, and this forms a pimple; exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells before they clogged our pores. Exfoliation will stop a pimple before it starts.

7. Medications. Anti-acne medications that contain benzoyl peroxide are a good way to heal acne, prevent future breakouts, and reduce inflammation caused by acne.

8. Laser treatments. Using laser to treat acne is used by dermatologists, it can take a couple of weeks to cure the acne, but it can be expensive, also laser treatment can get rid of acne for a long time.

9. Remove makeup. Before you go to sleep remember to remove your makeup, because makeup can clog the pores if left overnight.

The most important thing you should always remember is to treat your acne while it is still early.

Different cases of acne can be healed, with the right combination of elements; you can stop acne, stop future breakouts, and remove scars.

Hormal Acne Treatment

March 5th, 2013

Who Should Use Hormonal Acne Treatment? Part 1

Hormonal acne treatments (including oral contraceptives) are exclusively used by women, and are widely regarded by dermatologists and physicians alike as highly effective. Why just women? Hormonal acne development is linked to the male sex hormone (androgen), which is found in both men and women. However, it is when the level of this hormone (in women) begins to rise, that acne becomes more prevalent. The way androgens contribute to acne development is by stimulating the sebaceous glands of the skin causing them to become enlarged and consequently produce more oil than is typical. Acne that occurs in women between the ages of 20s-early 30s is often attributed to hormonal imbalance, and is thought to be the basis for higher prevalence rates of adult acne amongst women compared with men. Additionally, during this time period many women become pregnant–a period of extreme hormonal disturbance. In an attempt to regulate the male-androgen-hormone in women, hormonal acne treatment methods are designed to inhibit or counteract the effect of androgens by the use of female hormones.

Oral Contraceptives
If you’ve exhausted both topical and oral methods of treatment without stellar results, the use of a hormonal acne treatment may be the next logical step. To confirm such suspicions however, you should consult your physician or dermatologist who can help you choose a suitable hormone treatment for your circumstance. Many women who are experiencing mild acne often find that the use of an oral contraceptive alone is enough to reduce or clear their skin. However, those who suffer from moderate or severe acne may require a combination of oral contraceptives and topical skin treatment. It is important to choose a topical product that can be taken in conjunction with your oral contraceptive.

When used as a hormonal acne treatment, the goal of oral contraceptives is to block the effect androgens have on your sebaceous glands. The female sex hormone found in birth control improves your acne by blocking androgens and therefore reducing the amount of oil your sebaceous glands produce. Additionally, androgen secretion from the ovaries is also mitigated.

Oral contraceptives found to be most beneficial as a hormone acne treatment are those containing both estrogen and a progestin. If you’re considering the use of an oral contraceptive be sure to consult your physician or dermatologist to find the pill that’s right for you.

Not wild about oral contraceptives? Unfortunately they have been found to be significantly more effective in reducing acne over other alternatives such as the patch, contraceptive rings, or injection method. Contraceptives taken in a form other than oral often result in unpredictable effects on your acne, and can in some cases stimulate its growth. However, other therapeutic methods such as anti-androgens or physical treatments (light, lasers) are available.

Side Effects

While oral contraceptives as a method of hormonal acne treatment are found to be highly effective-if you’ve never been on an oral contraceptive before it’s important to be aware of their side effects.

Minor weight gain:
Often due to a heightened appetite, weight gain may result.

Mild headaches are commonly reported, but if they become severe discuss this with your physician.

Mood Swings:
Inherent with any adjustment to your hormone levels, mood swings and/or lowered libido may result.

Spotting and breakthrough bleeding:
Irregular vaginal bleeding may occur as a result of oral contraceptives.

Breast tenderness:
Inflamed and tender breasts and/or non-cancerous lumps in the breast may result.

Visit Acne Care Answers for informative articles on acne care. Also, check out our honest reviews of acne skin treatment products and find out which one is best for you. Read more about hormonal acne treatment [].

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Effective Acne Treatment

avoiding acne scars

February 10th, 2013
beating acne now asked:

After acne is healed, we are left with acne scars, acne scars take times to heal, some acne scars will disappear after a couple of months, but some acne scars will stay and become permanent scars. Most people who suffer from severe cases of acne scars, suffered from severe cases of acne, it is very important to start treating your acne while it is still early, don’t wait for it to get worse.

1. Stopped your acne from developing, this is the most important rule to remember, if you have acne you should treat it early, so that it will not develop into a severe case of acne, there are many acne medications you can use to start treating your acne, some acne medications contain benzoyl peroxide that can heal acne fast, some acne medications contained benzoyl peroxide and aloe-Vera extract which are very effective elements that can heal acne fast and remove acne scars.

2. Avoid squeezing; popping or picking your pimples I know it is very tempting to squeeze that pimple, but if you do this, you will further spread the infection deeper into your skin, the bacteria from your hands will transfer on the acne-affected skin that you have touched, and those bacteria will spread creating more infection in your acne-affected skin, also squeezing a pimple can actually push the bacteria deeper into the skin, this will make the condition of your acne worse.

3. Avoid irritating those inflamed acne lesions, inflamed acne lesions are the number one responsible and contributor of deep acne scars, this kind of acne is filled with pus, and is painful to touch, don’t irritate this kind of acne by scrubbing or any method that can irritate it, because in the end if this kind of acne were irritated will develop into a deep scar after it healed.

4. Dermabrasion is a medical procedure used by dermatologist this process involves removing the surface of the skin by abrasion, this medical procedure is very painful and takes several months to heal; dermabrasion is useful for removing scars or any imperfection on the skin.

5. Medications with aloe Vera extracts, a medication that contains aloe Vera extracts are good for removing acne scars, aloe Vera has a respectable reputation for removing scars, for moisturizing the skin, as anti-inflammatory agents, aloe Vera contains anti-bacterial properties that fights infection, tightens and balances the skin, it minimizes scarring and speeds-up healing. Aloe Veras regenerate and heal scars from inside out, because it has enzymes that help skin tissue regenerate, it is used to heal pimples, cuts, psoriasis, itching, burns and many skin problems.

Remember that if you have acne, you should not waste time to treat it right away, you need to act fast to free yourself from acne, this is the most important thing you should always remember.


getting rid of acne scars

January 28th, 2013
beating acne now asked:

Getting rid of acne scars is the next challenge we must face after acne. Some scars left by acne after it heals can be superficial scars; other scars left by acne can be deep scars. If an acne is not treated early with medication or any advance procedures that stops acne it can lead to scarring, these scars can sometimes be deep. If the scars left by acne are on the face, it can affect a person’s self-esteem, it can affect his or her social life, so it is very important to avoid acne scars, you can do this by treating your acne if it is juts starting to develop at an early stage, this way you can stop it from spreading and after it heal you can avoid acne scars.

Use a medication that can remove acne scars, you may want to purchase a medication that has elements that can remove and get rid of acne and acne scars, this kind of medication is a great powerful medication to stop acne and remove acne scars, whether you have no more acne and is just left with acne scars you need this kind of medication because even if you are just using a medication that can only get rid of acne scars but can’t get rid of acne you are only doing the same thing over again, because the medication you have doesn’t have the power to stop acne but can only remove or erase acne scars.

It is very important that whenever you purchase any medication that can remove acne scars it must also contain the power to stop acne, because if it doesn’t have this kind of capability to stop an acne you will just be moving in circles, you can’t focus alone on how to get rid of acne scars, you need to also focus on how you can stop your acne, because if you stop your acne while erasing acne scars using any medication that has this kind of capability, you will be able to get rid of your acne and acne scars fast.

Purchasing such medication that has no power to stop an acne is risky because there is a big tendency that your acne may develop again, giving you more acne scars. You can’t just rely on medications that can only remove acne scars, because the more acne you will have the more scars you will have.

You need to focus on the source that produces acne scars and the source is acne. It is advisable to have this kind of medication that has double action effect it not only stop acne but will also remove all the scars left by acne.

An example of these elements that stops acne while erasing acne scars are the benzoyl peroxide and aloe Vera.

Benzoyl peroxide plays a vital role when it comes to stop acne, this element go deep inside the skin and kills all the bacteria to prevent it from developing, benzoyl peroxide can eliminate acne fast it can eliminate any kinds of can, prevent future breakouts and can stop redness on the acne affected skin, benzoyl peroxide is an outstanding substance when it comes to fight acne, it beats acne from the inside-out and it really works because it penetrates the skin deep.

Aloe Vera is known to remove, minimize acne scars or any scars on the skin. Aloe Vera has enzymes that regenerate skin tissues, it moisturizes the skin and it has an anti-inflammatory agents and anti-bacterial properties that fight infection. It is use to heal cut, psoriasis, pimples and many skin disorders.

These are very important elements that you can use to get rid of acne and acne scars, if you follow this simple tips and advice, you will be able to free yourself from acne and the scars left by acne, and the best move you can do now, is to start treating you acne now.


Acne is a disease of sorts

January 13th, 2013
Kunbi Balogun asked:

Acne is a disease rarely associated with systemic medical problems; however, the importance and morbidity of acne should not be underestimated because its disfiguring can have important negative psychosocial consequences for affected individuals including diminished self-esteem, social embarrassment, social withdrawal, depression and even unemployment [1, 3].

Risk factors/Triggers

1. Food/Diet

Foods such as nuts, cola, milk, cheese, fried foods and iodised salts have been implicated as triggers of acne vulgaris; however, the connections between nutrition and acne has not definitely been proven as they are rarely supported by good analytical, epidemiological or therapeutic studies [4, 5]. On the other hand, recurrent acne as noted by Niemeier et al (2006) may be a cutaneous sign of an underlying eating disorder.

2. Genetics

A genetic background is supported by a case control study by Goulden et al, as noted by Rzany et al (2006). This stated that the risk of adult acne vulgaris in relatives of patients with acne as compared with those of patients without acne is significantly higher [4].

3. Hormones

According to Rzany et al (2006), hormonal influences on acne vulgaris are undisputed as shown by the higher incidence of acne in male adolescents. Premenstrual flare has also been recorded as causing acne [5].

4. Nicotine

Smoking has also been named as a risk factor for acne vulgaris; however, conflicting data exists as to the link between smoking and acne. Some population based studies have found links between smoking and acne whilst some others have not [4].


Contrary to popular misconceptions by young patients and occasionally their parents, acne does not come from bad behaviour nor is it a disease of poor hygiene. It also has nothing to do with lack of cleanliness [2].

Types of acne vulgaris

There are two main types of acne vulgaris, inflammatory and non-inflammatory; these can be manifested in different ways,

1. Comedonal acne, which is a non-inflammatory acne

2. Papules and pustules of inflammatory acne

3. Nodular acne (inflammatory acne)

4. Inflammatory acne with hyperpigmentation (this occurs more commonly in patients with darker skin complexions) [1]

Clinical manifestations

In general, acne is limited to the parts of the body, which have the largest and most abundant sebaceous glands such as the face, neck, chest, upper back and upper arms. Among dermatologists, it is almost universally accepted that the clinical manifestation of acne vulgaris is the result of four essential processes as described below [1, 6],

1. Increased sebum production in the pilosebaceous follicle. Sebum is the lipid-rich secretion product of sebaceous glands, which has a central role in the development of acne and also provides a growth medium for Propionibacterium acnes (P acnes), an anaerobic bacterium which is a normal constituent of the skin flora. Compared with unaffected individuals, people with acne have higher rates of sebum production. Apart from this, the severity of acne is often proportional to the amount of sebum produced [1, 6].

2. Abnormal follicular differentiation, which is the earliest structural change in the pilosebaceous unit in acne vulgaris [1].

3. Colonisation of serum-rich obstructed follicle with Propionibacterium acnes (P acnes). P acnes is an anaerobic bacterium which is a normal constituent of the skin flora and which populates the androgen-stimulated sebaceous follicle [androgen is a steroid hormone such as testosterone or androsterone, that controls the development and maintenance of masculine characteristics]. Individuals with acne have higher counts of P acnes compared with those without acne [1, 6].

4. Inflammation. This is a direct or indirect result of the rapid and excessive increase of P acnes [1].

Non-inflammatory acne lesions include open and closed comedones, which are thickened secretions plugging a duct of the skin, particularly sebaceous glands. Open comedones, also known as blackheads, “appear as flat or slightly raised brown to black plugs that distend the follicular orifices”. Closed comedones, also known as whiteheads, “appear as whitish to flesh-coloured papules with an apparently closed overlying surface” [1].

Inflammatory lesions on the other hand include papules, pustules, and nodules; papules and pustules “result from superficial or deep inflammation associated with microscopic rupture of comedones”. Nodules are large, deep-seated abscesses, which when palpated may be compressible. In addition to the typical lesions in acne, other features may also be present. These include scarring and hyperpigmentation, which can result in substantial disfigurement [1].

Psychological Aspects

Numerous psychological problems such as diminished self-esteem, social embarrassment, social withdrawal, depression and even unemployment stem from acne. However, differential diagnosis from a psychosomatic point of view indicates two serious psychological problems, which can arise from acne. These are,

1. Psychogenic excoriation, and

2. Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)

Psychogenic excoriation also referred to as neurotic excoriation, pathological or compulsive skin picking “is characterised by excessive scratching or picking of normal skin or skin with minor irregularities” [5]. According to Niemeier et al (2006) it is estimated to occur in 2% of dermatological patients. Patients with this disorder can also have psychiatric disorders such as mood and anxiety disorders, as well as associated disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder, substance abuse disorder, obsessive compulsive personality disorder, compulsive buying, eating disorder, and borderline personality disorder, to mention a few [5].

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) “is a condition characterised by an extreme level of dissatisfaction or preoccupation with a normal appearance that causes disruption in daily functioning” [3]. Niemeier et al (2006) described it as “a syndrome characterised by distress, secondary to imagined or minor defects in one’s appearance.” The onset of BDD is usually during adolescence, and it occurs equally in both male and female. Common areas of concern include the skin, hair and nose, with acne being one of the most common concerns with BDD patients [3].

According to the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders (2000), BDD has three diagnostic criteria,

1. A preoccupation with an imagined defect in appearance; where a slight physical anomaly is present, the person’s concern is markedly excessive,

2. The preoccupation causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning,

3. The preoccupation is not caused by another mental disorder (e.g. Anorexia Nervosa)

Characteristic behaviours include skin picking, mirror checking, and camouflaging by wearing a hat or excessive make up. Apart from these, patients often seek reassurance frequently by asking questions such as “Can you see this pimple?” or “Does my skin look okay?” Some patients also have a tendency to doctor shop, which is essentially going from one specialist to another in search of a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, willing to carry out a desired procedure or dispense a certain drug, to improve their perceived defect [3, 5].

Although it is a relatively common disease, BDD is still an under diagnosed psychiatric disorder and is estimated to affect 0.7 to 5% of the general population. Other psychiatric conditions associated with BDD include major depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder. It is also associated with high rates of functional impairment and suicide attempts, high levels of perceived stress, and markedly poor quality of life [3, 5, 8].

Acne Treatment

1. Topical treatment, particularly for individuals with non-inflammatory comedones or mild to moderate inflammatory acne (See types of acne vulgaris). Medications include tretinoin (available as gels, creams, and solutions), adapalene gel, salicylic acid (available as solutions, cleansers, and soaps), isotretinoin gel, azelaic acid cream, benzoyl peroxide (available as gels, lotions, creams, soaps, and washes), to mention a few [1, 2].

2. Oral treatment, particularly for acne that is resistant to topical treatment or which manifests as scarring or nodular lesions. Medications include oral antibiotics (e.g. tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, erythromycin, and co-trimoxazole), oral isotretinoin, and hormonal agents (e.g. oral contraception, oral corticosteroid, cyproterone acetate, or spironolactone) [1, 2].

3. Physical or surgical methods of treatment, which are sometimes useful as adjuvant to medical therapy. Methods include comedo extraction, intralesional injections of corticosteroids, dermabrasion, chemical peeling, and collagen injections, to mention a few [1, 9].

4. Sun exposure, reported by up to 70% of patients to have a beneficial effect on acne [10].

5. Light therapy, which is becoming more popular due to the growing demand for a convenient, low risk and effective therapy, as many patients fail to respond adequately to treatment or develop side effects, from the use of various oral and topical treatments available for the treatment of acne [11]. Methods include the use of visible light (e.g. blue light, blue/red light combinations, yellow light, and green light), laser treatment and monopolar radiofrequency [11]. Many of these light therapy treatments can be used at home.

Recommended Products for Acne



1. Brown SK, Shalita AR. Acne vulgaris. Lancet 1998; 351:1871-1876.

2. Webster GF. Acne vulgaris. Br Med J 2002; 325: 475-479.

3. Bowe WP et al. Body dysmorphic disorder symptoms among patients with acne vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol 2007; DOI: 10.1016/j.jaad.2007.03.030.

4. Rzany B, Kahl C. Epidemiology of acne vulgaris. JDDG 2006; DOI: 10.1111/j.1610-0387.2006.05876.x

5. Niemeier V, Kupfer J, Gieler U. Acne vulgaris-Psychosomatic aspects. JDDG 2006; DOI: 10.1111/j.1610-0387.2006.06110.x

6. Gollnick H. Current perspectives on the treatment of acne vulgaris and implications for future directions. Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2001; 15 (Suppl. 3):1-4.

7. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th Ed. Accessed via: BehaveNet® Clinical CapsuleTM; Accessed on: 28th June 2007.

8. Phillips KA et al. A retrospective follow-up study of body dysmorphic disorder. Comprehensive Psychiatry 2005; 46: 315-321.

9. Taub AF. Procedural treatments of acne vulgaris. Dermatol Surg 2007; 33: 1-22.

10. Cunliffe WJ, Goulden V. Phototherapy and acne vulgaris.Br J Dermatol 2000; 142 (5): 855-856.

11. Dierickx CC. Lasers, Light and Radiofrequency for treatment of acne. Med Laser Appl 2004; 19: 196-204.


This article is only for informative purposes. It is not intended to be a medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor for all your medical concerns. Kindly follow any information given in this article only after consulting your doctor or qualified medical professional. The author is not liable for any outcome or damage resulting from any information obtained from this article.

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