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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

HOW TO CURE PIMPLES - PART II

Using Creams, Medications and Treatments
Use an over-the-counter cream. 
If you suffer from persistent pimples, it will usually be necessary to do a little more than simply keep your face clean and eat healthily. Luckily, there are a whole plethora of over-the-counter (OTC) creams which can work wonders for clearing up pimples and prevent more from popping up in their place. These creams are usually applied directly onto pimples and will, in most cases, lead to a significant improvement in the skin's condition within 6 to 8 weeks. The most common active ingredients found in these creams are:

Benzoyl peroxide.
 Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria on the surface of the skin, while also slowing down the production and build-up of oil in the pores. It also works as a peeling agent, helping the skin to rejuvenate itself. Benzoyl peroxide can have a drying, irritating effect on the skin, so you should begin with the lowest available concentration.

Salicylic acid
Salicylic acid is another ingredient which helps to kill pimple-causing bacteria. It also helps to break down blackheads and whiteheads which can develop into pimples once infected. In addition, salicylic acid helps skin to shed old, dead layers, preventing pores from becoming blocked and allowing new skin cells to form.

Sulfur
Sulfur contains anti-bacterial properties and helps to break down whiteheads and blackheads, preventing them from becoming infected and forming pimples.

Retin-A
Retin-A contains an acidic form of vitamin A, 
known as all-trans retinoic acid, which operates like a chemical peels, exfoliating the skin and unblocking clogged pores.

Azelaic acid
Azelaic acid minimizes the appearance of pimples by preventing the build-up of oil and reducing inflammation and bacterial growth. It is especially effective for people with darker skin tones

Ask a dermatologist to prescribe a stronger topical cream. 
Some people find that OTC creams are not quite strong enough to combat stubborn pimples. In this case, it is possible to ask your doctor to prescribe a stronger topical treatment which might just do the trick.

Most prescription creams contain active ingredients derived from vitamin A. Examples include products such as tretinoin, adapalene and tazarotene. These creams work by encouraging cell turnover and by preventing hair follicles from becoming clogged.

There are also a number of prescription antibacterial creams, which work by killing bacteria on the surface of the skin.

Think about taking a course of antibiotics. 
In cases of moderate to severe acne, your doctor may recommend combining the application of a topical cream with a course of oral antibiotics. These help to reduce inflammation along with the growth of bacteria. Antibiotic treatments will usually last between four to six months, although you should begin to notice an improvement in your skin within about six weeks.

Unfortunately, many people nowadays easily build up a resistance to antibiotics, so this form of treatment will not always work effectively.

Some antibiotics (such as tetracyclines) will reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives, so women should use a back up form of contraception when following a course of antibiotics

In case of severe acne, consider isotretinoin treatments.

If all else fails and severe acne persists, your dermatologist may advise isotretinoin treatments. Isotretinoin is closely related to vitamin A and works by reducing the body's production of sebum oil and by shrinking the oil production glands. A course of isotretinoin usually lasts for about 20 weeks, during which time the patient must be closely monitored, due to the drug's large number of potential side effects.

When taking isotretinoin, acne may become worse before it gets better. This flare-up will usually only last for a couple of weeks but can sometimes last for the duration of the treatment.

Some of side effects associated with isotretinoin treatments include dry skin and eyes, dry, cracked lips, sensitivity to sunlight, and more uncommonly, headaches, hair loss, mood changes and depression.

This treatment has been linked with severe birth defects, so it cannot be prescribed to pregnant women or those who are trying to conceive. As a result, women will be asked to take a pregnancy test before being prescribed this medication

If you are female, think about using oral contraceptives. 
Since many pimple problems are related to hormonal imbalances, oral contraceptives can be a great way of regulating hormone production and reducing breakouts in women - particularly those related to the menstrual cycle. Oral contraceptives which contain a combination of norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol are generally the most effective.

Oral contraceptives can in rare cases produce serious side effects such as blood clotting, high blood pressure and a higher risk of heart disease, so make sure to discuss this option thoroughly with your doctor before pursuing it

Find out about professional treatments. 
There are many treatments available at spas and skin clinics, which can significantly improve the appearance of pimple prone skin, when used in combination with some of the above-mentioned treatments. They can be a little on the pricey side, but can produce more long term results than other treatments and even help to prevent and reduce scarring. Such treatments include:

Laser therapy. 
Laser therapy works by penetrating deep within the skin and damaging the oil glands that produce sebum - an excess of which leads to pimples.

Light therapy. 
Light therapy targets the acne-causing bacteria on the surface of the skin, reducing inflammation and improving the texture of the skin.

Chemical peels
A chemical peel burns the surface of the skin in a controlled fashion, causing the top layers to peel away and revealing the fresh, new skin underneath. 

This treatment is particularly good for getting rid of any marks or scars left behind after the pimples themselves have been cleared away.

Microdermabrasion. 
Microdermabrasion uses a rotating wire brush to exfoliate the top layers of skin, revealing the smooth new skin underneath. 

It can be somewhat uncomfortable and can leave the skin looking red and raw for a number of days until it has fully healed

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