Acne Treatment Solutions – A Comprehensive Review

Acne plagues thousands of people around the world. From teenagers to adults on the wrong side of middle age, it is a skin disorder that is extremely common as well as very unpleasant. It is painful, distressing, and often leaves scars even after it is treated.

There are hundreds of skin-care products that claim to treat acne. Finding the right treatment for you is almost like finding a needle in a haystack. To make things a little easier for you, here is a comprehensive review of five of the best acne treatment solutions as per popular ratings.

The reviews are accurate, based on substantiate research, and are aimed at helping you make a healthy and informed choice. The five products being reviewed here are Murad Acne Complex, Proactive Acne Solutions, Clinique Acne Solutions, Clear Skin Max and Exposed Skin Care.

Murad Acne Complex

The Murad Acne Complex consists of a three-step process, which consists of a Clarifying Cleanser, an Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel, and lastly a Skin Perfecting Moisturizer. It was developed by Howard Murad and has been a popular product for treating acne breakouts.

The product has yielded mixed reviews from viewer ratings and is different from most other acne treatment products in the sense that it does not contain benzoyl peroxide, which is a leading ingredient used in most acne treatments.

The product claims to remove all signs of acne in just 4 weeks. While this is not exactly accurate, results are often visible within the second month, depending on the severity of the condition.

Pros

While the purging period does see some aggravation of the condition, the product pulls through and actually gives visible results. The moisturizer smells pleasant and does not stick. The Pore Cleansing mask that the treatment comes with is quite helpful and has a lot of positive reviews.

It uses a lot of natural extracts such as bitter orange oil, tea tree extracts, camellia leaf extract, menthol along with known acne fighters such as salicylic acid that help in curing acne without causing much damage to the skin. Spot sulfur treatment that it includes has also given positive results among a large number of users.

Cons

The purging period is extremely painful and itchy. The acne increases considerably before it is healed, if at all. Moreover, the product does not work for all skin types, and the moisturizer is not enough to help soothe the roughness and pain. Reviews have revealed that the system leaves the skin oily and shinier and that acne takes a lot of time to heal, especially if it is in its moderate or severe phase.

Verdict

The Murad Acne Complex might or might not work for you. It has mixed user ratings and though it can be helpful for minor to moderate acne, it has reportedly shown less impressive results for severe cases of acne. However it might work if you have oily skin.

Proactive Acne Solution

Proactive Acne Solutions is an extremely popular, three-step acne treatment system that consist of cleansing, toning and acne repairing. A new product that Proactive recently added to its acne treatment list is a Refining Mask.

The product was first manufactured in 1988 by Guthy-Renker, and has been a popular treatment since. According to the instructions, only a dime sized amount of cleaner, a cotton ball of toner and a pea sized amount of repairing treatment is to be used twice daily for the system to work.

Pros

The system covers blackheads, pimples, whiteheads and cures immediate acne breakouts. It reduces the visibility of pores and leaves the skin fragrant. It works well for some and leaves skin soft and supple, if the instructions are followed exactly as given.

The Refining Mask is very useful for drying up pimples since it consists of sulfur as an active ingredient, which is known to effectively kill acne causing surface bacteria. A Tea tree Moisturizer is also available as part of the kit and should definitely be used along with the system which is known to leave skin soft and dry.

Cons

The products are extremely harsh and may not yield good results, even aggravate the condition sometimes. The treatment causes excessive drying of the skin, and skin peeling has also been reported, though the exact cause of the peeling could not be determined.

Proactive is expensive, and often does not yield positive results, sometimes even after 8 weeks of regular usage. It is also not recommended for dry to normal skin at all since it completely dries out the skin and leaves it reddened and irritated.

Verdict

All in all, even though Proactive might work for some, most users have reported negative results, with no improvement in the condition whatsoever. Despite this, it continues to be a popular product. You can try it for the sheer popularity of the product.

Clinique Acne Solutions

Clinique is a well known brand and has allergy tested and medically approved skin care products that are very effective in treating skin problems. Clinique Acne Solutions Skin Care Treatment uses gentle exfoliation and cleansing to unclog the clogged pores of your skin to reduce the dirt build up which causes acne. It is gentle on the skin, and does not contain any oily or smelly substances that could affect the skin negatively.

Pros

It uses salicylic acid as its main ingredient for acne treatment, which is popular for its anti-acne properties. The system consists of a cleanser, a gentle exfoliator and a lotion, which contains benzoyl peroxide.

It clears acne by reducing oil secretion and improves the complexion with repeated use. The supplementary skin care products that Clinique offers are helpful in reducing blemishes and scars left by acne. “Even Better” is one such product that specializes in treating acne.

The company also has spot treatment products that zap away almost all the pimples in the shortest possible time. The product claims to remove acne in 6 weeks, and leave skin softer and clearer.

Cons

6 weeks is a longer period than that is promised by most acne treatment solutions. Most treatments claim to yield results within the first month of usage. There is no clear list of all anti acne ingredients used in this product since no official description or list is provided.

It is good for curing sudden breakouts but does not hold out well in the long run. Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are both not enough to treat acne in its core and there are no other primary anti acne agents, natural or otherwise in the system.

Verdict

The product sells on its brand name however does not live up to expectations. The product website does not give any detailed description of the anti-acne treatment, or about the ingredients that are used for making it.

There are variety of other products in the market that might offer better results at lower prices and are all-natural. While Clinique works to remove a pimple here and a zit there, it fails to target the core problem of acne break outs. It can be used as an effective immediate spot treatment solution though.

Clear Skin Max

A relatively new member of the anti acne treatment family, Clear Skin Max is still proving its mettle in the skin care industry. Till now it has had some very positive reviews due to its new and all natural approach towards fighting acne.

Clear Skin Max was designed as an alternative for those who did not want to subject their already damaged skin to further chemical damage. It uses natural ingredients that help in reducing inflammation, acne, and irritation without causing any side effects or without excessive drying of the skin.

Pros

Since the skin is naturally sensitive and acne inflicted skin gets further damaged with chemical treatment, products with natural ingredients are always a plus. Clear Skin Max uses anti-acne tea tree oils to control acne which have been reported to show immediate results in reducing inflammation.

Chamomile oil and bladder wrack are also used to treat acne without causing any harm to the skin. Not only does the product treat acne but it also leaves skin softer. Better still, it does not contain any harsh chemicals that cause drying of the skin.

Chamomile oil is effective in reducing scars and blemishes left by acne and since it is also an anti-bacterial agent, it also prevents acne naturally by fighting bacteria. Another plus point of the system is that it contains bladder wrack which is known not only for its anti-acne properties but also because it restores elasticity to the skin, helping the skin remain youthful and smooth.

It also uses natural products like hyaluronic acid, which is a known youth restorative, jojoba oil and others that maintains the moisture levels of the skin. These natural extracts not only fight acne but also strengthen the skin from inside and thus prevent breakouts, apart from clearing the skin of acne and its scars.

Cons

The ingredients are not used in high quantities in the product, which sometimes may not be enough to treat acne. Severe acne might not be easily treated with natural ingredients, since they require stronger ingredients that directly aim at reducing acne.

Even though the 6-step system is designed to fight and destroy acne right from its roots, it will really take a long time to heal for those who suffer from severe cases of acne. The negative aspect of this point again depends on how patient the user is even though the product yields guaranteed results.

Verdict

Clear Skin Max is a complete product that not only helps fight acne but also helps to protect and strengthen the skin. It is great for mild to moderate acne as well as adult acne and has been reported to have minimal side effects. It uses natural ingredients that have no reported side effects and the product enjoys great reviews by most users.

Exposed Skin Care Acne Treatment

This acne treatment system consists of 6 different products, a facial cleanser, that cleanses and exfoliates the skin, a clearing tonic that claims to delve deep inside the clogged skin pores and opens them up so that the dirt and grime can escape.

Then there is the Acne treatment Serum, which is the main repairing product that consists of benzoyl peroxide, a well-known anti acne element. A Clear Pore serum also comes with the system and is to be used at night; it works nocturnally to unclog your pores and clear skin. The last two products consist of a Clarifying mask which is to be used twice a week at most, and a Microderm scrub, that has anti oxidants for deep pore exfoliation.

Pros

It uses Azelaic acid, a known anti bacterial component as its primary ingredient, which clears acne by killing bacteria which is the main cause of acne. It also contains a 3.5% concentration of benzoyl acid, which is a popular ingredient in several anti-acne treatments.

It deeply exfoliates skin to keep out all the unwanted oil and dirt from the pores. This enhances your skin and helps to keep it free from acne.

Cons

Azelaic acid has many known side effects such as skin irritation, and unwanted hair growth. Many users have reported an increase in the quantity of facial hair after repeated use of products containing high concentrations of azelaic acid.

Also, the product lists tea tree oil as one of the leading ingredients, which can only be considered as a subsidiary product since it only aids treatment without playing any substantial role in the actual process.

The 3.5% benzoyl peroxide concentration is not enough to fight acne, the standard requirement being 5% to 8% concentration. Severe cases of acne cannot be treated well with this range of products.

Moreover the customer service is reportedly unresponsive, thus you might face a problem if you choose to pursue the money back guarantee at all.

Verdict

In conclusion, it can be said that this is a good product to use for those with mild acne but it does not work well for treating severe acne. Moreover many other products are available in the market that uses natural ingredients. Organic products are always a better option. This is another product that can be used to treat mild acne.

However keep in mind that treating acne requires not just medication but also a healthy lifestyle. Proper diet, nutrition, exercise, sleep, hydration and hygiene are extremely important for a clear and healthy skin.

Medications can only work when coupled with a healthy lifestyle. So if you are plagued with acne, first, change your lifestyle, and then clear your acne with the help of the perfect product for you, which you can pick with the help of these reviews.

Frequently Asked Questions About Acne

Frequently Asked Questions About Acne

Acne is a very common disease. People who have it tend to have similar kinds of questions about it and its treatment. This section addresses some of the common questions asked by people with acne. Please remember that your dermatologist is always the best source of specific information about your individual health issues, including acne.

Questions and Answer does follows:

1. What causes acne?

The causes of acne are linked to the changes that take place as young people mature from childhood to adolescence (puberty). The hormones that cause physical maturation also cause the sebaceous (oil) glands of the skin to produce more sebum (oil). The hormones with the greatest effect on sebaceous glands are androgens (male hormones), which are present in females as well as males, but in higher amounts in males.

Sebaceous glands are found together with a hair shaft in a unit called a sebaceous follicle. During puberty, the cells of the skin that line the follicle begin to shed more rapidly. In people who develop acne, cells shed and stick together more so than in people who do not develop acne. When cells mix with the increased amount of sebum being produced, they can plug the opening of the follicle. Meanwhile, the sebaceous glands continue to produce sebum, and the follicle swells up with sebum.

In addition, a normal skin bacteria called P. acnes, begins to multiply rapidly in the clogged hair follicle. In the process, these bacteria produce irritating substances that can cause inflammation. Sometimes, the wall of the follicle bursts, spreading inflammation to the surrounding skin. This is the process by which acne lesions, from blackheads to pimples to nodules, are formed.

2. I wash my face several times a day. Why do I still get acne?

Many people still believe that acne is caused by dirty skin. The truth is, washing alone will not clear up or prevent acne. Washing does, however, help remove excess surface oils and dead skin cells. Many people use all kinds of products, including alcohol-based cleansers, and scrub vigorously, only to irritate the skin further and worsen their acne. Washing the skin twice a day gently with water and a mild soap is usually all that is required. However, acne is actually caused by a variety of biologic factors that are beyond the control of washing. For that reason, you should use appropriate acne treatments for the acne.

3. Does stress cause acne?

Stress is commonly blamed for the development of acne. Stress can have many physiologic effects on the body, including changes in hormones that may theoretically lead to acne. In some cases the stress may actually be caused by the acne lesions, not the other way around! If the acne is being treated effectively, stress is not likely to have much impact on the majority of people.

4. I never had acne as a teenager. Why am I now getting acne as an adult?

Usually, acne begins at puberty and is gone by the early 20s. In some cases, acne may persist into adulthood. Such types of acne include severe forms that affect the body as well as the face (which afflict males more than females) and acne associated with the menstrual cycle in women. In other cases, acne may not present itself until adulthood. Such acne is more likely to affect females than males.

There are several reasons for this. As females get older, the pattern of changes in hormones may itself change, disposing sebaceous glands to develop acne. Ovarian cysts and pregnancy may also cause hormonal changes that lead to acne. Some women get acne when they discontinue birth control pills that have been keeping acne at bay. Sometimes young women may wear cosmetics that are comedogenic-that is, they can set up conditions that cause comedones to form.

5. What role does diet play in acne?

Acne is not caused by food. Following a strict diet will not, clear your skin. While some people feel that their acne is aggravated by certain foods, particularly chocolate, colas, peanuts, shellfish and some fatty foods, there is no scientific evidence that suggests food causes or influences acne. Avoid any foods which seem to worsen your acne and, for your overall health, eat a balanced diet-but diet shouldn’t really matter if the acne is being appropriately treated.

6. Does the sun help acne?

Many patients feel that sunlight improves their acne lesions and go to great lengths to find sources of ultraviolet light. There is no proven effect of sunlight on acne. In addition, ultraviolet light in sunlight increases the risk of skin cancer and early aging of the skin. It is, therefore, not a recommended technique of acne management, especially since there are many other proven forms of treatment for acne. Moreover, many acne treatments increase the skin’s sensitivity to ultraviolet light, making the risk of ultraviolet light exposure all the worse.

7. What is the best way to treat acne?

Everyone’s acne must be treated individually. If you have not gotten good results from the acne products you have tried, consider seeing a dermatologist. Your dermatologist will decide which treatments are best for you. For more information about the types of acne treatments that are available, and for basic acne treatment guidelines, please see Acne Treatments in the main part of AcneNet.

8. What kind of cosmetics and cleansers can an acne patient use?

Look for “noncomedogenic” cosmetics and toiletries. These products have been formulated so that they will not cause acne.

Some acne medications cause irritation or pronounced dryness particularly during the early weeks of therapy, and some cosmetics and cleansers can actually worsen this effect. The choice of cosmetics and cleansers should be made with your dermatologist or pharmacist.

Heavy foundation makeup should be avoided. Most acne patients should select powder blushes and eye shadow over cream products because they are less irritating and noncomedogenic. Camouflaging techniques can be used effectively by applying a green undercover cosmetic over red acne lesions to promote color blending.

9. Is it harmful to squeeze my blemishes?

Yes. In general, acne lesions should not be picked or squeezed by the patient. In particular, inflammatory acne lesions should never be squeezed. Squeezing forces infected material deeper into the skin, causing additional inflammation and possible scarring.

1. Can anything be done about scarring caused by acne?

Scarring is best prevented by getting rid of the acne. Dermatologists can use various methods to improve the scarring caused by acne. The treatment must always be individualized for the specific patient. Chemical peels may be used in some patients, while dermabrasion or laser abrasion may benefit others. It is important that the acne be well controlled before any procedure is used to alleviate scarring.

2. How long before I see a visible result from using my acne medication?

The time for improvement depends upon the product being used, but in almost all cases it is more a matter of weeks or months instead of days. Most dermatologists would recommend the use of a medication or combination of medications daily for 4 to 8 weeks before they would change the treatment. It is very important for patients to be aware of this time frame so they do not become discouraged and discontinue their medications. Conversely, if you see no change whatsoever, you might want to check with your dermatologist regarding the need to change treatments.

3. Would using my medication more frequently than prescribed speed up the clearing of my acne?

No-always use your medication exactly as your dermatologist instructed. Using topical medications more often than prescribed may actually induce more irritation of the skin, redness and follicular plugging, which can delay clearing time. If oral medications are taken more frequently than prescribed, they won’t work any better, but there is a greater chance of side effects.

4. My topical treatment seems to work on the spots I treat, but I keep getting new acne blemishes. What should I do?

Topical acne medications are made to be used on all acne-prone areas, not just individual lesions. Part of the goal is to treat the skin before lesions can form and to prevent formation, not just to treat existing lesions. Patients are generally advised to treat all of the areas (forehead, cheeks, chin and nose) that tend to break out rather than just individual lesions.

5. My face is clear! Can I stop taking my medication now?

If your dermatologist says you can stop, then stop-but follow your dermatologist’s instructions. Many times patients will stop their medication suddenly only to have their acne flare up several weeks later. If you are using multiple products, it may be advisable to discontinue one medication at a time and judge results before discontinuing them all at once. Ask your dermatologist before you stop using any of your medications.

6. Does it matter what time I use my medication?

Check with your dermatologist or pharmacist. If you were taking one dose a day of an antibiotic, you could probably take it in the morning, at midday or in the evening, although you should pick one time of day and stay with it throughout your treatment. With oral medications prescribed twice a day or three times a day, you should try your best to spread out the doses evenly. Some antibiotics should be taken on an empty or nearly empty stomach. For optimal results with topical treatments, you should strictly follow your dermatologist’s recommendations. For example, if instructed to apply benzoyl peroxide in the morning and a topical retinoid at bedtime, it is important to follow these directions strictly. If the two were applied together at bedtime, for example, you could decrease the efficacy of the treatment because of chemical reactions that make them less effective.

7. I have trouble remembering to take my oral medication every day. What’s a good way to remember? What should I do if I forget a dose?

This is a common problem. Many patients try to associate taking their medication with a routine daily event such as brushing teeth or applying makeup. It also helps to keep the medication close to the area where the reminder activity is carried out.

In most cases, if you miss a day of your oral treatment, do not double up the next day; rather, get back to your daily regimen as soon as possible-but there may be different instructions for different oral medications. Ask your dermatologist or pharmacist about what to do if you miss a dose of your particular medication.

8. I have been using topical benzoyl peroxide and an oral antibiotic for my acne and have noticed blue-black and brown marks developing on my face and some discoloration on my body. The marks are especially noticeable around acne scars and recently healed lesions. Is this a side effect of medication and is it permanent?

It is not possible to make general statements about side effects of medications that apply to individual cases. A dermatologist should be consulted. The facial marks and body discoloration described by the patient in this case do fall within the range of side effects of some antibiotics.

Unique patterns of pigmentation are sometimes seen in acne patients treated with certain oral antibiotics-particularly minocycline. The pigmentation patterns that appear may include:
* Localized blue-black or brown marks in and around acne scars and in areas of previous acne inflammation

* A “muddy skin” appearance that may cover much of the body

* Diffuse brownish pigmentation of the feet and lower legs.

The pigmentation side effect gradually disappears after the therapy is discontinued.

Any side effect of a medication should be noted by the patient and brought to the attention of the physician. While most side effects are temporary they should be discussed with the physician and monitored.

1. My doctor is prescribing a topical retinoid for my acne. He said a retinoid is a substance related to vitamin A. If the drug is related to vitamin A, shouldn’t vitamin A dietary supplements be helpful in getting rid of acne?

Dietary vitamin A is essential to good health, especially vision. It has healthful effects in the skin. Large doses of vitamin A for the treatment of acne is not recommended on grounds of safety. The retinoids and retinoid-like substances used as topical treatments for acne are prepared especially for their potent effect on the shedding of cell lining in the sebaceous follicle. Their use should be monitored by a dermatologist.

Dietary vitamin A has multiple health effects in the human body. Vitamin A is essential for good vision. Extreme vitamin A deficiency can result in blindness, usually accompanied by dry, scaly skin. Vitamin A overdose that far exceeds the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 5,000 IU can have effects nearly as catastrophic. Extreme vitamin A overdose can cause the skin to blister and peel-an effect first seen in early North Pole explorers who nearly died after eating polar bear liver that has an extraordinarily high vitamin A content.

Topical retinoids are usually prescribed as a treatment for moderate to severe acne. Side effects are chiefly dermatologic, including redness, scaling and dryness of the skin, itching and burning. These side effects can usually be managed by adjustment of the amount and timing of retinoid applied to the skin. Dose adjustment must be discussed with the dermatologist who prescribed the treatment.

2. Are there any acne treatments specifically for people with dark skin? Are there any treatments specifically harmful to dark skin?

There are no acne treatments specifically for use on dark skin. Acne treatments are generally as safe and effective on dark skin as on light skin. Some treatments for acne scars may cause temporary lightening of dark skin.

Acne is a common skin disease that has the same causes and follows the same course in all colors of skin.

Very dark or black skin may be less well-moisturized than lighter skin. Topical anti-acne agents such as benzoyl peroxide that have a drying effect on the skin should be used under the supervision of a dermatologist. Benzoyl peroxide also is a strong bleach and therefore must be applied carefully to avoid inadvertent decolorization of a patch of hair, towels or clothing.

Darker skin has a tendency to develop post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (excessive skin darkening at places where the skin was inflamed). Severe inflammatory acne may result in dark spots. The spots resolve over time; a dermatologist may be able to recommend cosmetic measures to make the spots less apparent until they resolve. Some acne treatments, such as topical retinoids and azelaic acid, may also help fade the discoloration.

Removal of acne scars by dermabrasion or chemical peeling may cause temporary lightening or darkening of dark skin in the areas of treatment. Scar treatment should be discussed with a dermatologist or dermatologic surgeon before it is undertaken.

Alterations of melanin (dark pigments that give the skin its color) pigmentation such as vitiligo and melasma are not related to acne, but they may be present simultaneously with acne. The diagnosis and treatment of melanin pigmentation disorders such as vitiligo requires a dermatologist with knowledge and experience in treating these conditions.

3. Is acne that appears for the first time in adulthood different from acne that appears in adolescence?

Acne has a specific definition as a disease of sebaceous follicles. This definition applies to acne that occurs at any age. However, it may be important to look for an underlying cause of acne that occurs for the first time in adulthood.

Current understanding of the causes of acne vulgaris is described in the Main Text section Why and how acne happens. In brief summary, acne vulgaris develops when excessive sebum production and abnormal growth and death of cells in the sebaceous follicle result in plugging of follicles with a mixture of sebum and cellular debris and formation of comedones (blackheads and whiteheads). Bacteria in the follicles-chiefly Propionibacterium acnes, the most common bacterial colonist of sebaceous follicles-may contribute to the inflammation of acne by release of metabolic products that cause inflammatory reaction. The pathogenic events, which cause disease, in the sebaceous follicle are believed to be due in large degree to changes in levels of androgenic (male) hormones in the body-a circumstance usually associated with growth and development between ages 12 and

4. Some acne investigators believe that although this understanding is generally correct, there is more yet to be learned about the causes of acne vulgaris.

Acne that appears after the age of 25-30 years is (1) a recurrence of acne that cleared up after adolescence, (2) a flare-up of acne after a period of relative quiet-for example, during pregnancy, or (3) acne that occurs for the first time in a person who had never previously had acne.

Acne that occurs in adulthood may be difficult to treat if there are multiple recurrences. Some patients with severe recurrent acne have undergone repeated courses of treatment with the potent systemic drug isotretinoin.

Acne flares in association with pregnancy or menstruation are due to changes in hormonal patterns.

Acne that appears for the first time in adulthood should be investigated for any underlying cause. Drugs that can induce acne include anabolic steroids (sometimes used illegally by athletes to “bulk up”), some anti-epileptic drugs, the anti-tuberculosis drugs isoniazid and rifampin, lithium, and iodine-containing drugs. Chlorinated industrial chemicals may induce the occupational skin disorder known as chloracne. Chronic physical pressure on the skin-for example, by a backpack and its straps, or a violin tucked against the angle of the jaw and chin-may induce so-called acne mechanica. Some metabolic conditions may cause changes in hormonal balance that can induce acne.

Some lesions that appear to be acne may be another skin disorder such as folliculitis-infection and inflammation of hair follicles-that require different treatment than acne. Acne that appears for the first time in adulthood should be examined and treated by a dermatologist.

5. My 15-year-old daughter has what I would describe as a very mild case of acne. She has made it much worse by constant picking and squeezing. She looks in the mirror for hours, looking for some blackhead or blemish she can pick or squeeze. Does she need psychological counseling?

Excessive picking and squeezing of otherwise mild acne is a condition called excoriated acne, seen most often in young women. A dermatologist may provide effective counseling.

The typical person with excoriated acne is a person-often a young women-who is so distressed with her appearance due to acne that she literally tries to “squeeze the acne out of existence.” The acne is often very mild, but the person’s face may constantly be covered with red marks from squeezing, and open sores where lesions have been picked open.

The word excoriate means to scratch or abrade the skin. Excoriated acne is a medically recognized condition that should be discussed with a dermatologist. Occasionally giving in to a temptation to squeeze a blackhead is not defined as excoriated acne. Hours in front of a mirror, squeezing and picking every blemish, is a definition of excoriated acne. A dermatologist may be able to counsel the patient regarding a course of treatment in which the patient can participate, but keep “hands off.”

6. Can the rate of secretion or the composition of sebum be altered by diet? If it can, shouldn’t alteration of diet be considered a treatment for acne?

Diet has never been proven to have a role in the cause or treatment of acne. Dietary manipulation may have a role in the treatment of some scaling diseases of the skin, but not in the treatment of acne.

Dietary cause is one of the most persistent myths about acne. Foods, such as chocolate or greasy foods, do not cause acne, but certain foods seem to make some people’s acne worse. The following can bring on or worsen it:

*Hereditary factors

*An increase in male hormones found in both males and females

*Menstruation

*Emotional stress

*Oil and grease from cosmetics, work environment

No food has been shown to be effective in preventing or treating acne. A healthy diet is, of course, necessary for good general health.

7. Shouldn’t I just try to eliminate sebum from my body?

No. When it isn’t blocked in your pores, sebum helps keep your skin healthy.

8. Why does acne usually start at puberty?

No one knows for certain. What is known is that the sebaceous glands that produce sebum get much larger at puberty than they were before.

9. Why does the skin around a pimple turn red?

This redness is caused by the body’s inflammatory response. Inflammation is a sign that your immune system is working to fight an infection. However, the inflammatory response doesn’t always work perfectly, and can even be the cause of scarring.

10. If my skin turns red, does that mean that I’m going to have scars?

Usually, no. Even when there will be no permanent scar, the aftereffects of the inflammatory response can leave the skin red for months, sometimes for more than a year.

11. What are free radicals?

Free radicals are byproducts of oxidation in your body. We all need oxidation to occur as part of our life process, but there is concern that the buildup of unrecycled free radicals contributes to many conditions, including skin damage. Antioxidants, including several of the active ingredients in Acuzine, help prevent the buildup of free radicals.

How to Beat an Acne Outbreak

Introduction – Acne is a common, in fact, predominant skin disorder that affects all nations, races and genders regardless of their ethnic backgrounds geographical location or environmental conditions. The resulting impact is even more troublesome. According to a recent survey done in US, about 25% of adults and 31% of teens surveyed said that acne sometimes keeps them from participating in social activities. It has been. Today, dermatologists have a consensus that only few people survive their teen years without suffering at least an occasional acne break-out. For many, acne continues into their adult years, causing embarrassment and prompting the sufferer to search the cosmetic counters for means to cover the spots.

Acne statistics for the age – According to general statistics, acne usually starts around puberty and lasts until adulthood, although it can persist for many more years, regardless of age. Similarly, baby acne affects approximately 20% of newborn babies. About 25% of teens will still have acne at age 25. More than 80% of acne sufferers are between the ages of 12 and 24. Acne affects about 90% of adolescents and 20-30% of adults aged 20 to 40 years.

Acne statistics for the gender – Probably because of their frequent hormonal variations and moods swings, women make up 75% of adult cases of acne. Often acne is worst during adolescence and begins to subside during your twenties. But for some people, acne remains throughout adulthood although often in milder form.

Acne statistics for the sites – Acne affects the face in 99% of cases. Other, less affected sites are back, neck, buttocks and even arms. Last but not least, considering that 80% of the population between the age of 12 and 24 years old will be afflicted by acne to one degree or another, acne is a very serious and widespread concern. For many people, acne problems can continue all throughout their life well into adulthood, even though they were told as teens that they would “outgrow” it.

What is Acne? – Acne is an extremely common and distressing condition that affects the skin’s oil glands. The small holes in your skin (pores) connect to oil glands under the skin. These glands make an oily substance called sebum. The pores connect to the glands by a canal called a follicle. Inside the follicles, oil carries dead skin cells to the surface of the skin. A thin hair also grows through the follicle and out to the skin. When the follicle of a skin gland clogs up, this is when a pimple develops. Most pimples are found typically on the face, neck, back, chest and shoulders but they can appear literally anywhere. Acne can cause unsightly and in rare cases permanent scarring but it is not life threatening. Acne develops when the hair, sebum and skin cells clump together to form a plug. A bacterium grows in the plug that causes swelling. Then when the plug starts to break down, a pimple grows. Acne is the most common skin disease. Men and women of any age and race can get acne although it is generally believed to be a teenage ailment as it is most common in teenagers and adults. It is estimated that as much as 80% of the population aged between the age of 11 and 30 will experience some form of acne. Even those in the older generation, as old as in their fifties (though less common) can suffer from acne. The sole cause of acne in the first places not established, though people have many theories. To clear up one misconception, diet definitely does not cause acne, although many people believe this to be true. Whether you eat a lot of fatty foods or a lot of chocolate and crisps plays no part in acne although it is true that eating well can only benefit your complexion, acne (in the first instance) is not caused by what you eat.

Doctors and dermatologists believe it could be down to the increase of hormones in puberty which can cause the oil glands to clog and plug up. Older women can have acne due to the hormonal changes when pregnant and those who take the oral contraceptive pill can also suffer acne as a side effect. If any of your immediate family members suffered from acne as well, there is a very good chance you will too as it is hereditary. Some medications, particularly some antibiotics can cause spots and using particularly greasy oil-based cosmetics. Acne can be treated by OTC (Over the counter) topical face washes or creams or in severe cases, a course of antibiotics and/or steroids over a certain period is prescribed depending on the kind of acne you have and the severity. The quicker the acne is treated the lesser the incidence of scarring. Your doctor will be able to advise or refer you to a dermatologist (a skin specialist) who can work with you so you get the best possible treatment. Understanding different stages of acne An easy grading of acne – Based on the degree or the severity of the signs and symptoms produced in acne, the disorder can be categorized into three prominent or main stages or grades as follows:

Mild acne (“whiteheads” and “blackheads”) Mils acne, also known as non-inflammatory acne, is caused by a plug of dead skin cells and oil in the canal that contains the hair, under the surface of the skin. Because the plugs are underneath the skin surface, scrubbing will not get rid of them. In fact, rubbing the skin or using harsh or abrasive soaps can irritate the skin and make the acne worse. Mild acne does not usually leave permanent marks on the skin. Moderate to moderately severe acne – This type of acne, also known as inflammatory acne, consists of several whiteheads, blackheads, papules and pustules that cover from top of the face and/or other parts of the body. It can be treated with antibiotic lotions or gels, as well as retinoic acid. Retinoic acid is an altered form of vitamin A. It helps prevent whiteheads and black heads. Your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic pill, such as erythromycin. If you take birth control pills to prevent pregnancy, antibiotics can affect how well they work. Be sure to use a second method of birth control with the pill, such as a condom. Retinoic acid and antibiotic pills can make the skin sensiĀ­tive to the sun. So, wear sunscreen and stay in the shade while using them.

Severe acne Severe acne is rare and consists of a mixture of both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne has all types of lesions including severe inflammatory lesions (markedly reddened pustules) and possibly cystic lesions (lesions over 0.5 cm in diameter with a soft top that are losing their inflammation). It is most common to have a mixture of lesions at any one time. You should see a dermatologist to care for this type of acne. Scarring can be prevented with appropriate treatments. Topical treatment alone will not be effective at treating severe inflammatory acne because it cannot penetrate deep enough through the skin’s surface to treat the severely inflamed nodules and cysts. “You’re About To Learn How To Look Better,Feel Better,and have A Renewed Sense of Self-Esteem – By Clearing Your Acne Permanently In As Little As 3 Days.Severe acne requires systemic treatment (medicine taken orally). Systemic therapies cause distribution of the drug throughout the entire organism. Your dermatologist can prescribe oral antibiotics and oral contraceptives. Large inflamed cysts can be treated with an injection of a drug that lessens the redness, swelling, and irritation, and promotes healing.

Acne & Female connection! Why pimples love women when they don’t love to have them? Did you know that most young women and men will have at least a few pimples over the course of their lives? However, interestingly enough, acne seems to affect men and women in different ways. Young men are more likely to have a more serious form of acne. Acne in young women tends to be more random and linked to hormone changes, such as the menstrual cycle. As women get older, acne often gets better. But some women have acne for many years. Some women even get acne for the first time at age 30 or 40. For many women, acne can be an upsetting illness. Women may have feelings of depression, poor body image, or low self-esteem. But you don’t have to wait to outgrow acne or to let it run its course. Today, almost every case of acne can be resolved. Acne also can, sometimes, be prevented. Talk with your doctor or dermatologist (a doctor who specializes in skin diseases).

Factors that trigger acne in women – Several factors, alone or combined, can trigger acne attacks in women such as:

Hormonal changes (puberty): – Remember, during puberty, girls have an increase in male sex hormones called androgens. This increase causes the skin glands to get larger and make more sebum (oily secretion of your skin). Menstrual cycle: – The menstrual cycle is one of the most common acne triggers. Acne lesions tend to form a few days before the cycle begins and go away after the cycle is completed. Other hormone changes, such as pregnancy and menopause, improve acne in some women. But some women have worse acne during these times.

Medications: – Certain medicines, such as those used to treat epilepsy and types of depression can aggravate acne in women. Stopping use of birth control pills can play a role as well.

Make-up: – While not a real “cause” of the acne itself, wearing oil-based make up on frequent basis can trigger acne flare ups in women.

Skin pressure or friction: Friction caused by bike helmets or backpacks can make acne worse.

Family history: – Those women who have / had other people in their families with a history of acne, there is a greater chance they will have it too.

Does poor hygiene of women cause acne? It is a myth that women get acne because they do not wash enough. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Too much washing or scrubbing the skin harshly can make acne worse. And washing away surface oils does not do much to prevent or cure acne, because it forms under the skin. The best way to clean the face is to gently wash it, just twice a day with a mild soap or cleanser. Be careful to remove make-up without harsh scrubbing.

Can eating chocolate or greasy foods cause acne in women?

While many women feel that eating chocolate or greasy foods can cause acne, experts have not found a link between the diet and acne.

Simple hints & tips to prevent & treat acne and acne scars Take care: You can help prevent acne flare-ups and scars by taking good care of your skin.

Clean gently: Clean your skin gently with a mild soap or cleanser twice a day once in the morning and once at night. You should also gently clean the skin after heavy exercise.

Avoid friction: – Avoid strong soaps and rough scrub pads Wash thoroughly but not frequently: – Wash your entire face from under the jaw to the hairline and rinse thoroughly.

Make up removal: – Remove make-up gently with a mild soap and water. – Top 5 myths on what causes acne – Fact versus fiction… When it comes to explaining acne to adolescents and some adults, it is necessary to separate fact from fiction, because having acne can tax a person’s nerves and send him off to an emotional roller-coaster. The teenage years are a great time to meet new friends and start dating and be accepted by one’s peers; being misinformed about acne is due to certain myths. Following are some of the most common myths associated with the “causes of acne” today:

First myth: Eating too much chocolate will cause acne Reality: Chocolate does not cause acne or make it worse. Even the most renowned doctors will insist, and can prove, that there is no direct link between chocolate and acne. However, even if there is no direct link between the two, you must still adhere to a healthy lifestyle that decreases the amount of sweets, salts and fat from your diet. Ensure you consume foods that are rich in nutrients, especially vitamin A.

Second myth: Dirt will cause acne Reality: – This is a myth that is widely held but while it is certainly important to keep the skin always clean because oil and dirt can block pores, dirt does NOT bring about the clumping together of skin cells against the follicle wall. This phenomenon occurs very deep in the skin where cleaning won’t reach it.

Third myth: Acne has something to do with sex Reality: – Some adolescents actually believe that once they’re married or give birth to their first child, their acne will disappear. A variation of this myth is the other side of the argument: that an active sex life causes acne. This link was made only because adolescence is that period in a person’s life when sex is of great concern. This particular myth became less popular in the 1940’s when the medical community finally declared that sexual activity and acne are not related.

Fourth myth: Hot climate causes acne Reality: – Some people think that people who live in cold climates are less likely to get acne, while those who live in the tropics are more prone to it. There is no link between where one lives and the incidence of acne. Nor is the color of one’s skin a precursor of acne, although it has been observed that dark-skinned people tend to have less severe acne compared to light-skinned individuals. Larger glands and more defined pores are common characteristics of dark skin, and these two attributes are known to protect against acne. Note though that hyper-pigmentation tends to occur more frequently with dark skin after acne is cured, so care must be taken to not irritate dark skin after a bout with acne.

Fifth myth: First time shavers will get acne Reality: When a boy reaches the age of puberty, one of the first signs is hair on the face, especially above the lip and on the chin. The hairs are at first sparse but over time, a beard and a moustache appear, making boys want to shave them. After the initial shave, the hair grows back, this time thicker. As the hair grows back after each shave, it grows thicker and is denser resulting in repetitive shaving. Frequent shaving can cause the skin to dry out, because as more hair grows, the shaving becomes more frequent and more forceful. Some of these hairs could turn inward and grow internally which can cause acne. The inside growth, combined with the production of oil in the sebaceous glands can result in frequent skin breakouts. The myth that shaving causes acne is indeed a myth, but it is true that shaving too often and too close to the hair follicles may contribute to the growth of acne.

Unveiling top 5 acne myths Differentiating between fact & fiction… – Like many other common disorders and diseases, there have been several myths and unrealistic assumptions associated with acne. The main cause of the formation and spread of these myths is lack of proper understanding of the disorder, little or no knowledge about the development of disease and unnecessary delay in diagnosis and treatment of acne. The following article attempts to explain some of the common acne-related myths and also throws light on the actual reality behind each of these myths.

Myth 1: Acne is caused by poor hygiene or washing Fact: Acne is not caused by poor hygiene, sweating, or not washing. These factors do not cause the clogged pores that contribute to acne development. While medicated washes containing benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, salicylic acid, and sulfur are one form of treatment for acne, simple soap and water does not treat the condition.

Myth 2: Acne is caused by diet Fact: – Acne is not caused by diet. No scientific connection has been found between diet and acne. No food, not chocolate, fries, pizza, or any other food, has been shown to actually “cause” acne. However, diet can play an important role in lessening or aggravating the intensity of the disease.

Myth 3: There is no treatment or cure for acne Fact: – Acne does not need to be allowed to run its course. The condition can be treated as there are prescription medications and over-the-counter (OTC) products (although medicines are never free of side effects) for it. There have been also some natural or herbal treatments for acne that have, to date, no reported side effect.

Myth 4: I can prevent acne from washing my face more often Fact: No. You cannot prevent acne from washing my face more often. Dirt does not cause acne. It is the overproduction of oil (sebum) from within the skin rather than the surface oil/dirt that leads to acne.

Myth 5: Squeezing a pimple may help me get rid of those notorious pimples Fact: Absolutely not. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Squeezing a pimple may cause the contents of the follicle to rupture into the tissue rather than being expressed to the surface of the skin. This can cause tissue damage and scarring. Sometimes a medical provider will open a pimple or cyst with a special instrument designed not to damage the tissue, but you should avoid squeezing or picking pimples.

Rediscovering Vitamin E… An efficient & essential ingredient of Clear Skin Max An introduction to Tocopherol acetate (Vitamin E) Tocopherol is the scientific name for vitamin E. Tocopherol acetate is a lipid-soluble version of vitamin E. Natural vitamin E is used as a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger. One of nature’s most dynamic moisturizers, it also aids cellular renewal of the skin. Therefore, to date, vitamin E has been tried for the treatment of almost every type of skin lesion (problem) imaginable. For the same reason, many doctors and dermatologists lay people use vitamin E on a regular basis to improve the outcome of scars and several physicians recommend topical (locally applied) vitamin E after skin surgery or resurfacing.

What is vitamin E? – Vitamin E is considered as one of the most important oil-soluble anti-oxidant and free radical scavenger. It is also a photo-protector, protecting cellular membrane from free-radical damage.

Some basic skin-related functions of vitamin E-

Vitamin E is one of the best known antioxidants found in the human body. It means that its key biological function is to protect lipids from oxidation and free radical damage. Therefore, it basically serves a preservative function due to its ability to protect against oxidation.

Vitamin E counts among the vitamins that protect the skin and the mucous membranes.

It improves trans-epidermal water loss, thereby improving the appearance of rough, dry and damaged skin.

It also helps to maintain connective tissue.

Vitamin E seals the connective tissue and the vascular walls, makes wounds heal quickly and keeps the skin elastic and smooth.

Vitamin E also prevents aging of the skin.

It prevents irritation due to sun exposure. If applied before sun exposure, it acts protective against epidermal cell damage caused by inflammation.

It also counteracts increased functioning of the sebaceous glands (as is the case in acne) and reduces excessive skin pigmentation.

What Causes Pimples? There are many factors that cause pimples/acne and it varies in its severity. Stress can cause flare ups in some, side effects of certain medications, even allergies. A bout of acne can be short lived or it can persist for several months or several years. Some people will only get very mild pimples, others will get very severe acne although this is thought to run in the family, so if acne or pimples have occurred in your family It is likely you will suffer from a few in your lifetime. Many things can irritate or make acne flare up but pimples are caused from when the hair follicles in your pores in your skin get blocked and the sebaceous gland produces an excessive amount of oil. Although no one is totally sure why acne occurs, it is believed it can be a result of the following: –

Bacteria accumulating in the sebaceous glands

A collection of dead skin cells

Overactive sebaceous glands producing too much oil due to hormone fluctuations

Using oily make up, such as greasy foundations and overly thick moisturisers

The sebaceous gland gets clogged when the oil (otherwise known as sebum) cannot leave the open pore so turns into an obstruction. The skin around the pore can swell and a white plug formed of dead cells of oil can form, this is what is what is known as a whitehead. If the plug does not fully close the pore you get a black appearance which is called a blackhead. Pimples can become infected when the whiteheads rupture underneath the skin’s top layer. This allows the dead cells, bacteria and oil to seep into the surrounding tissue. If this outbreak is very widespread and severe, you could develop an infection called cystic acne which is very large, unsightly and painful red bumps Even if the boils disappear you could be left with permanent scarring. Prompt treatment of this is essential to minimise the possibility of permanent scarring so visit your doctor as soon as possible. It is important to remember that anyone can suffer from spots at any time even after treatment but will be a lot less severe.

Your skin at glance What, where & why? Introduction – Your skin is the largest and one of the most important organs of your body which performs some essential functions such as protection, hydration, sensation and temperature regulation. The internal structure of your skin, however, is even more interesting. Let’s discover some of the main structural features of your own skin:

Layers of skin – Your skin is composed of two main layers, the epidermis and dermis, that both rest on the subcutaneous (underlying) tissues.

Epidermis: – It is the outer (or uppermost) layer of the skin and is made up of outer dead skin cells and deeper living cells. The melanocyte (special cells) within the epidermis produces melanin giving color to the skin and helps protect it from ultraviolet light Dermis: – The dermis is found beneath the epidermis and makes up bulk (90 percent) of your skin. Subcutaneous layer: – The epidermis and dermis sit on the subcutaneous (subcutaneous = beneath the skin) layers, composed largely of fat, through which the blood vessels and nerves run. The roots of the oil and sweat glands are located here. Glands of skin – There are two main types of glands in your skin: Sebaceous oil glands: – These are distributed throughout the skin but are mostly concentrated in the scalp, face, mid-chest, and genitals. They are attached to the hair follicles and secrete an oily substance (sebum) that lubricates and protects the skin. Sweat glands: – These glands are distributed throughout the body but their greatest number is found in the palms, soles of the feet, forehead, and underarms. They secrete at times of stress, emotion, or in the presence of a warmer environment.

Special structures of skin Hair: – Each hair grows from a single follicle that has its roots in the subcutaneous tissue] of the skin. The oil glands next to hair follicles provide gloss and, to some degree, waterproofing of the hair. Hair also contains melanin. The number of melanin granules in the hair determines its color. Malnutrition can cause damage to the hair.

Fingernails and toenails: – These are part of the epidermis and are composed of the protein, keratin. Each nail grows outward from a nail root that extends back into the groove of the skin. With malnutrition, after an injury, or chemotherapy, the nail formation is impaired.

Types of skin – Depending on your family (heredity), your genetic make-up and your lifestyle, you skin can be of one of the following types:

Oily skin: – Oily skin is caused by over activity of the sebaceous glands. Oily skin is thick with large pores and has a greater tendency to develop acne, but not wrinkles. Most people, who have oily skin, also have oily hair.

Dry skin: – Dry skin is caused by under activity of the sebaceous glands, environmental conditions, or normal aging. Dry skin is usually thinner and more easily irritated. There is a greater tendency to develop wrinkles, but not acne.

Balanced Skin: – Balanced skin is neither oily nor dry. It is smooth and has fine texture with few problems. However, it has a tendency to become dry as a result of environmental factors and aging

Combination Skin: – Combination skin consists of oily regions, often on the forehead and around the nose, and regions that are balanced or dry.

The best criteria to choose Acne skin products Top 5 hints and tips… When it comes to an effective treatment for your acne, you want a product that will really work and that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. However, because of the intense market clutter, finding the anti acne skin care product may seem like an impossible task. The following hints and tips would serve as your easy, at-a-glance guide to help you make your mind while choosing among different skin care products that are used to treat acne.

Is it recommended? – The FDA’s new good manufacturing practices ruling, for example, attempts to ensure that the natural or herbal supplements: –

Are produced in a quality manner and meet all the recommended safety standards

Are free of all the contaminants or impurities

Are accurately labeled as per the recommended guidelines

Therefore, you should choose an acne-care supplement according to the same FDA-recommended guidelines.

Is it clinically backed? Remember, this is an era of evidence-based medicine and you are supposed to consider evidences, pure facts and real testimonials, not claims. Accordingly, go for a complete, multi-component anti acne supplement that contains ingredients which are clinically backed by a number of trials and studies and have been recommended by full-fledged health experts and physicians for a non-prescription use.

Is it fully compliant? Compliance of a medicine or some specific product can be defined as its suitability to most of the people taking it without causing any significant undesirable side effects. The most effective skin care system for people with acne should, therefore, be considered as highly suitable and compliant for people of almost age groups and genders. In other words, it should be capable of giving best and fast results in young adults, middle aged and elderly men and women equally.

Is it safe? It is quite logical and understandable that ideally, an anti-acne supplement or program should be free of the typical “allopathic” medications’ side effects. You should, therefore, do your research when planning to take any kind of such skin care supplements or systems. A simple of way of doing this is read the authentic testimonials, and see if the product has been approved by some major international and credible authority on health. Similarly, user compliance and tolerance is another important issue to be considered while choosing skin care program or multi-component system to cure acne.

Is it affordable & economical? Any skin care system or product for people with acne cannot be considered as a top one until and unless it takes good care of your pocket because of its accessibility and affordability. Accordingly, you should choose a product that offers the best value for money i.e. gives you more for less.

Conclusion – While you can find many brands of both natural or herbal and over the counter anti acne skin care creams, lotions, supplements and oils, there are hardly few which even work and come any close to whatever they promise. Most importantly, even the most frequently bought and used products have their own share of undesirable effects and unwanted interactions within the body. The key here is, therefore, to select the safest and yet more effective natural skin care system that will comprise of multiple components and will, therefore, address the acne problem on multiple levels.