How to Get Rid of Acne and Blackheads
From mild blackheads to large pimples, acne can be very difficult to get rid of. Acne can affect your looks, lead to skin infections, and even cause permanent scarring that could last the rest of your life. Acne removal can be hard, and people with acne often get frustrated with how difficult it is to control their acne.
People wondering how to remove blackheads or pimples need to understand that there are different causes and types of acne, and the treatment and length of for each type of acne can be different. Understanding how to get rid of acne fast first requires an understanding of what causes acne and what different types of acne exist.
What Causes Acne?
Acne is caused by problems within the oil glands of the skin, also called sebaceous glands. Each hair follicle in your skin has a gland that produces oil which travels up the hair follicle and lubricates the skin. Acne is caused when the pores through which the oil flows become clogged and the oil builds up within the hair follicle. This buildup of oil can lead to inflammation and may provide a place for bacteria to grow and multiply under the skin.
There are several factors that can lead to acne developing. These include:
- Hormones - Hormones that lead to acne tend to peak during puberty and may also peak - although not as much - during pregnancy. Hormonal acne may be worse for women.
- Diet - Carbohydrate-rich foods or chocolate will make acne worse. Contrary to popular belief, eating greasy foods does not significantly increase acne.
- Certain medications - Some medications, such as hormones or steroids, may make acne worse.
- Stress - Higher amounts of stress can lead to worsening of acne.
Many people believe that poor hygiene contributes to the development of acne, however, this is not true. The processes that lead to acne occur beneath the skin, and poor hygiene does not cause acne. Cleaning the skin vigorously can actually cause small amounts of swelling under the skin that makes acne worse. While acne may not be caused by poor hygiene, keeping the skin clean with gentle cleansing may help to decrease the severity of acne.
Types of Acne
There are several different types of acne that can develop. The least severe form of acne is blackheads, where an oil gland becomes clogged, but is still open to air. Whiteheads occur when an oil gland is clogged and is obstructed with a thin layer of skin. A blackhead may also be called an open comedo, and a whitehead may be called a closed comedo.
More severe types of acne may include papules, pustules, cysts, and nodules. Papules, more commonly called pimples, occur when the clogged oil gland becomes infected, and white blood cells attack the infection, causing swelling and inflammation. Pustules are papules that have filled with pus (dead white blood cells) and have a white or yellow fluid under the skin. Cysts and nodules occur when smaller pustules become larger and more inflamed. Both cysts and nodules are much like pustules, except larger. Someone who has bad acne that causes cysts or nodules should see a doctor.
There are several potential ways of preventing or lessening acne and the symptoms that it causes. Some good strategies for helping to prevent acne include:
- Keep your face clean by gently cleansing it twice a day.
- Moisturize, using a moisturizer that is approved for those with acne.
- Avoid excessive make-up or hair products.
- Avoid touching your face, as this can cause grease to clog your pores.
- Exercise routinely.
- Avoid and reduce stress, as this can lead to worsening acne.
- Avoid the temptation to “pop” pimples; this can lead to worsening acne.
Many people with acne are focused on finding the best face wash for acne and maintaining good facial hygiene. While this can help with acne, it should be remembered that good facial hygiene alone will not prevent acne, but will only help to reduce its severity.
Best Acne Treatments
Those with acne often wonder how to get rid of their unsightly acne and avoid the scarring that acne can cause. Finding the best acne treatment depends upon the type of acne that an individual has. Someone who wants to know how to get rid of pimples fast will need different treatment than someone who wants to know how to get rid of blackheads.
Most acne treatments focus on either unclogging blocked pores, eliminating bacteria that cause inflammation, or both. The type of treatment used for acne removal is unique for each individual and should be decided between them and a doctor. A trained physician will determine what types of acne pills or creams will work best for a specific situation.
There are several types of acne medications that can treat different causes of acne. Some of the most common medications used to treat acne include:
- Tretinoin - Tretinoin both unclogs skin pores and reduces further clogging by helping get rid of the excess skin that leads to clogged pores. Tretinoin is a very commonly used acne medication.
- Epiduo - Epiduo and its generic equivalents contain two different medications - one which unclogs the pores and prevents the buildup of oils, and one that kills bacteria that grows within the clogged oil glands.
- BenzaClin - BenzaClin and its generic equivalents contain two different medications that are designed to penetrate clogged pores and kill the bacteria inside of them. This helps to reduce the severity and risk of scarring with acne.
- Doxycycline - Doxycycline is an antibiotic that kills bacteria causing severe acne. This medication may be used for cystic acne treatment or other severe forms of acne.
- Salicylic acid - Salicylic acid reduces excess skin and prevents excess skin from clogging pores. This can be one of the best acne spot treatment options.
These medications require a physician’s prescription to use and should only be used by individuals who have been evaluated by a doctor. This will help to ensure that individuals with acne receive the treatment that is best for their unique situation.
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