When you speak about acne, the image that enters the mind is mostly that of the archetypal spotty teen. However, teens are not the only ones that have to battle the distressing presence of acne, a surprising number of adults do too.
The good news is however, that a number of topical creams and oral medications can help to get rid of the problem.
Topical Applications for Acne:
1. Glycolic Acid & Salicylic Acid are the most commonly used formulations for acne. Over the counter acne creams typically contain these in different proportions and work by upping the rate at which skin cells shed, thereby drying up and treating acne.
The efficacy of Glycolic Acid & Salicylic Acid may differ from person to person and as per the concentration or strength of the formulation that you use.
Whereas some creams have a concentration of 10% others may go all the way up to 70%. The kind of chemical peel that you can get at the salon professionally is sometimes composed of high concentration Glycolic Acid & Salicylic Acid.
2. Benzoyl Peroxide is one of the most effective and economical creams to treat acne. They come in different concentrations: 2.5%, 5% and 10%. It does not follow that the higher concentration is more effective; many find the lower concentration to be as effective.
The way that Benzoyl Peroxide works is by destroying the bacteria that cause acne. These creams do however cause irritation for some users, since they also dry out the skin.
They must further be treated with caution as they have been seen to be carcinogenic in mice, so should be used only under medical supervision. Appropriate moisturizers and sun block should also be used in order to protect the skin when using Benzoyl Peroxide.
3. Retin A or Tretinoin is especially effective in controlling blackheads and whiteheads, which are seen to lead to acne. This is a derivative of Vitamin A and works by increasing skin cell renewal or turnover.
It clears blocked pores and is also known to reduce wrinkles. There is however irritation and flaking experienced and results may take some time to appear.
4. Topical antibiotics can help to get rid of small infections in the pores that actually are the root cause of certain kinds of pimples and acne. A trained professional is the best person to judge what kind of antibiotics will work best given a particular set of symptoms.