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Information about Acne, Acne Cures, and Acne treatments.

For reasons no one completely understands, follicles, often called pores, sometimes get blocked. Oils, which normally drains to the surface gets blocked and bacteria begins to grow. The other unusual fact that goes along with this is that even though heredity plays a role, not everyone in the same gene pool will have the same problems or with the same severity.  Both whiteheads and blackheads start out as a the same. Either way, blackheads and whiteheads are filled with trapped sebum and bacteria. therefore the treatment advice for how to get rid of blackheads and how to get rid of whiteheads is the same.


Acne treatments that promise “fast,” miraculous” or “overnight” results often capture the attention of acne sufferers hoping for quick resolution. However, the fact remains that acne does not clear overnight. On average, 6 to 8 weeks are needed to see initial results. Once acne significantly improves or clears, continued treatment is needed to keep acne from re-appearing. If acne does not improve in 6 to 8 weeks, treatment may need to be changed to a different type of treatment or adjusted, as not every acne treatment clears every case of acne. 


The sooner you treat your acne the better. Earlier attention may help you to avoid the more severe forms of acne and the risk of scarring. However it is never too late. There are a host of medications and treatments that can improve your skin and there are medical procedures that can help to lessen the appearance of scars.


There are just about as many treatments as there are types and severities of acne. Trying to find the right acne medication for your particular condition among the myriad of choices can be somewhat daunting.

There are a host of OTC acne products you can try, each taking about 4 to 8 weeks to determine if it is working. And certainly some of these will work well for mild cases of acne. However, for moderate to severe cases of acne, stronger prescription medications are usually required.


Benzoyl Peroxide has been around for decades and benzoyl peroxide has proven to be an effective treatment for mild acne.  It works on two fronts. First, it helps to clear up acne and to prevent further outbreaks by removing the dead skin cells that can clog pores and form comedones better known as blackheads and whiteheads. Second, it reduces inflammation by attacking Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), and the bacteria responsible for the heat and redness that can accompany acne.  Resorcinol - This active ingredient found in many OTC acne medications helps to control small acne lesions by breaking down blackheads and whiteheads. Salicylic Acid & Sulfur are also popular ingredients in OTC products.


Also found in several OTC acne products, salicylic acid effectively treats non-inflammatory lesions (blemishes). It corrects the abnormal shedding of skin cells and unclogs pores to clear lesions and prevent new ones from forming. By itself, salicylic acid does not reduce sebum (skin oil) production or fight P. acnes. Salicylic acid comes in lotions, creams and pads. It can be irritating to the skin.  Sulfur is found in a wide variety of OTC medications. Its effectiveness as an acne treatment has been known for over 50 years despite the fact that we don't know how it works. Sulfur, rarely used alone because of its unpleasant odor, is usually found in combination with alcohol, salicylic acid or resorcinol.


Accutane is probably one of the most common and successful treatments used to treat more severe cases of acne, but this treatment can have severe side effects and should never be taken by anyone that pregnant as it can cause severe birth defects and unborn infant death or miscarriage.  This medication can only be prescribed by your doctor or dermatologist and must be monitored closely.  Mental problems have also been occasionally associated with use of this treatment.  If you are female and using this product, you will be required to use one and sometimes two methods of birth control during treatment due to the high risks involved.


New acne laser treatment technology may become one of the safest and most effective means to fight severe acne.  Some common types of laser treatment are Omnilux Light Treatment , Aura, by Laserscope , Smoothbeam Laser Acne Treatment , ClearLight Acne Treatment , N-Lite Laser Acne Treatment , Levulan Blue Light Acne Treatment , and Aura, by Laserscope .  The level of success and comfort of varies by the type of treatment you choose.  Your dermatologist can help you decide what is best for you. The new technology heats the skin and shrinks oil glands, improving acne gradually during three to five treatments that are generally less than 15 minutes each. Physicians treat regions of the body that tend to develop acne, such as the face, back or shoulders.  In addition, this treatment also treats acne scars.  "It heats the skin in the area causing the collagen in the skin to remodel and generate new collagen. So over time, it will tighten the skin, smoothing out acne scars.


Written by: WM8C, July 14th, 2006.  Not for use without written permission


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