What Over-the-Counter Medications for Acne are Effective?

What Over-the-Counter Medications for Acne are Effective?You never know when acne will hit. Sometimes, you break out when you least expect it. When this happens, people often rely on over-the-counter acne treatment to help get rid of the spots or to at least lessen their visible effects.

OTC Medication for Acne

There are a number of over-the-counter medications that people use as a quick fix for sudden acne breakouts. Here are a few:

  • Advil. Dabbing some Advil Liqui-Gel directly onto pimples helps lessen swelling. But because it is in gel form, it won’t be absorbed as effectively by the skin. Because of this, don’t expect that it would do much in getting rid of the acne itself. It gets rid of the swelling, nothing more.
  • Aspirin. Aspirin has strong anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it effective in reducing redness and swelling. Its salicylic acid content will also be a great help in cleaning out your pores and exfoliating your skin to get rid of dead skin cells. Simply mix a few uncoated aspirin pills with water and add honey to create a paste. Leave the mixture on affected areas for 10 to 15 minutes and immediately feel the difference after rinsing it off. Do this 2 to 3 times a week.
  • Benadryl. Benadryl is used for acne rosacea, but not for other acne types. Also, it only helps reduce the itchiness but does nothing to make the acne go away.

Active Ingredients to Look For

There are a lot of other options when it comes to over-the-counter skin care. Instead of asking for specific products, you could also look for any medication with these active ingredients:

  • Benzoyl Peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is known to be quick in killing the bacteria that causes acne and is just as efficient in removing dead skin cells and excess oils that clog your skin’s pores. It could be very drying however, so it still has to be used in moderation and with utmost care.
  • Salicylic Acid. It also helps prevent the clogging of pores, stopping acne from its roots. It can cause some stinging though, and could be irritating for those with sensitive skin.
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids. Two forms of alpha hydroxyl acids used in over-the-counter acne treatmentare glycolic acid and lactic acid. They help reduce inflammation and are also effective in removing dead skin cells. They are also used to reduce acne scars.
  • Sulfur. Like other active ingredients in acne treatment, sulfur also helps reduce the amount of oil on the skin and removes dead skin cells that cause pores to become clogged. It could have drying effects as well though, so it still has to be used in moderation.

With the number of options that you have for over-the-counter treatments, there will always be a lot of ways to get rid of acne fast. However, always remember that prevention and proper skin care is still better than quick fixes. Use proper skin care products that would help you maintain your skin and prevent acne from happening.

Acne Treatment for People of Color

Acne Treatment for People of ColorWhen it comes to skin care, your skin color plays a role on how you ought to care for your skin. Melanin is the pigment which gives your skin the complexion you have—more melanin means having darker skin, while less means having pale complexion. It is a fact that melanin helps protect against the harmful UV rays of the sun, and depending on your skin complexion, your sensitivity to the sun as well as some substances can be different compared to another individual’s.

For individuals with darker skin who happen to be plagued with acne, being more particular about which acne treatment to use is a must. Not all acne treatment products or remedies which work for individuals with lighter skin will work for those who have darker skin. While acne treatments to banish acne have basically the same underlying principles, the side effects are the ones which vary and should be watched out for.

Chemical Acne Treatment for People of Color

The most common effects of acne treatment options include irritation and dryness. These are the signs which show how your skin is affected by the product you are using. Irritation may range from being itchy to having redness on the affected areas, while dryness may manifest as having extra dry skin or even scaling skin for some people.

For people who have darker skin, there are two noted effects of chemical treatment products for acne: either the affected areas become lighter or even darker than their original skin tone. While this is not a permanent change in skin pigmentation and it would eventually go away as it heals, one thing you can do would be to counter the dryness and irritation by using only a little amount of the product and by supplying your skin with a good moisturizer.

You should also stay away from bleaching products which lighten acne scars—this may result in white spots or off-colored areas on your face. If you have darker spots you would like to lighten, one option you can ask your dermatologist about is azelaic acid which is a prescription topical which you can apply on trouble areas. You can also ask about having a light chemical peel to have a more balanced solution for your darker spots or acne problems.

Natural Acne Remedies for People of Color

A better solution to address acne without fearing adverse side effects would be to use natural acne treatment methods which are gentle on your skin. Just avoid making use of bleaching remedies like lemons and citrus juices on your skin, and you will notice reduction of acne breakouts.

Make use of the antibacterial honey mask which is at the same time a great natural moisturizer, the tightening egg white mask to reduce too much oil production, or apply a few drops of essential oils especially tea tree oil to help naturally clarify your skin without causing dryness, irritation, or uneven skin tone.

Which is Better: Microdermabrasion or Diamond Peel?

Which is Better Microdermabrasion or Diamond PeelAre you looking for a sure-fire way to get rid of your acne and acne scars? If the hundreds of remedies in the market do not work and the hundreds of at home remedies you have tried still haven’t made a dent on your acne and your acne scars, it may be time to go to your doctor and ask about serious treatments like peels and microdermabrasion. However, before you decide on a treatment, do you really know what they do and whether or not they are good for you acne? Furthermore, do you know what the best acne treatment is between the two?

Before you choose microdermabrasion over diamond peel or vice versa, you may first want to gather more information to know which is the best acne treatment between the two. You will be spending a lot of money on the treatment so you might as well do some research and take the time to learn more about them.

The Best Acne Treatment

If you think about diamond peels and microdermabrasion, you may think they are one and the same. After all, they have something to do with removing a layer of skin, don’t they? To some effect, these two are similar in that they resurface your skin but the way they do so is totally different and it might have an effect on your acne and acne scars. Below are the differences between the two so you may decide which one is best for you acne and acne scars.

Microdermabrasion – The very first microdermabrasion device was introduced to the US market in 1996. The device as akin to a sandblaster in that it was placed close to the skin and it sprayed extremely fine aluminum oxide crystals on the skin. It also had a suction function so that the dead skin sloughed off the by crystals were removed ASAP and did not linger on the surface of the skin. When you are done with the treatment you get skin that is rid of a rough outer surface with less scars and discolorations. The device used then is pretty much the same device used now.

Diamond peel – Diamond peels are really similar to microdermabrasion and the difference lies in the device used and the crystals used for the process. The diamond peel machine makes use of a wand that is tipped with diamonds and this is run all over the face. It is a particle-free process that usually yields to better results and less down time for patients.  Another great thing about the diamond peel process is that the wand is slimmer and can get into areas that the microdermabrasion device cannot. There is also no risk of crystals causing damage to the eyes or being ingested by the patient.

Which is Better?

It really does seem like the diamond peel system is the best acne treatment of the two, but it is important to note that this is something you will still need to discuss with your doctor. You should know that you will not get the skin you have always dreamed of after just one treatment and you may have to go in 6-10 times for every 2-3 weeks. After each treatment, your skin may feel somewhat tight and dry but do not worry since your doctor will recommend a hydrating serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen for you to use. These are essential to all diamond peel patients so you better make sure you use them or your skin might just get damaged. It is a lot of work and you need to take plenty of care during and after treatments but they are all worth it because you can also say good bye to acne scars and acne breakouts.

Why Natural Acne Remedies are Better than your Usual Acne Medication

Why Natural Acne Remedies are Better than your Usual Acne MedicationAcne is a very serious problem that a lot of people experience regardless of age. If not given a solution right away, it could leave long term effects that prove to be even harder to fix. This is why more and more people are opting for natural acne remedies which prove to be safer for the skin.

Acne Medication and Your Skin

A lot of acne medication and treatments promise to help you get rid of your acne the quickest possible way. Although this does prove to be the case for some, the other effects that these treatments may have would make you think if it was worth it in the first place. A lot of these treatments that work quickly are chemical-based and could irritate your skin all the more. Some chemicals are too harsh for the skin and could cause inflammation and redness. Other chemicals could either dry your skin too much or cause your skin’s defense system to kick in and produce more oil than necessary. Because of these reasons, the risks of having even more breakouts become higher. You also face the possibility of scarring and discoloration on your skin, which is an even bigger problem to solve.

Another reason for your acne medication not to work is the compatibility of the product to your skin. Most products have specific uses depending on the type of skin that you have. It is very important for you to know what type of skin you have because this should be the biggest factor in your product choices. Using the wrong product on your skin, no matter how mild its ingredients are, could cause your acne to go worse instead of go away.

Using Natural Acne Remedies

No matter how you look at it, natural acne remedies will always be safer as compared to chemical-based ones, even if they work slower. Going all natural would allow your skin to heal in a way that corresponds with the body’s natural processes. Natural treatments would also have very little side effects and would not only help you clear acne, but would help maintain beautiful and healthy skin on a long term scale as well.

Aside from this, you should also use what suits your skin. Consult an expert and find out what skin type you have and do some research on what ingredients would work best on your skin. If you have oily skin, witch hazel is a popular ingredient that could match your skin type. Other alternatives include yarrow, peppermint and sage. For those with dry skin, olive oil and avocado are some of the popular choices. Oatmeal is also proven to be effective, especially when used with honey. Although having combination skin could be tricky, it’s just a matter of using the right ingredients at the right time. If you do not want to switch from one product to another as your skin changes its type, go with ingredients that could be used for both oily and dry skin. Honey is a popular choice, and so is cucumber.

How Diamond Peel Can Help Clear Pimples

How Diamond Peel Can Help Clear PimplesBeing affected by pimples can be stressful, and one of the treatments you can look into to make your pimples as well as scars go away is the diamond peel. Diamond peel for pimples, although on the more expensive side with prices starting at about $100 and can reach up to $400, this non-invasive procedure to get rid of acne and acne scars can make you thankful you spent money on it.

What is a Diamond Peel?

Diamond peel for pimples, simply put, has the same process as microdermabrasion or MDA. Other synonymous terms include lunch-time peel or Parisian peel and these processes make use of ultra fine crystals which are vacuumed across the skin using a vacuum-like tip for the face. The term “diamond peel” is used because newer systems make use of diamond chips to achieve the abrasion they need for the skin.

How Does it Counter Pimples?

Since pimples may be caused by clogged pores and product buildup on the outermost layer of the skin, proper exfoliation is needed. Diamond peels rejuvenate the skin and expose the healthier layers by exfoliating through microdermabrasion. The diamond chips have the abrasive properties, and the vacuum-tipped tool removes the dead skin cells from the surface.

By exfoliation through diamond peels, your skin may be more sensitive, but it also lessens clogged pores and trapped bacteria. Apart from being able to exfoliate your skin and give you a rejuvenated layer, diamond peels also lessen your fine lines and wrinkles, making you look younger.

Today’s modern systems for diamond peels can be combined with other treatment methods such as using salicylic acid to particularly target pimples, or hyaluronic acid which can be added for some extra moisture during the treatment. Depending on your acne condition along with your skin pigmentation and skin sensitivity, the frequency of your diamond peel sessions may vary.

Things You Need to Know Before Having Diamond Peel for Your Skin

You must only have the diamond peel treatment done by a certified professional who has the right tools and proper training to use them. There are different wand-tip sizes and dermatologists would best know which one to use for your skin.

The treatment usually takes about 20 minutes each on average, but this may vary depending on the skin condition as well as the specific needs of the patient. As soon as the treatment is done, you will notice that your skin looks pinkish, but you should not have fiery red or inflamed skin. A lot of people see results after the first treatment, but usually, patients need multiple sessions for best results.

About a week or two weeks in between every session is usually needed and the treatment may last from 6 as much as 10 weeks. Note that pregnant as well as lactating women should not have this treatment. Consulting a dermatologist if this treatment method is applicable for your skin should certainly be done to ensure you get healthy results. Diamond peels work not just for pimples but for wrinkles, scars, lines, and even freckles, so considering the overall facial skin improvement, this process may be a good deal for the money you will be spending.

What is the Link between Probiotics and Acne?

What is the Link between Probiotics and AcneDo you find that the products you slather on your skin do not make a dent on your breakouts? If that is the case, you may want to worry more about what you put inside your body than what you put on your skin. After all, when your body is not healthy or there are imbalances in your system they tend to show up on your skin.

You may wonder what kinds of food you should eat if you want acne-free skin and the answer is easy! You just have to eat the good food and avoid any junk that contains excessive amounts of oil and fat. It will also be to your benefit to try probiotics in your diet. After all, studies show that taking probiotics and acne-free skin are related. You do not have to take any fancy medication because you just need to know the right probiotic food to consume.

What are Probiotics?

Without going into too much detail about it, probiotics are good bacteria or supplements that encourage the growth of micro-flora (good bacteria) in your gut. That might sound disgusting but bacteria—both good and bad—are present in the human body.

The truth of the matter is you would want micro-flora in your gut because they are responsible for many amazing things. For one, they help in breaking down food to turn them into short-chain fatty acids that the body uses for fuel.  These good bacteria also help boost the immune system and protect the body from falling to the constant attacks of bad bacteria that lead to inflammation in the form of bloating, painful joints, irritable bowels and acne!

The balance of bacteria in the body is crucial for proper digestions. If the digestive system isn’t working as it should then the body cannot get rid of toxins or absorb nutrients properly. These are two factors that are important for skin health and so you can see the link between probiotics and acne.

What Foods have Probiotics for Acne?

  • Yogurt – This is perhaps the most popular food item which contains probiotics. When you shop for yogurt in your local market, steer clear of the ones that have too much sugar and artificial flavoring. It is better to go for natural yogurt with no added chemicals and contain “live and active cultures.”
  • Kombucha tea – This is a fermented tea that you can find in most Asian stores. When you look at kombucha looking all bubbly and alive, that is just the good bacteria at work. Word of warning though—this tea stinks!
  • Miso soup – If you cannot partake of dairy products (yogurt) and find kombucha a bit too exotic, then grab a bowl of delicious miso soup! This tofu and vegetable soup is very low in calories but has tons of probiotics.
  • Sauerkraut – Who knew that this delicious, pickled cabbage dish is also rich in probiotics? Now you can enjoy your sauerkraut knowing you are taking in probiotics and acne breakouts are about to end.

What does Glycolic Acid do for Acne?

What does Glycolic Acid do for Acne?If you are keen on skin care products, you may have noticed that more and more of them contain something called “glycolic acid”. Now the idea of slathering your face with acid may seem daunting but take heed because glycolic acid is actually one of the gentlest AHA type acids you can find and it really does a world of good for the skin. For folks out there looking for products that have anti-aging and anti-acne benefits, you best look for skin care products that contain this acid.

Facts about Skin Care Products

The skin care products  is a multi-billion dollar industry and it has seen more than its fair share of quirky, strange, and downright freaky concoctions and the early 90’s saw the emergence of a new product that promised to eradicate wrinkles and make skin better- it was the AHA or Alpha Hydroxy Acid. This acid came from sugar cane and sour milk and products that contained AHAs not only reduced fine lines and wrinkles but they also faded dark spots and acne scars as they helped to exfoliate the skin.

Everything from citric acid, lactic acid, and tartaric acids are used in skin care products but when AHAs first burst into the scene, it was led by a naturally occurring compound in sugar cane called glycolic acid. This acid is so gentle that it is usually found in over the counter skin care products as well as prescription strength formulations. Check your local supermarket shelves and you will usually find facial washes with glycolic acid, toners with glycolic acid, moisturizers with glycolic acid. Why, you can even find glycolic acid used on hair care products, deodorants, and sun-related products. Some companies even put glycolic acids on colognes.

More Information on Glycolic Acid

If you are looking for skin care products in your local drugstore shelves, you should know that OTC glycolic acid formulations are usually meant to be used daily and should be left on the skin. Remember, it is the mildest form of AHA so you need not worry that it will melt your face off. However, there are some glycolic acid skin care products that are only meant to be used for a short time and then washed off or removed. These types of treatments are usually prescribed by a dermatologist or applied by an aesthetician.

Glycolic Acid and Acne

Now that you know more facts about skin care products with glycolic acid, you may be wondering how you can make use such products for acne.  When you use products that have glycolic acid, they peel off the outer layer of your skin (gently!) and this gets rid of acne scars along with age spots and other discolorations. The acid is also quite drying so it can dry out acne breakouts very well and since it acts as an exfoliator it helps clear blocked pores and keeps them from getting blocked so that you do not need to worry about getting breakouts in the future.

How to Take Care of Your Skin and Reduce Oil Production

How to Take Care of Your Skin and Reduce Oil ProductionHaving oily skin is something that anyone dreads, especially since it always leads to the growth of acne. Knowing how to take care of your skin properly plays a big role in controlling the amount of oil that your skin has, and could be the best solution in maintaining your skin’s natural glow.

Where is all the oil coming from? Basically, your skin has sebaceous glands that produce “sebum,” which is the oily substance you feel on your skin’s surface. In fact, sebaceous glands are found everywhere except for your palms and your soles. Don’t think that sebum is bad. In fact, your skin needs sebum because it keeps your skin moisturized. This is what keeps your skin soft and smooth, helping you avoid getting dry and cracked skin. When different factors interfere with the way your sebaceous glands work however, they immediately go into overdrive and produce too much sebum. This then leads to other problems like acne.

What Causes Overproduction of Sebum?

Different factors contribute to the overproduction of oil on your skin. Unfortunately, genetics plays a small role in sebum production, which is something that you cannot control. Any change in season is something that affects the way your skin reacts as well. The kind of skin care products could also affect sebum production, as some of them may be too harsh on your skin, causing the skin to act defensively. Some kinds of medication that you might be taking also cause oily skin, as well as excessive exposure to the sun. Stress and anything else that affects your hormones is also a big factor.

Controlling Sebum Production

Regardless of whether the factors that surround the production of oil on your face are controllable or not, knowing how to take care of your skin will always make a difference. Assess the range of skin care products that you are currently using and see if any of them contain any harsh ingredients. If you are using natural products, do some research and find out which natural ingredients work best for oily skin. Avoid irritating your skin’s surface by rubbing while cleansing. Instead, use gentle strokes to avoid anything that could make your skin react adversely. Deal with stress effectively and avoid letting it affect your habits and your lifestyle. There is always a big tendency for people under stress to eat the wrong kind of food or to miss out on their usual healthy routines. Instead of doing this, try to find some quiet time to cleanse your spirit and your mind. Take a breather when you’re having a bad day. This will help you control the hormones that are wreaking havoc on your skin.

At the end of the day, proper skin maintenance will always solve the problem. Know what’s good for your skin and your body as a whole, and avoid anything that could be unhealthy for you. Remember that your body functions as a whole and anything unhealthy will definitely affect your skin somehow, no matter how unlikely you think it may be.

Why Trust Antioxidants for Acne?

Why Trust Antioxidants for AcneIf you have ever taken a good look at your acne and pimples, you will notice that they look all red and inflamed. Why, if you have a particularly bad pimple you may even imagine it throbbing and pulsing at times. It’s not like the pimple has a life of its own, but the point here is that acne and pimples are usually inflammations which beg answers to the questions “Are antioxidants the best acne remedy?” and “Should you really trust antioxidants for acne?”

What are Antioxidants?

If you have been reading the papers or watching the news, you will have noticed that antioxidants are a gift from the heavens and are looked upon as cure-alls. However, while the media hype far outruns actual scientific proof as to the effectiveness of antioxidants, there is proof that antioxidants may well be the thing to get rid of acne. Recent studies have shown that inflammation (also known as oxidative stress) causes acne and antioxidants are quite effective at getting rid of oxidative stress.

Free oxygen travels throughout the body and “steals” electrons from healthy cells—this results in irreparable damage which can be seen in the skin. Antioxidants help prevent and remedy acne caused by free oxygen by preventing them from stealing electrons so breakouts and inflammation have no chance to even start. Another way that antioxidants protect the skin from acne is by preventing toxins from external sources from penetrating the skin and messing up the dermal layer. That said, regularly supplementing your diet with food that is rich in antioxidants will not only boost your health but also improve your skin and ward off breakouts.

How to Get More Antioxidants for Acne

If you like the idea of taking natural antioxidant supplements to help protect your skin from acne breakouts and getting rid of the ones you already have, then you need to know the richest sources of antioxidants. Lucky for you, there are many ways that you can get antioxidants in your system and they all taste really yummy so for sure you wouldn’t mind. One of the most popular ways to introduce antioxidants to your system is by eating acai berries or drinking the berries’ extracts. If you cannot find the fruit or the extract, you can look for capsules and acai juice in your local markets. Just make sure you get the good-quality juices and not the ones which are full of sugar. If you can’t get your hands on acai berry but want to try antioxidants for acne, then you can turn to good, old green tea. This is very easy to find and it is very rich in antioxidants as well.

Another common food you can enjoy which contains antioxidants would have to be blueberries. In fact, nearly all types of berries contain antioxidants so you can snack on them and not feel guilty because not only are they healthy but they also help fight off acne. So there you have it, the rudiments of how antioxidants for acne works so give it a try!

When It’s Time to See a Dermatologist

When It’s Time to See a DermatologistSince you have a lot of options to get rid of acne, you can take the necessary actions in your hands to make those pimples go away. However, if you have tried many different products and your condition still has not improved, it is time for you to seek professional advice on how to care for your skin.

Where Did You Go Wrong?

Treating acne is not an easy feat. Some people successfully find a skin care routine and set of products which work for them, while some don’t. Here’s where you may have failed which can also be the reasons when to see a dermatologist for acne:

  • Failing to determine your skin type – There are different skin types namely: dry, oily, combination, and normal skin. It can be quite confusing to choose the products you need if you cannot determine what your skin type is.
  • Using the wrong product – If you failed to determine your skin type, you might also be using the wrong product which is not compatible with your skin—causing unwanted reactions or further breakouts.
  • Not being able to determine what kind of acne you have – Some kinds of acne are easier to treat such as blackheads and whiteheads while cysts and nodules are particularly more difficult and require more professional attention.

When to See a Dermatologist for Acne

Here are the top indicators that you need to see a dermatologist for your skin condition:

  • Your skin care products are no longer working – Say you’ve found a set of products which were able to make your breakouts go away for a month or two, and suddenly they’re no longer working. When this happens, something may have changed in your system or skin condition which is why you need to seek professional advice.
  • When your face is covered with more acne than you can count – If you have an overall red face caused by those pimples—no matter how big or small they are, it’s time to seek professional care to make those zits go away.
  • Cystic or nodular acne – If you have cystic or nodular acne which is characterized by big red pimples that are either really tender with a fluid-filled feeling or those hard and painful bumps, you should seek professional care to lessen the aggravation of this condition.
  • If you think your acne is caused by a health condition or medication – Some medications can cause acne breakouts and affect your skin. If you are on medication and you notice a worsening in your skin condition, you should ask your physician as well as dermatologist for a possible workaround.
  • When you begin getting upset or depressed – Acne can take a toll on how you see yourself as well as your level of self-confidence. Since this is a skin condition which can be treated, you should not let it affect the way you see yourself! Seeing a dermatologist can end your acne problems and give you the clear skin you deserve.

If you notice these factors, book your appointment with the dermatologist today and take that much-needed steps for clear skin!