Thursday, 31 March 2011

what to use and where to get it?

If you scour the shelves of a pharmacy or drug store, you'll most likely find numerous brands of over-the-counter treatment for acne more than you can count with your fingers. among other skin infections,There are likely to be ingredients common to said treatments for skin infections, though none are exactly the same. If the problem is something that your typical medication can handle, it is probably best you consult a skin care professional.

In most cases, these readily available measures achieve the simple goal of alleviating your acne problem without causing any discomfort. Of course, given individual reactions to the chemicals in the skin treatments, that may not always be the case. Prescription medication, which is typically more potent, may also cause the same unwanted side-effects as those that come from over-the-counter products.

Various factors influence the effectiveness of an over-the-counter or prescription acne treatment product. You might be inclined to wonder which of the two would be the best acne medication, with minimal possible side effects. Well, the answer to this is that all medications can potentially cause side effects. Every person's skin will react differently to different drugs or medications.

Let's take a look at this whole thing objectively, shall we? Or at least, with as much objectivity a single person can have. Hopefully, if we do that we can find the best acne medication, or at least something close to it.  In theory, there may be no such thing as a “best” medication, as individual skin chemistry can easily get in the way.

First off, over-the-counter medication for your average range of skin infections, let alone acne, is nowhere near as potent as your typical prescription treatment. This may stem from either the differences in the basic chemical composition or how concentrated the key ingredients of the treatments are. A prescription acne treatment may clear up the problem faster, but the potency of the chemicals can cause side effects more readily than the over-the-counter variants. That means that your life can get back to normal a lot faster, seeing as how you've got one less thing to worry about.

However, despite being “less effective” (and that's something that's just this side of being arguable), over-the-counter stuff is significantly cheaper. Unless you've somehow gotten a case of monumentally bad acne, you should go and try an over-the-counter treatment first. They may not be as potent, but they very often can do the job on their own. If they're not helping, you shouldn't hesitate to seek professional help. Medical insurance may or many not entirely cover your costs, as this sort of thing is something that varies depending on the details of your coverage.

The lower potency of the drugs can also be a boon rather than a bane, for some people. You see, every once in a while, the combination of skin, acne, and other factors is going to produce a person with very sensitive skin. The kind of skin that turns red and swells to the size of a grapefruit at the slightest touch of benzoyl peroxide, or something similar. However, lower chemical potency means that you're also less likely to run into a nasty side effect.

There's also the matter of convenience to be considered here. An over-the-counter product is obviously easier to get your hands on. Go to a drug store, find medication for acne that you like or think would work, and pay for it at the counter. Simple, clean, and there's not a whole lot of time involved. In contrast, if you need to get one that's prescription-required, that involves the time to set up the appointment, the consultation, and all that other good stuff.

There's also the matter of an individual's skin. Your skin is unique and how it might react to something is different from how someone else's skin might react. Your skin may be tougher than most, or it can be easier to scar than most. Medications are set to a specific formula when they're made.

Finally, you may want to keep in mind not to mix and match your treatments. Drug interaction is a leading cause of side effects, aside from poor interaction with the patient's skin. Skin infections like acne can be made worse if you mix two treatments together, such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. The warning about drug interaction holds true even when you mix together over-the-counter medication and prescription ones, even if the two have ingredients in common.

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Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Deal with it now, Get your face in shape

People who suffer from acne know that it is no laughing matter. Having bad acne can lead to shyness, under-confidence and insecurity so any product on the market that promises to solve acne problems is sure to be popular. However, if you are an acne sufferer then there is some good news; when you are in the later years of your life, your skin will be wrinkle-free. This is because acne sufferers have oily skin and these active oil glands will be of great benefit in later years when the skin looses its elasticity.

Acne is usually found where the oil glands are more active and where the skin has more pores. The pores are the holes where the body hair comes through, and the oil glands that are around these pores secret sebum. The sebum may be produced in excessive amounts and this combined with any grime that is on the skin, will develop into acne.

The other thing to remember about acne is that it will clear up. Most people do suffer with acne when they are a teenager, but the acne will lessen as you get older, and having wrinkle-free skin in the later years in life is a great thing to look forward to!

Many people will try an array of products to try and get rid of acne. But you do not need to use expensive toiletries or cosmetics to help acne. There are a few basic things that you can do to help clear up acne and calm the skin down. Firstly start with a cleaning regime that you do everyday. By strictly keeping the skin clean, by cleansing toning and moisturising you will help your acne. You don’t need to use very expensive products for this; just by cleaning and toning your skin everyday should help with your acne.

The other thing that you can do to help with acne problems is look at your diet. It is always important to have a healthy diet, and this can be of great importance where acne is concerned. Make sure you have a varied diet and eat an array of all of the food groups.

Drinking plenty of water and eating a lot of fruit and vegetables will help not only your health but also your acne. Another great way to combat acne is by doing exercise. Increasing the blood flow to the skin will help with acne, but it is important to remember to keep clean when exercising and shower before and after.

If you make these simple changes to your life you will feel the benefit and you will also see an improvement to your acne. Acne can be a real problem but if you do all that you can by changing what you eat and how you exercise you will soon see an improvement in your acne. It’s important to remember that acne does not stay forever, so no matter how bad you think your acne is now, it will get better.

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Monday, 28 March 2011

The Myths about Acne Answered

There are many allegations as to the causes of acne. As technology and science help us find the actual roots, we are able to dispel many of the misconceptions surrounding acne. However, the myths still persist. Here are some more commonly known myths:

Myth: Acne is caused by poor hygiene.

Lack of cleanliness is not the reason for acne. There are skin infections associated with acne due to a mixture of sebum and dead cells that lie beneath the surface of the skin. Although gentle cleansing of the skin with soap and water once or twice a day will assist in keeping skin as healthy as possible, it is ineffective in clearing away the skin infections. Take care not to scrub too hard as this could further aggravate acne.

Myth: Grease and Chocolate will cause acne.

People have believed for years that eating chocolate will cause pimples. There is no scientific proof for this - studies have shown no direct relationship between consuming chocolate and acne breakouts. This is also true of other foods like potato chips and French fries. Eating too much of these types of food is, however, unhealthy, and advisable to eat in moderation.

Note: Although chocolate and greasy foods do not cause acne, some foods DO seem to exacerbate it. Milk and foods high in iodine (as found in seafood) seem to aggravate acne.

Myth: Sex is directly linked to acne.

Everything from masturbation to celibacy has been blamed for acne. This again is false. Although there is a link between hormone levels and sexual activity, it is unclear what the link between sex and levels of sebum (causing acne.) Emotions and stress also affect hormone levels.

Myth: You will grow out of acne.

Acne may last a matter of weeks or as long as several years. There is no need to try to live with it when there are so many over-the-counter treatments available to anyone suffering from the discomfort and embarrassment of acne. Dermatologists are also easily accessible for more severe cases.

Myth: Acne only affects teenagers.

Although 85% of adolescents experience acne, adults are susceptible to suffering from acne when they are in their 30s or 40s.

Myth: Acne is only a superficial condition.

Due to the severity of physical disfigurement acne leads to psychological stress. There are strong links to depression, social withdrawal and low self-esteem.

Myth: Popping/Squeezing pimples will get rid of them faster.

This may actually aggravate acne by spreading the bacteria which is causing it! Squeezing pimples can also lead to permanent scarring.

Myth: Sun exposure will help clear up acne.

Although short-term effects of the sun seem to dry out excess oils, the skin quickly adapts to sun exposure. This eliminates long-term benefits from sun exposure and increases the potential for skin damage and cancer.

Myth: Wearing makeup causes acne.

Healthy skin is the best way to avoid acne. Because some makeups can clog pores, acne can in fact result. Cosmetics have flooded the market with labels indicating they are noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic, which means they will not cause acne. These brands of makeup are safe to use. Some actually include ingredients that help treat acne.

Myth: Using more acne medication will treat the condition quicker.

Excess use of ointments may actually irritate the skin, worsening the condition. Oral medications can be dangerous to your overall health. Always use medications as directed.

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The Truth About Acne Skin Care

Skin care is an important part of controlling your acne. Find out what you should - and shouldn't - be doing as part of your skin care regimen.

Let's face it, you are engaged in an ongoing battle when you are afflicted with acne. While acne treatments for a mild case of acne are usually successful, moderate acne is a greater problem. Even dermatologists cannot cure a severe case of acne but can only provide an acne treatment regimen.

However, you can support your acne treatment efforts with proper acne skin care in order to reduce the recurrence of acne flare-ups and not aggravate existing acne.

Knowing What You're Doing

One of the first pieces of advice is to make sure that you understand and follow the directions for any acne remedy that you are using. If you are taking a prescription acne medicine, read the patient leaflet that accompanies the medication carefully. Typically for moderate to severe acne a dermatologist may prescribe several acne medicines, each with its own treatment protocol and directions.

In order to achieve the acne free skin that you desire, it is important to use all the acne treatments properly and in the correct order. Consider bringing a piece of paper, a pen, and a friend or relative with you to your appointment with your dermatologist.  Simply write down some notes about the order and time of day for applying each acne medicine and what its purpose is.

Remember, just because the acne clears with the use of your acne medicines doesn’t necessarily mean that you have succeeded in curing acne. Most people with moderate to severe acne must continue to use their acne medicine long-term to prevent any recurrence of their acne problem. Using the acne treatments properly should translate to clear skin and freedom from acne scars.

What About Over-the-Counter Remedies?

Besides using medications prescribed by a doctor, there are a large number of products on the market labeled as skin cleansers, facial cleansers, pore cleansers, and facial pore cleaners that can be used in curing acne.

When cleansing skin that is effected with acne, an important point to remember is not to scrub the skin; never scrub your face with a washcloth. It is a misconception that acne is caused by dirt clogging the pores of the skin. You don’t scrub away the offending dirt; you can’t scrub away the offensive acne and achieve acne free skin.

Over-washing or scrubbing skin afflicted with acne only serves to aggravate the condition. Rather use only a gentle skin cleanser, lukewarm water, and a gentle motion with your fingertips as your primary acne skin care regime. When you wash your face with your hands, be sure to first thoroughly wash your hands.

Do Natural Treatments Really Work?

Look for gentle cleansers that are sold as acne solutions. When you're evaluating skin cleansers for acne, include natural acne treatments in your search as well. For example, a soap made from Echinacea and other herbal ingredients is an effective antibiotic facial cleanser that helps fight acne and restore clear skin. Tea tree oil also has known antibiotic properties and serves as a mild anesthetic that will soothe the irritated skin.

Oily skin is implicated as a one of the causes of acne. It doesn’t necessarily make sense to use a moisturizer on oily skin as a means of achieving clear skin. But many of the acne treatments, whether they are prescribed or available as over-the-counter products, have a tendency to irritate the skin while curing acne.

A moisturizer is a boost to irritated skin and keeps skin from becoming overly dry due to the acne treatments that have been applied. Look for a moisturizer with the following properties:

- oil-free
- won’t clog pores (non-comodogenic)
- containing a sun-screen

Besides a great desire to just scrub away the acne, many people try to remove the acne pimples by hand as a way to get clear skin. People who are afflicted with acne should avoid touching their face except to gently wash it with mild cleanser as already discussed.

By trying to remove pimples by hand you run the risk of creating acne scars that will last for a lifetime. Instead, have patience and rely on your prescription or over-the-counter acne treatment to work. Acne remedies usually take 6 to 8 weeks before curing acne.

For male acne sufferers, the daily ritual of shaving can be a problem. One acne sufferer has recommended the Gillette Sensor Excel as a gentle and effective razor to use. Other males prefer to try an electric razor. The advice is to shave delicately to avoid nicking the skin and to shave only as often as necessary. Finding a moisturizing shave gel may be one way to enhance your acne skin care program.

Female acne sufferers have their unique problems too, in finding the right cosmetic products to use. Females who are accustomed to using a foundation product may find that the foundation is difficult to apply smoothly if the facial skin becomes irritated due to the acne treatments being applied.

You may have to abandon the use of some cosmetics during the acne treatment period. Be sure to select only oil-free cosmetics and ones that are labeled as non-comodogenic (won’t clog pores) to use on your road to clear skin.

Proper acne skin care is a necessary addition to your arsenal for fighting your battle with acne and achieving clear skin once again.

More information will follow!

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Friday, 25 March 2011

What you need to know about Acne

 This information is for people who have acne (Blemishes, Pimples, Zits)

Acne is a skin disorder which is caused by plugged pores on the skin. About 10 years ago the average age of people suffering acne was 20 years, but not that average has risen to 26 years. However, men and women in their late 30s and 40s can also suffer. There are many skin care treatments available to help deal with the condition.

What is acne?

Acne is a skin condition that typically causes one or more of the following:

  •   blackheads (comedones) 
  •   whiteheads
  •   red or yellow spot
  •   greasy skin
  •   scars
  •   pimples

Acne typically affects the skin of the face, back, neck, chest and arms and the severity of the condition can vary.

Acne affects people of all colors, but the after effects of acne scars may be more pronounced in people with dark skin. The processes that cause acne are exactly the same in people with black or brown skin but the impact is altered by the skin pigmentation.

Acne is very common and affects about 80 in 100 people aged 11-30 at some time.4

The skin

The surface of the skin has lots of small sebaceous glands just below the surface. These glands make an oily secretion called sebum that keeps the skin smooth and supple.

Tiny pores (holes in the skin) allow the sebum to come to the skin surface. Hairs also grow through these pores.

Acne is caused by the over activity of the sebaceous glands that secrete oily substances onto the skin.

The sebaceous glands of people with acne are especially sensitive to normal blood levels of a hormone called testosterone, found naturally in both men and women.

Testosterone in people prone to acne triggers the sebaceous glands to produce an excess of sebum. At the same time, the dead skin cells lining the openings of the hair follicles (the tubes that hold the hair) are not shed properly and clog up the follicles.This causes blackheads and whiteheads to form.

For some people, their acne does not progress beyond this stage.

However in other people, the build-up of oil in the hair follicles creates an ideal environment for a bacterium called Propionibacterium acnes to grow.

These bacteria normally live harmlessly on your skin but when this ideal environment is created, they grow. They feed off the sebum and produce substances that cause a response from your body's immune system. This inflames the skin and creates the redness associated with spots.

In more severe 'inflammatory acne', cysts develop beneath the skin's surface. These acne cysts can rupture, spreading the infection into nearby skin tissue. This can result in scarring.

What makes acne worse?

There are a number of things that can make your acne worse. These include the following:

  • picking and squeezing the spots may cause further inflammation and scarring
  • stress can make acne worse in some people, although it is not clear why
  • in women, outbreaks may be affected by the hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle
  • excessive production of male hormones such as testosterone from conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome may be another cause. 
  •  some contraceptive pills may make acne worse. This is due to the type of progestogen hormone in some pills whereas some other types of contraceptive pills can improve acne 
  • some medicines can make acne worse. For example, some medicines taken for epilepsy, and steroid creams and ointments that are used for eczema. Do not stop a prescribed medicine if you suspect it is making your acne worse, but tell your GP. An alternative may be an option
  • steroids can cause acne as a side-effect
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    Further posts will follow on how to get rid of  acne