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Acne- Separating the Myths from the Facts.

Acne in both teens and adults can cause stress, embarrassment and life-long scars. For most people acne clears up after adolescence and many have no noticeable scars. For others, acne can last well into your adult years.

Acne Myths:

Myth #1: Acne is caused by poor hygiene, not by dirt or surface skin oils.

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Washing may help in the overall treatment of acne by removing excess oils, dead skin cells and foreign substances, but washing alone will not clear it up or prevent it. The best approach to hygiene and acne: Wash your face twice a day with a mild cleanser, pat dry and use a prescription acne treatment.

Myth #2: Acne is caused by poor diet.

Extensive scientific studies have not found a conclusive connection between diet and acne. In other words, food does not cause acne. Not chocolate. Not french fries. Not pizza. Nonetheless, some people insist that certain foods affect their acne. If that is the case for you, avoid those foods. Eating a balanced & nutritious diet can have a dramatic effect on the health and the degree of inflammation that occurs in your skin. Acne is an inflammatory disease, so, although we cannot specifically implicate chocolate or pizza as the cause, a healthy diet together with proper medical treatment will bring about the best control of acne.

Myth # 3: Acne is simply a cosmetic disease.

Acne does affect the way people look, but does not otherwise pose a threat to their physical health. However, acne can result in permanent scars. Acne itself, as well as its scars, can affect a person’s emotional and mental health in a negative way.

Myth # 4: You have to let acne just run its course.

The truth is, acne can be treated successfully. If the acne products you have tried haven’t worked, there may be alternate medications and treatments that will work for you. With the products available today, there is no reason why anyone has to endure acne or get acne scars.

What Works for Acne?

Acne can be treated successfully if two basic conditions are addressed.

  1. Prevent the oil gland openings from plugging up.
  2. Decrease the bacteria that live in the “plugs” that ultimately lead to inflammation.

 Facial Acne:

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If you have skin that is combination to oily with a tendency towards mild breakouts, I suggest the following regimen of DERMAspaRx products. Begin with Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) Facial Cleanser to deeply clean pores and minimize inflammation. Follow the cleanser with Oil Control Serum which balances skin hydration while fighting bacterial growth and inflammation. If additional moisture is needed, apply Oil Free Moisture Cream to increase skin hydration without the use of oils which aggravate problem skin. Finally, protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays with Oil Free Sun Protection System, a hydrating antioxidant broad spectrum protective system that is designed specifically for oily skin types.

Tip: If you are not able to wash your face immediately after a workout, use a facial cleansing cloth such as Face Off Skin Cleansing Pads  to clean and refresh your skin “on-the-go”.

Body Acne:

 Body acne can be more resistant to treatment than facial acne because it is more difficult to reach and to keep clean. Try to wear loose clothing (especially during exercise) and pay special attention to the skin beneath clothing items that can increase the plugging of your oil glands and cause friction such as sports bras, sweatbands and hats. Cleanse your skin thoroughly after a workout and avoid body moisturizers that contain butters or oils which can further clog pores.  If you cannot shower right after a workout, try an on-the-go cleansing cloth to remove sweat and excess oil.

Your Dermatologist may prescribe medication based on the overall condition and evaluation of your acne. If you have numerous whiteheads and blackheads, a group of products call retinoids are commonly prescribed.  These include Retin-A, Differin, Tazorac and Finacea. Combination products combining retinoids and antibiotics are also available and may be prescribed by your doctor. To help decrease bacteria, a group of topical products containing benzoyl peroxide and antibiotics are often used. Oral antibiotics may also be an option to decrease bacteria on the skin.

For severe nodular cystic acne- a severe type of acne where bumps form under the skin causing pain and discomfort, a systemic retinoid called Accutane is used.  This medication is a Vitamin A derivative and works well, however needs to be monitored closely because of occasional side effects which your doctor should discuss with you.

If medications are not effective or you are looking for a quicker option to get rid of acne, procedures such as Acleara are also use to unplug oil glands and kill bacteria. Acleara combines a gentle vacuum with pulses of specially-filtered light to help clear your pores and treat acne outbreaks. Cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration to treat a wide range of acne in all skin types, it is painless and results are sometimes immediate.

Acleara is an alternative for you if:

 

×          You have acne

×          Your skin is oily and/or you have large pores

×          Over-the-counter acne medications just don’t seem to work
You choose to avoid systemic treatments for acne such as oral antibiotics

×          Your acne does not respond to antibiotics

×          You want to avoid the side effects associated with prescription medication

×          Previous acne laser treatments have been too painful and not very effective

Regulate your Diet: Skip oily, sugary, fatty foods and refined carbs and opt for fruits, vegetables, leafy greens and lean proteins. I have discussed which foods are best for your skin in past blogs  and my book “The Beautiful Skin Diet”.

Acne can range from occasional breakouts to a severely debilitating condition and must be treated individually. A consultation with your Dermatologist is the first step in addressing your acne.

 

 

 

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