Acne Treatments that Dermatologists Actually Recommend and Use

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Acne is a scourge that affects 99% of everyone at some point in their life. For some acne is a minor skin problem that goes with puberty, for others acne can start as early as 8-10 years of age and remain through their 30’s and 40’s. Acne can leave both physical and emotional scars as it can really affect ones psychology and resultant outlook on life.

There are thousands of acne treatment skin care products out there that promise to help and alleviate the acne, but 99% of them do not work. We asked several leading dermatologists what really works on treating acne, what they recommend, and what they actually use in their office.
Before the dermatologists would tell us their recommendations, they wanted to make sure that we and our readers fully understood what acne is and what causes it. Acne starts as a blockage of the hair follicle by skin cells that are not properly exfoliated and excess sebum (oil). The plugged up hair follicle will eventually become infected as it is an excellent environment and breeding ground for bacteria. These infections grow to become postules and cysts which are hard, red, inflamed bumps that can leave permanent scars.
Acne treatment begins with a change in initial skin care. Soaps should not be used as they are usually too harsh and will dry out and further irritate the already irritated skin. The dermatologists recommend switching to a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil or its generic equivalents. A gentle cleanser will remove dirt, makeup and excess oil without irritation. According to the dermatologists, gentle cleansers should be a part of everyone’s general skin care regimen.
Next, alcohol based cleaning and disinfecting solutions should not be used. Be sure to read the ingredients of any product you are thinking of using for treating your acne. Alcohol will dehydrate and further irritate your skin.
Many times acne is exacerbated by the skin’s pH or acidity range being too basic. The skin naturally has a slightly acidic pH and this makes the skin less susceptible to a bacterial infection. Acne treatment products with glycolic acid or salicylic acid will be effective on minor acne as they will remove excess oil, slightly increase the rate of exfoliation (which helps heal acne), and help restore the original pH of your skin. A deeper and much more effective acne treatment is a TCA peel.
TCA peels will do everything that glycolic and salicylic will do, but TCA peels can also treat more severe forms of acne and have been clinically shown to even cure acne. TCA peels are offered on an outpatient basis and can take 3-10 days to heal, but they result in new, younger looking skin and are well worth it.
The only other acne treatment items that the dermatologists unanimously recommended was Accutane in the most severe cases (Accutane is very toxic and does require blood tests and monitoring) and antibiotics. The dermatologists stated that the TCA Peels work 1,000 times better than any peroxide wash or cleansing system and have similar results to Accutane without any of the harsh side effects.
Needless to say, they all offer TCA skin peels for acne treatment in their offices and none offered peroxide or alcohol cleansers even for general skin care.


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