Category Archives: Acne Treatment

Tips for Dealing with Pimples During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an amazing time in a woman’s life. It can be amazingly beautiful and wondrous and it can also be amazingly difficult! As her body goes through a multitude of changes to create a new and sustainable life, a lot of things happen. One of the least loved things is often acne. Not all women get acne during pregnancy but when you do, it’s certainly not something that lends itself to that healthy glow so many people talk about.

Hormonal surges can play a major part in being susceptible to acne on your face, shoulders, neck, chest, and upper arms. It’s not fun and it’s certainly not very attractive and because of your pregnancy, there aren’t a whole lot of over the counter or prescription medications you can go to due to potential risk to your baby. Some acne medications, such as Accutane, for instance, have dangers. Accutane has even been shown to cause severe birth defects! So, what then, can you do about acne during pregnancy?

The following tips include suggestions from other women who have had success with them. We can’t endorse the use of these, particularly since some products could pose a risk to unborn babies in utero so do be careful but here are some things that might help you with pregnancy-related acne. Don’t hesitate to run any of these ideas past your doctor as an extra precaution:

  • Follow a regimented skincare routine to minimise the effect of excess oil, especially before bed and in the morning, too.
  • Choose your cosmetics carefully. Choose light water based or mineral based makeup products to minimise clogged pores.
  • Some women have good success with helpful acne home remedies. A few include: Epsom salts, apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and a few others. Home remedies can be quite effective in helping you battle pimples during pregnancy and any other time, too.

Prescription Acne Medications:

Some acne medications, such as Accutane, are definitely not safe. But some milder over the counter medicines might be ok. Many say that using benzoyl peroxide medicines during pregnancy is ok and others prefer to avoid the risk.

As much as it’s not fun, it’s probably just temporary. Most women find that soon after their beautiful bundle of joy appears, the ugly pimples disappear.

acne-and-birth-control-pills

Can the Birth Control Pill Help Fight Acne?

Some birth control pill brands state that they can help fight acne.  Are you considering taking the pill for this reason? Make sure you’re aware of the facts first.

Some women find that acne and hormones are very connected. Some women and young girls are exhausted from their seemingly never-ending fight against acne and want to just be rid of it for good without taking on a hard core multifaceted skin regimen several times a day, every day.  Oral contraceptives could be something worth considering, especially due to the fact that many people share positive reviews of birth control pills for acne problems.

The Birth Control Pill isn’t for Everyone

Not all women find the pill to be agreeable. Some women find that the hormonal changes make them moody and cause weight gain.  There are also some significant risks associated with birth control pills, particularly if you smoke or are over the age of 35.  While the pill isn’t right for every woman, the fact that it could help with acne does make some women interested in giving it an honest try. Be sure to be 100 % up front with your physician so that you can decide, together, if oral contraceptives are right for you.

How Oral Contraceptives Can Help with Acne

Oral contraceptives alter a woman’s hormones so that she won’t ovulate. That same process can suppress the hormones that cause excessive sebum in many acne sufferers. That sebum can clog the pores and cause breakouts and the diminished amount of it can make a positive difference.  Many people find that their acne quickly clears up and that they have much fewer breakouts when on certain birth control pills.  The anti-androgenic effects of the birth control can help improve mild acne and in some cases has helped make a difference with more severe acne as well.

Weighing Your Options

Talk to your doctor if you’d like to weigh your options. Some women find that the pill does have a period of adjustment for them but that it can serve several purposes, such as regulating their period (or in the case of some birth control pills, stopping their period altogether) , improving difficult  PMS symptoms, clearing up their skin, and…of course… preventing pregnancy all at the same time.

If you do decide to try the pill, do watch for and be prepared for potentially unpleasant side effects while your body shifts and gets accustomed to the pill. And remember, too, that it can take up to a full cycle for the pill to properly prevent pregnancy.

The pill, alone, might not be enough for severe acne but could, in conjunction with a good acne-fighting skin care regimen and good acne fighting products make a difference.

Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Acne Sufferers

Tea tree oil is increasing in popularity as a proactive and reactive acne treatment. Here’s some of the lowdown on tea tree oil:

There are several products on the market for acne care that contain tea tree oil. You can find cleansers and lotions that contain this ingredient as a primary or as an additional ingredient. You could also opt to apply tea tree oil to your skin full strength. It’s available in many natural health stores and online, too.

What is Tea Tree Oil?

Tea tree oil comes from an Australian plant called the Melaleua Alternifolia. It’s well known for medicinal properties and for strong antimicrobial results and has been used for a number of ailments for many generations. It’s not an Australian secret, though, and many people throughout the world now keep tea tree oil in their medicine cabinet. Not only can it help clear up existing acne, many say that it prevents new breakouts, too.

Are There Side Effects of Using Tea Tree Oil for Acne?

Side effects can occur with any item that’s put on your skin. It might be wise to do a spot test to make sure you’re not sensitive to a particular substance and wait 24 hours to make sure you’re not going to have a reaction. There have been studies comparing tea tree oil side effects to that of benzoyl peroxide and many feel that tea tree oil is less harsh. That’s one of the difficult aspects of fighting acne — dealing with the painful healing process as many acne treatments significantly dry out your skin. Tea tree oil doesn’t do that. It does, however, have a strong odour that can take some getting used to.

There are strong warnings against taking tea tree oil internally. It’s also toxic to some animals so please be careful with it. Use extra caution and research before mixing tea tree oil into other products.

Besides Acne, What Else Can You Use Tea Tree Oil For?

Many call the Melaleuca plant an all-purpose medicine tree because the oil can be used for a variety of things. Many people use it on their scalp to fight dandruff and to repel head lice. It can be used on an insect bite, to fight candida infections, to fight athlete’s foot or nail fungus, and some mouthwashes and toothpastes contain it for treatment of periodontal disease and halitosis. Some aquarists will often use tea tree oil in aquariums in specific concentrations for fighting bacteria, too. There may be other uses as well. If you choose to try tea tree oil for your acne, it can take a bit of time to work but many report excellent reviews of tea tree oil for acne. Feel free to share your experience here in our comments section.

Want to know more about acne natural remedies Products, foods, and lifestyle can all have an impact. Browse our site for more information about acne causes and solutions as well as acne natural remedies.

Top Acne Treatments

There are a wide selection of treatments available to those who suffer from mild to severe acne problems, so many that it may be hard to gain a good perspective on which treatment would be the best choice. Some prefer to stick with the most natural methods such has herbal supplements, home remedies and strict hygienic practices in order to alleviate the issue. Others want to get clear, healthy skin as quickly as possible using whatever means available, preferably without spending hundreds of dollars to do so. The retail treatment packages available vary slightly in method and provide different results to different people. What works for some is not guaranteed to work with others. But some treatments have garnered a higher degree of fanfare than others.

Proactiv® Solution is one of the most widely recognized acne medications, mostly due to the fact that they have numerous celebrity endorsements and a broad marketing campaign. The basic package includes a Renewing Cleanser, a Revitalizing Toner, and a Repairing Treatment.  In online customer reviews the product seems to work as expected for roughly half of those who bought the product. Their Proactiv Plus Deluxe package is available through their website and also includes a free moisturizer and moisture control cream. This makes Proactive a good value, so it may be worth a try to see if you are in the half that see positive results from this product.

Derma Cleanse is another popular option for acne treatment. It is a holistically based product that uses natural ingredients, and has mostly positive customer feedback. It may, however, take up to six weeks to see results from the system, so those in a hurry may lose patience with this method. Derma Cleanse includes Facial Cleansing Gel, Acne Gel, a Dietary Supplement to fight acne causes internally, and a Regulating Moisturizer. The only drawback is that the system costs $99, so it is a considerable gamble if it ends up not giving you the results you were hoping for.

Clear Skin Max is a newer entry into the acne treatment industry, but has seen very encouraging results with its customers. The system is entirely natural, using tea trea oil as a base for all of its treatments and a variety of time-tested herbal extracts to acheive the desired result. The system consists of cleansing gel, acne fighting masks, astringent lotion, emergency treatment and, strangely enough, acne fighting tea. At $96 for a 30 day supply, it certainly is not cheap, but it has been shown to be quite effective in fighting acne.

The leader in acne treatments on the market today is Exposed Skin Care. With a remarkable 98% of customers reporting improvement within 30 days and a one year money back guarantee, they boast the safest investment and the best-proven acne treatment available on the market today. They claim that their method of combing nature and science is the secret behind the effectiveness of their treatment system. Judging by the feedback from industry experts and customers, this seems to be the case.

Zinc and Acne: Does Zinc Help Acne?

Last week I discussed how nutritional deficiencies greatly affect the skin with vitamin A at the forefront of having healthy skin. I also mentioned that low levels of zinc can lead to acne vulgaris.

It’s unknown exactly how low levels of zinc are related to acne, but zinc and vitamin A are both extremely essential for normal epithelial development. Epithelial tissues line the cavities in the body and surfaces of structures. It also forms many glands in the body.

A zinc deficiency can lead to mal-absorption of vitamin A and works in conjunction with metablolizing vitamin A so that it is readily available to the cells.

Is there a relation between zinc and acne? Studies are showing that acne treatments using zinc supplements are almost as effective as oral antibiotic therapies. Zinc supplements may also be better in the long run than taking so many antibiotics as prolonged use of antibiotics can cause adverse reactions. However, high levels of zinc can also be toxic.

It is believed that a decreased level of zinc in the body can lead to increases in androgenic production. Androgen simply means its a basic building block of other hormones, but it affects the sebaceous glands which can lead to outbreaks of acne. Zinc may reduce the severity of acne by maintaining structural activity and integrity of the cells.

Zinc helps aid in wound healing and has been used to treat chronic skin ulcers. It makes sense that adequate levels of zinc in the diet can also be beneficial for acne control as it would promote healing of the skin.

Before you self diagnose a zinc deficiency and decide to take zinc for acne please be advised that zinc toxicity can occur in large doses and can be fatal.

Please find a physician and/or dermatologist who will perform routine blood tests to test for a deficiency before you begin any kind of treatment with supplements. It is likely that a multi-vitamin containing zinc is not enough to cause toxicity, but it’s better to be safe and get tested.

Resources:

Abstract Study

Zinc Fact Sheet

Nutritional Supplements in the Treatment of Acne

Vitamin A and Healthy Skin

Vitamin A is a powerhouse in the vitamin world. It helps regulate many functions in the body and works to maintain these functions so they can perform at optimal levels. Healthy skin is just one of the many benefits of vitamin A.

Caring for your skin should begin from the inside out. If you have any kind of nutritional deficiency it can greatly affect the skin and its appearance.

Vitamin A keeps your skin smooth and healthy looking and also keeps the mucous membranes moist that work to keep germs and bacteria out of your body. Along with its affects on the skin, Vitamin A is also essential for keeping the cardiovascular system healthy and fighting against stress. The cardiovascular system is also essential in keeping the skin nourished with vitamin rich blood and oxygen.

In 1979 the New England Journal of Medicine reported studies on the benefits of using a synthetic form of vitamin A called 13-cis Retonoic Acid. Doctor’s in Leeds, England used this synthetic variation for four months on 8 patients who suffered from severe acne who had been unresponsive to other treatments.

Within one month of the study the patients showed a 75% decrease in the amount of sebum being produced. Sebum is the waxy substance secreted by the sebaceous glands and an over-production of this causes acne.

After four months of the study the patient’s overall conditions had improved 80%.

According to the researchers, the synthetic form of vitamin A is more efficient at normalizing the epithelial tissues than vitamin A. However, 13-cis Retinoic Acid should not be confused with vitamin A or vitamin A acid (retinoic acid) as this is a synthetic variation.

Retinoic acid is often used as a topical solution on acne because of its ability to dissolve the comedo or blackhead as it is more commonly known. Unfortunately, it can aggravate the skin and leave it more susceptible to sunburn and forms of skin cancer from sun exposure.

Large doses of Vitamin A can be harmful. As a fat soluble vitamin it is stored by the body and overdose can occur if taken over a long period of time. With the synthetic vitamin A supplements doctor’s discovered that many cases of acne were still clear up to 12 months after stopping the treatment.

For the body to have adequate amounts of natural Vitamin A, which is extremely beneficial to skin health, the levels of zinc in the body need to be adequate as well. Swedish studies indicate that patients with acne generally have lower levels of zinc in the body than people with healthy, clear skin.

Several other studies indicate low levels of zinc in patients who suffer from acne vulgaris. Even if you are taking in adequate levels of Vitamin A, if your zinc levels are low it can disrupt the absorption of vitamin A.

The human body is designed to function properly when it is nutritionally fit. Often times, acne along with other internal or external symptoms are a sign that something is amiss in the body, usually related to a nutritional problem.

Always check with your dermatologist and physician before beginning any type of new therapy, even if it’s a nutritional therapy.

Resources:

Indian Council of Medical Research – pdf file.

Journal of the Turkish Academy of Dermatology – pdf file.

Use of 13-cis-retinoic acid in cystic acne – CMAJ

Top Over-the-Counter Acne Skin Treatments

There are literally hundreds of over-the-counter acne treatment products available in drugstores and pharmacies. These products are available for mild to moderate acne breakouts to treat and prevent acne.  Figuring which acne fighting product is a difficult decision at the same time.  Reading through the ingredients and figure out how the products work along with how long it takes to treat and prevent acne inflammation. Avoid trying out too many over-the-counter acne treatments as it could cause additional irritation including dryness, redness, itchiness, and peeling. Starting with a single acne treatment is the best way to go in determining which product works best.  Acne products work differently depending on the active ingredients in the solution that can kill P.acnes (Propionibacterium) which is the bacteria that causes acne inflammation and buildup within the hair follicles.

Over-the-counter acne treatments come in different topical forms such as medicated pads used to clean the skin, specially formulated soaps and cleansers, creams, lotions and gels.  Several main acne over-the-counter acne ingredients to fight periodic to moderate acne are salicylic acid, sulfur, benzoyl peroxide and resorcinol. These both help to get rid of excess oil along with bacteria. The prescription acne medications are stronger and had more effective ingredients than over-the-counter medications. Several side-effects from using over-the-counter acne treatments are irritation, burning sensation and reddened skin.

Several popular over-the-counter acne medications:

  • Clearasil Ultra Acne Clearing Scrub

This product has about 2% of salicylic acid acne medication, fights pimples quickly, gentle acne scrub, and clears skin in approximately 3 days. Clearasil Ultra Acne Clearing Scrub is also good for preventing future acne breakouts. The directions for using the product is easy to use by wetting the affected area, then apply the product generously and massage over the area. Use the product twice a day for the best results.  The product doesn’t dry out the skin and keeps it hydrated.

  • pHisoderm pH Anti-Blemish Gel Facial Wash, pH Balanced

The primary feature of this product is that it is an anti-blemish gel facial wash with salicylic acid acne treatment. Use this product until a majority of the acne has cleared up.  Using these acne products on a long-term usage isn’t always recommended. It’s best to use the product while the acne outbreak is present.  pHisoderm pH will also help with balancing the overall pH of the skin.

  • Oil of Olay Regenerist MicroDermabrasion and Peel Kit

This product contains microdermabrasion and peel system set with a two-step easy system and mini-peel treatment.  The kit will not block pores and will reduce pimples from appearing.  To obtain the best results in using this product, it must be used up to 2 times a week for best results.  Several ingredients in this product include: Derma-Crystals, Peg-8, Sodium Bicarbonate, Silica Silylate, Polysorbate 20, and Tocopheryl Acetate. The two treatment systems provide a gentle combination helping to smooth out the skin, improve skin tone, reducing wrinkles and fine lines.  The microdermabrasian crystals are a scrub which helps to unclog the pores, remove dirt and oil, along with reducing inflammation.